Sandlågan - Svedjeholmen
Pristine swimming beach and a visit to an Iron Age village.
The trail follows the country lane along the Bäckfjärden inlet from the car park in Sandlågan past the village of Bäck and on to Utby. The last few kilometres to Utby are along an asphalt road. In Utby, turn off from the sealed road and continue along a forestry road almost all the way to the little lakes called Småtjärnarna. About 300 metres south of the lakes, the trail turns off towards Småtjärnsstugan, a log cabin with two bunks, a wood stove, and table and benches. There is no access to water here.
From Småtjärnsstugan, you can take a side trail via the beach at Nyängets havsbad – a shallow swimming beach that is very popular and that has a kiosk open in the summer – to Genesmon’s Archaeological Outdoor Museum. Excavations were carried out here from 1977 to 1989 and remnants of both dwellings and graves were found here dating back to the early Roman Iron Age – 100-600 AD. This discovery was a sensation as it debunked the theory that there were no permanent settlements in northern Sweden before the Viking Age.
The museum is open during parts of the summer and there are guided tours available. At other times you are welcome to look around independently. Signposts show the way around and information boards tell you about this fascinating period of history.
The High Coast Trail continues on from the lakes Småtjärnarna over the mountain Vitsjömassivet and on down to the end of the section in Svedje. Once in Svedje, follow the trail along the public road to Svedjeholmen where you will find accommodation. The trail continues on through the township down to the river Moälven.
Accommodations & side trails
Looking for a more comfortable place to sleep the night during your hike? Or do you want to explore more on your hike? Here are some tips on local accommodations and sights along the section.
Things to think about
How to get to the starting point? Where to buy a hiking trail guide? How to pack smart? And what do I have to think about when visiting the High Coast Trail? Here are some useful information to prepare your hike.
Getting to the starting point
Transport: No bus connection.
Section starts at the parking area in Sandlågan. Starting point: 63.201077, 18.702010.
Buy a hiking trail guide/map
The High Coast Trail hiking trail guide can be ordered here.
Hiking doesn’t require a lot of special equipment, but there are a few things worth thinking about that will help make your experience as enjoyable as possible.
First of all, think about what kind of person you are and what non-essential items you think you won’t be able to do without. And then convince yourself that you will be able to cope without them! Hiking is all about being present, living in the here and now, and taking the time to soak in your surroundings. Once you get in the zone, the only things of importance are having comfortable clothing and shoes, that your pack is comfortable to carry, and that you have something to eat and drink when you need to replenish your energy reserves. However, a camera/smart phone is always good to have along so you can document your adventure.
Find your way
Map, compass, waterproof map case, head torch and GPS.
For documentation & spare time
A pen, notebook and a good book.
Tent, sleeping mat, a small sit pad, sleeping bag, pillow, head torch with extra batteries and a lantern for your tent.
Carrying your load
A backpack has to be comfortable to carry, preferably fitted to its wearer so that it sits well. If you are out on a daytrip or will be sleeping in hostels or hotels, you shouldn’t need to pack more than 30 litres of gear. If you are out for the weekend and need to take a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat, you should be able to fit everything into a 50-litre pack. Your backpack, sleeping bag and tent shouldn’t weight more than 3 kg together, and food and clothing will be added to this. Distribute the weight evenly by placing heavy items against the back. It’s a good idea to take a rain cover for your pack, pack bags and hiking poles.
For undesired visitors
Mosquito net/mosquito hat, bug spray, tick remover.
Eating & cooking
Water bottle, camping kitchen (burner and pots), fuel, lighter/matches, knife, cup, cutlery, little wisp, pot handle, washing up liquid, dish brush, freeze-dried food, multi tool, coffee/tea, salt and pepper, energy snacks (e.g. dried fruit and nuts), rubbish bag.
Footwear & socks
Worn-in outdoor training shoes or running shoes are great for daytrips with lighter backpacks. It can be a good idea to use waterproof shoes with Gore-Tex, for example, on wet days. If you are going to hike long stretches and have a heavy backpack, light hiking boots are recommended as they give you more stability and better ankle support. Many hikers prefer to wear two pairs of socks – a thin inner sock and a somewhat thicker outer wool sock – this helps prevent blisters. Sports socks that are shaped to the foot and don’t fall down are preferable.
