Hiking is a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors, get close to nature and, above all, spend time together. We’ve put together some suggestions of places and hikes that are particularly suitable for anyone walking with children. So pack your rucksack, lace up your boots and head out onto Dalarna’s wonderful hiking trails!
Just a few kilometres outside central Borlänge, family-friendly wilderness and pristine nature await. Hike long or short trails in Gyllbergen nature reserve along well-signed paths. Walk through tall pine forests, lush, magical spruce forests and through fens. Discover the area’s many plants, mosses, mushrooms, insects and birds. If you’re lucky you could catch a glimpse of nesting cranes or capercaillies, black grouse and owls. Jättebordet, a large flat rock, and Saras sjö mountain lake, are two legendary places well worth a visit. Walking through the Dragbergsgatan fault fissure also feels wonderfully secret and mystical.
There are hiking trails to suit everyone at Lugnet sports arena in Falun, from short walks of around an hour to longer multi-day hikes. There are also plenty of rest stops, wind shelters and cabins along the way. Hike through peaceful natural surroundings, through idyllic sheep pastures and visit interesting points of interest along the way. Enjoy the view from “Högsta punkten”, the highest point in the area, or Lärkstugan or Sjulsarvstugan cabins. The latter spot provides fantastic views over Falun. Take a little detour to the Kolakojan wooden cabin with grill!
Start off your adventure in central Säter by taking the little Turis train to Säterdalen recreation area. Barnens Dal, the children’s valley, awaits you there, with playgrounds and wonderful grassy areas for children to run around on. There are also several paths and trails if you want to explore the lush nature reserve with its verdant ravine landscape further. There’s plenty to look at along the way, in addition to animals and plants there are also historical remains of small watermills, blast furnaces and smithies. The route between Norddalskvarn and Almbacken is accessible.
Orsa Grönklitt & Fryksås
Set out from Orsa Grönklitt and walk the 4,5km-long trail around Lake Rädsjön. Walk along paths and trails alongside the lake, with gentle up and downhills and beautiful views. There are several rest areas along the way for when it’s time to stop for coffee or a picnic. Take a detour to nearby Fryksås, a summer pasture farm, a round-trip of around 3,5km. You can have a coffee and snack or eat lunch in Fryksås at Smidgården or Fryksås Hotell and Gestgifveri.
Sälen and Södra Kungsleden
Start off at Högfjällshotellet in Sälen and walk through the portal that marks the start of the southern part of Kungsleden hiking trail. The start of the trail is tarmacked and very easy to walk - perfect if you’ve got a pram or pushchair with you. Towards the end of the paved section there’s a wind shelter where you can stop for coffee and to enjoy the view. If you carry on a bit further the path opens up to panoramic mountain views and soon you’ll get to Östfjällsstugan cabin, beautifully situated next to a small mountain lake.
Visit one of Sweden’s highest waterfalls, Njupeskär! Situated in Fulufjället national park outside Särna, the route to the waterfall passes through impressive spruce forests and enchanting natural surroundings. The 4km-long Njupeskärsslingan trail has footbridges, is gravelled and easy to walk but there are also some steps, so leave your pushchair in the car in the large car park. At the main entrance to the national park you’ll find an exciting visitor centre where there’s lots to see and do. Look at creepy crawlies, feel moose antlers and guess which animal poo comes from. You can also buy food, coffee and ice cream here.
There are several different hiking trails to choose between around Idre Fjäll. One easy walk goes up to Nipfjället, with varied mountain scenery and panoramic views. Start from Nipfjället’s summer car park. After a few kilometres you’ll find glacial remains in the form of large boulders - perfect for a picnic stop! Children can also conquer their own mini summits and play among the mounds of boulders. You can also walk up to Lillnipen from the summer car park. After a 1,5km uphill walk a magnificent view of Härjedalsfjällen and Fulufjället awaits. The path up to the top is well-beaten.
7 tips for a successful hike with children
Manage expectations: Before you head out, talk to your child about what to expect. You might want to describe the walk, how far you’re planning to walk and how long it will take. You can also tell them about what you’ll see along the way and the tasty picnic and treats you’ll be enjoying when you stop for breaks.
Pack plenty of good snacks: Make sure your rucksack is full of tasty, energy-boosting food and drinks. Sandwiches, fruit, pasta salads, nuts, cold pancakes, hot chocolate - whatever your family likes best. A snack break is always popular and small stomachs need to be refilled at regular intervals!
Take it easy: Slow the pace, take plenty of breaks and follow your children’s lead. Factor in plenty of extra time so you don’t need to rush or stress.
Walk on safe, easy paths: Make sure you choose trails that aren’t too long and where the terrain isn’t too tricky.
Have fun: Count the experiences rather than the kilometres. Play and have fun along the way - your child is much less likely to forget any tiredness and the fact they’ve walked a long way if they’re distracted.
Wear appropriate clothing: Wearing the right clothes for the weather conditions is important. Clothes and equipment that’s warm and sturdy and, for example, rainwear and boots when it’s wet, make for a much more enjoyable hike.
Learn along the way: Take a bird or plant book and/or binoculars with you and observe your surroundings. Let your children follow along on the map and see where you’re walking.
Read more about walking in Dalarna at visitdalarna.se/en/hiking