Take 90 kilometres of disused railway line through the beautiful province of Värmland, cover it with silky smooth tarmac and what do you get? One joyous cycling experience through mainly flat, pristine countryside with the Klara River accompanying you most of the way. And, as it’s a cycle path, there are no cars to worry about. Which is good news for everyone, especially if you are bringing the kids.
Start in Karlstad
The southern end of Klarälvsbanan starts right here in Karlstad, on the shores of Lake Vänern, one of Europe’s largest lakes. It then heads north to the county of Hagfors, via the counties of Forshaga, Ransäter and Munkfors. The route takes in forest, open countryside, and gorgeous historical villages, hamlets and towns. There are many beauty spots so why not rest your legs by making time for sightseeing, picnicking or berry-picking.
You can book a package, including accommodation and bike, before you set off. There are many campsites, beautifully located along the route and you can even pitch your own tent. Sweden has a ‘right of public access’ law that lets you go where you want, as long as you respect the countryside and others’ access to it.
For centuries the river Klarälven was a ‘working river’ with logs from the forests of northern Värmland being driven downriver to Karlstad and the paper mills. Nowadays its recreation only on the river and you can go timber rafting, canoeing and kayaking and there is also some good fishing. Dotted along the length of the Klarälvsbanan you’ll find activity centres offering these and many other exciting outdoor experiences.
So what are you waiting for – get on your bike on the Klarälvsbanan.