Applying the layering principle is a good idea. Your base layer should keep you warm and wick away moisture from the skin (wool or synthetic), the mid layer should wick any moisture further away but keep warmth in (wool or fleece), and the outer layer should protect you from wind and rain as well as keep you warm. Garments to pack might include a long-sleeved base-layer top, a short-sleeved base-layer top, long johns, underwear (briefs, sports bra), woollen socks (thin + thicker), hiking trousers, warm sweater (fleece or wool), airy shirt in functional fabric, hat and/or buff, windproof gloves, rain gear (jacket and pants), waterproof pack bags for underwear, swimming gear.
A stitch in time
Needle and thread, duct tape, multitool, steel wire, strong thin cord that can double as a tent guy rope, patches for tent and any inflatable mats.
Hygiene & first aid
First aid kit, toothbrush and toothpaste, plasters for blisters, paracetamol, toilet bag, fast-drying towel, toilet paper, soap, sunscreen.
For when you reach civilisation
Wallet, phone, sunglasses, binoculars, waterproof pack bag for electronic devices.
Things to think about when visiting the High Coast Trail
The Right of Public Access gives visitors to the Swedish countryside the right to roam freely. But with this freedom comes responsibility. “Don’t disturb, don’t destroy” is the key concept to follow. Please think of the following when you are on the High Coast Trail:
- Don’t walk over gardens or cultivated land.
- Respect animal and bird life, leave nests and young in peace.
- Close all gates behind you when hiking through grazing land.
- You can swim anywhere other than by houses or where specifically forbidden.
- No littering.
- Only light campfires in designated places. Put your fire out with care! Avoid lighting campfires when the fire risk is high.
- Dogs are welcome along the trail but must be kept on a leash when hiking.
- You must have a fishing licence for fishing in lakes and watercourses (streams and rivers). No fishing licence is required for fishing in the sea.
In Skuleskogen National Park you need to follow specific rules and regulations that have been put in place to protect the park’s flora and fauna. You may:
- not light campfires anywhere other than in designated campfire sites from May 1 – September 30. You may only burn wood that is supplied or that you have carried in with you.
- only tent at designated sites and for a maximum of three nights at the same site during the period May 1 – September 30.
- only travel by foot in the national park.
- not cycle, with the exception of the coastal trail between the South Entrance and the North Entrance.
- fish in the sea but not in the rivers and lakes.
- have your dog with you but it must be on a leash at all times.
The High Coast Trail has been divided into 13 sections. Choose to hike one section at a time, combine several hikes for a longer tour or hike the whole trail.
The High Coast Trail has been divided into 13 sections so that each section has at least one option to stay overnight under a roof – though accommodation ranges from basic cabins to serviced hostels and hotels. There are also simple wind shelters and huts along the way for hikers to use. It doesn’t cost anything to stay in these, they can’t be booked in advance and you can’t refuse other hikers who would like to stay as well. Camping with tents is permitted almost everywhere along the trail, as long as you don’t disturb the surroundings. Be aware, however, that once you are in the Skuleskogen National Park, tenting is only permitted in designated areas.
The trail is easy to follow thanks to the numerous orange markers on trees and posts. In addition, there are metal signposts with High Coast Trail symbols where trails cross or fork.
All the sections are well maintained so unless you are unlucky you won’t need to get your feet wet at all. Despite this, we still recommend wearing hiking boots or similar sturdy footwear on the trail. Cycling is permitted, but in Skuleskogen National Park you are only allowed to cycle along the coastal trail that passes Näskebodarna.
At times, it can be difficult to find drinking water, especially in the peak of summer, so plan carefully using your trail map as a guide, it has water sources clearly marked. The quality of available water can also vary somewhat. There are some grocery stores along the way so you can plan ahead where you can replenish your supplies.
Regardless if you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, there will be sections perfect for you along the trail. We want you to have a fantastic time on the High Coast Trail – take your time and enjoy yourself, you are about to experience some of the World Heritage Site’s absolute highlights.