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17. Harsjöhult - Finnsjön, 6 km

Start: N 59°12.184' E 017°02.097'. Parkering.

The track starts from a parking place along a gravel road, with no scheduled common access. After walking only 150 meter on a smaller road, you are in the wilderness – no dwelling-houses, no common roads. You walk far away from motorised noise and can hear the sounds of the forest. You mostly pass through sparsely grown pine forests, but also over marshes, bogs and small streams. The walk is quite easy but be aware of the many planks and bridges; they may become quite slippery, so keep your balance.

 During your walk, you’ll get lots of opportunities to observe a variety of birds and the special plants of bogs and marshes, like fragrant Labrador-tea and bog myrtle or plants with edible fruits like cranberries and cloudberries. Everywhere there is also an abundance of tasty bilberries.

 You will probably encounter cranes, whooper swans, ravens and tree larks; with a bit of luck also black grouses, capercaillies and owls. From far away in their habitats in small lakes you can hear the strong sound of the black-throated diver. You may also spot elks and roedeers, and quite often patches where wild boars have up-rooted the ground.

 After about one kilometre of walking you’ll get a fine view of the tiny lake Abborrsjön, surrounded by the much bigger Abborrmossen. Just before this place there is information that you have entered a vast area of previous Finnish settlements. From 1570 onwards, peasants from Savolaks in Finland, then a part of Sweden, came here to find forests for their particular slash-and-burn form of agriculture. Following a side-track for less than 200 meters from the information post, you arrive at a place with deserted, small farming fields surrounded by ditches, now mostly overgrown with spruces. The fields were previously fenced to keep the straying cattle away.

 After an easy walk for another kilometre through old forests where cattle once were grazing, you approach the bewitching lake called Trullsjön. After a 150 meter walk on planks along the lakeside, you find a nice place for a stop. You can also take a swim from a small bridge, but be aware not to touch the bottom unnecessarily, as you may stir up the brown humus.

 After Trullsjön the track meanders over several bogs and marshes and through the by now well-known pine forests. After about two kilometre’s walk there is another nice place for a stop in the middle of a charcoal burning ground, that is partly cleared. Quite close you can take a look at the remains of the small hut used by the men watching the charcoal kiln.

 Now you are turning down towards the eastern part of Finnsjön, from where the track will follow the lake all the way to the end. There are several oaks along the shore, both erect and overthrown, a perfect habitat for owls and insects.

 At the end of the track you’ll find a beautifully located shelter with a fireplace. Close-by, there are also toilets and waste-bins. The water in the lake is very clean, and near the shoreline, you can see both white and yellow waterlilies and the beautiful water lobelia. You can take a swim here, but there are even better places for swimming further along the lake on track 18.

Please note that maps from Lantmäteriet, or maps based on these, may not be fully up-to-date when it comes to rerouting, etc.
The shelter on the Eastern side of Lake Harsjön does no longer exist!


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