Experienced hikers often head to Sweden’s northern mountain landscapes or head out on the continent to experience more advanced tours. But challenging hikes exist closer than you think. Here are our top tips for hiking trails around Uppsala for those who want a slightly bigger challenge.
1. Tough goings on the classic Uppland Trail
The Uppland Trail (Upplandsleden) is a trail divided into three stretches along which many people have hiked, be they residents of Uppland or hiking enthusiasts from across the country. Completing the whole 500 km is a bold undertaking. It is divided into 31 natural sections, but the trek can of course be completed with other stops and tenting. The first part of the trail consists of several sections that offer both exciting and fascinating hikes. Section 10 starts in Kolarmoraån, which is also an excellent canoe trail, and continues for 30 km on uneven, narrow forest paths. It sports both a nice rest stop and swimming area, as well as a wind shelter at Gisslaren, should you choose to divide your trek and spend the night there. The final destination is the stately Gimo manor, and from here you can start Section 11 which continues to impress with its 21 km. Don’t miss Färnebofjärden National Park during Sections 18, 19, and 20 with its seductive rocky island landscape.
2. The Pulpit – Hiking Celebrity in Hågadalen
You don’t have to go to Norway to experience the Pulpit. Our Uppland version of the Pulpit is located a pleasant distance away in the picturesque area of Hågadalen. This 15-metre-high cliff, slightly more modest than its Norwegian namesake, is also ideal for climbing and has a great spot for grilling at the top. Cycle, take a bus or drive a car to Lurbo Brige (Lurbo-bro), enter Nåsten forest (Nåstenskogen) and follow the marked path. Then you can continue walking along the Gottsunda Trail, one of the Linneaus Trails, which stretches just over 8 km.
3. Kungshamn Morga Nature Reserve – a view of Lake Mälaren
For those who hike to experience magnificent panoramas, the Kungshamn-Morga nature reserve is the perfect fit. Near Knivsta, about 20 km from Uppsala, you will find a nature reserve that offers energetic day trips combined with views of beautiful spring flora, the waters of Lake Mälaren and grazing cows on the Morga pasture. During summer, a dip in Sweden’s third largest lake is a great way to round off the Uppland Hike (Upplandshajken). The nature reserve has several entrances, of which the south parking area is perfect for experiencing history and exercise. There you’ll find the remains of an ancient castle, located high up on a steep hill.
4. Pilgrimage on the Maria Trail
Regardless of whether or not you are a believer, the Maria trail (Marialeden) offers both cool hiking and architectural discoveries. Starting at Uppsala Cathedral, this eight-mile trail passes many of Uppland’s most worthwhile medieval churches, including in Gamla Uppsala, Tensta, and Vendel. The terrain is varied, and the surface consists largely of forest paths and gravel roads.
5. Viking hike on Ingegerdsleden
Feel the winds of history beating against your cheek on this hiking trail which has been trodden ever since the Viking age. The 11-mile trail stretching from Stockholm to Uppsala is named after Olof Skötkonung’s daughter Ingegerd. She grew up in Sigtuna, another city that the trail passes. Like the Maria trail, it offers several longer day treks and showcases medieval churches, but also manor houses, old peasant villages, and lakes. The surface varies between more impenetrable forest paths and easily accessible walking and cycling lanes, so if you have a week to spend hiking, we definitely recommend this challenging and beautiful trail.