1. Tyresta National Park
Designated a national park in 1993, Tyresta encompasses a magnificent swathe of primeval, pine-scented forest and pristine lakes just 20km south of Stockholm city centre. A massive forest fire raged through its central parts in 1999, leaving behind an eerie yet dramatic landscape. A number of trails traverse the park with overnight shelters and fireplaces making camping possible at several scenic spots. Look out for woodpeckers, beavers, and mating toads in the spring.
How to get there: You can take the T-Bana to Gullmarsplan, then change for the bus 807 or 809 to Svartbäcken. Then change at Söderbyleden or Brandbergen centrum and take the 834 to Tyresta by. You can also take the Pendeltåg 43 to Handen station and change for the bus 834 at Haninge centrum.
This nature reserve lies off the beaten track to the north of the city near Åkersberga and contains a string of attractive small lakes amidst a dense forest of birch and spruce. It makes a perfect getaway for a night of camping with two overnight shelters. Go for a swim in one of the lakes which warm up surprisingly quickly in early summer.
How to get there: Take T-Bana 11 from T-Centralen to Kista and then change for the bus 685 Åkersberga station. There you can change for the 620 to Norrtälje busstation. Your destination is Skeppsdals vägskäl, from where it is a three-kilometre walk to the reserve.
3. Björnö Nature Reserve
Located almost as far east of Stockholm as it is possible to get without taking a ferry, Björnö is a small peninsula jutting out into the Baltic Sea. A hiking trail skirts round the reserve – or alternatively take to the water in a canoe or kayak to explore the shoreline. The reserve is also home to one of Stockholm’s finest beaches, which is popular with bathers in summer. Look out for sea eagles and ospreys which soar high above in the sky.
How to get there: Take a train from T-Centralen to Slussen and then change for the bus 428 or 429. Get off at the stop Björnö naturreservat.
As its name suggests, this rocky slice of paradise lies to the south of the city in the municipality of Huddinge. Tornberget, at a height of 111m, is the highest point in Stockholm County. Lose yourself in the forest and you can imagine that you are in a remote wilderness. Look out for roaming moose and, in late summer and autumn, delicious Karl Johan mushrooms. There is also one overnight shelter in the reserve.
How to get there:Take the Pendeltåg 40 to Huddinge station. Change for the bus 709 to Truckvägen and get off at Bruket. From there it's a 1.7 kilometre walk to the park.
A beautiful fjord that juts into the northern end of the city, a 12km trail completes a circuit around Brunnsviken. Along the way stop off at the delightful Café Sjöstugan for a coffee and bulle as well as enjoy historical buildings and parks amidst stately oaks. Two highlights are the Bergianska Botanical Gardens and the popular Hagaparken. Look out for wild strawberries known as smultron too. Brunnsviken forms part of the Royal City National Park – the world’s first national urban park.
How to get there: There are numerous starting points to get to Brunnsviken, but the easiest is is to take the T-Bana 14 to Universitetet, followed by a short walk.
6. Norra Järvafältet
Comprising four nature reserves, Norra Järvafältet is a large natural area to the north of Stockholm and straddles three municipalities. It offers a varied landscape with agricultural land, dense forests, and lakes. There are also numerous fire places over which you can sizzle some sausages. Look out for the remains of prehistoric graves, Viking rune stones, and the ancient hazel and oak forest of Hansta – with some specimens attaining a huge six metres in girth.
How to get there: One way is to take the Pendeltåg 43 to Jakobsberg and then change there for the bu 567 to Säby gård. Another one is to take the T-Bana 11 to Akalla and then again take the 567 to Säby gård. From there it's just a short walk to the area.
Situated to the south west of Stockholm, the Sörmlandsleden is a hiking trail which is some 1000km long and is divided into nearly a hundred stages allowing for numerous day hikes. Well sign-posted, the trail passes through a large variety of scenery – ranging from open landscapes to cultural sites and areas of near-wilderness. One of the best sections is from Ösmö to Paradiset with fantastic overnight camping options along the way.
How to get there
: Since the trail is so long and has many different starting points, it's best to consult the trail's dedicated website
for more information on trail and travel options for getting there.
8. Nacka Nature Reserve
Located just a stone’s throw away from the city centre, Nacka nature reserve is a favourite haunt for Stockholmers looking for a quick getaway from the city for a few hours. Numerous trails go through the reserve including a section of the Sörmlandsleden. The lakes in the reserve are good for bathing and their shores home to numerous bird species. Look out too for adders that emerge in spring after a long winter of hibernation. After your hike, take a sauna in the recreation centre of Hellasgården.
How to get there: The easiest way is to take the T-Bana 17 to Bagarmossen and then walk to the reserve (about 2 kilometres). Alternatively, you can start off at Slussen and take the bus 401 to Hellasgården.
Eldgarnsö is a nature reserve located in Ekerö municipality on the shores of Lake Mälaren to the northwest of Stockholm. A 6km trail completes a circuit of the reserve. In addition to stunning views of Mälaren, the reserve boasts extensive stands of oak with the forest floor in spring carpeted in wood anemone, celandine and yellow star of Bethlehem. Couples too can look out for mistletoe.
How to get there: Take the T-Bana from T-Centralen to Brommaplan and then change for the bus 338 or 317 to Karlskär from where it is a 2km walk to the reserve.
For a nice afternoon walk, the perfect address is Kunglige Djurgården (Swedish for “The royal animal garden”). It offers a variety of trails, of which some are by the water and some are through the forest. It is also connected to Rosendals Trädgård, which offers a café and gardening articles. There are usually a lot of people, but the forests behind the garden are usually peaceful and quiet. You might even stumble across some deer or a woodpecker.
How to get there: From Slussen, get the ferry number 82 to Djurgården. From the terminal Almänna gränd it's a 1.5 kilometre walk to the park. Alternatively, you can also take the above-ground train 7 from T-Centralen to Djurgårdsskolan.
All maps from Google
Article first written by Alec Forss in 2015 and updated in 2018.