Descriptions of Kvarken Trails 

Starting Points for Trails

Bodvattnet runt 4-km circular trail, with a demanding accessible section of 0.9 km and 1.3 km / direction

About 100 years ago, the old fishing port of Bodback set off on dangerous trips across the rocky Kvarken to Umeå. In addition to mail, government officials were also transported. Now only a small creek connects this port to the sea! Come and see how land uplift changes the Kvarken World Heritage landscape!

Demanding accessible nature trail symbol. Accessible dry toilet symbol. 

Difficulty: Demanding accessible.
Estimated travel time: During summertime the entire loop (4 km) on foot 1.5 hours, no winter maintenance. 
Travel time by wheelchair on one direction:

  • The Svedjehamn parking area - Saltkaret observation tower 0.9 km, approximately 0.5 hours.
  • The Svedjehamn parking area - Bodback old harbour 1.3 km, less than one hour.

The trail between Svedjehamn parking area and Saltkaret observation tower is snow-cleared during wintertime, including the parking area.
 

Starting point

The Svedjehamn fishing harbour parking area Address: Svedjehamn fishing harbour, 65870 Svedjehamn.
The parking area does not have separate accessible parking spaces, but there is usually plenty of space. The parking area’s surface material is gravel. The parking area is flat.

Bodvattnet runt map (julkaisut.metsa.fi/en/)
Bodvattnet runt map on Retkikartta.fi.(Excursion map)

Hiking structures

  • Two accessible composting toilets, one at the beginning of the parking area and one next to the observation tower. 
  • Accessible campfire site within 80 metres of the observation tower. Surface material gravel.
  • The firewood must be imported from the firewoodshed next to the observation tower, the firewoodshed is not accessible. 
  • The Saltkaret observation tower has an accessible lower platfrom, the view, however, is not unobstructed. In winter, the lower platform of the observation tower may be slippery. The high slope of ramp requires a wheelchair assistant.
  • A campsite at the Saltkaret observation tower intersection. The benches are attached to the chair structure. 

Trail description

The width of the trail is mainly 1.2 m on the trail to the Bodback old fishing harbour. 

At the narrowest point, the path width is 1 m.

Blue paint mark on trees and rocks at a height of approximately 1 m.

Wood-coloured signs at a height of approximately 1 metre.

At the most challenging points of the trail, there is a longitudinal slope next to the Saltkaret observation tower and when rising to the Bodback harbour. The trail also has short sections with various lateral slopes.

The surface material on the demanding accessible section of the trail is gravel. Gravel material is dense. In places, pits and unevenness on the surface of the trail.

Four small bridges on the trail section of Svedjehamn parking area - the old harbour of Bodback. The bridges are 3 metres long. There are no gaps in the bridge decks.

In rainy weather, the surface of the trail to Bodback may become slippery. 

Terrain signs

The terrain signs are at a height of approximately 1 metre. The height of the terrain sign is indicated as the height of the central section from the ground.
There is an information board and a map on the parking area.
Along the trail, there are metal silhouettes of the the animals in the area and nature trail boards.

On the trail between the Svedjehamn parking area and Saltkaret tower, there is a soundbox from which you can listen to the sounds of nature and a brief presentation of the impact of the post-glacial rebound on the landscape.

Near the Saltkaret observation tower, there is a relief map of the High Coast and the Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site, that can be touched.

The lower platform of Saltkaret is accessible, but the birches ahead are blocking the view. 

To see

Walk along the land uplift shores, pass the bays that are closing up from the sea and roam in the birch forests that are used for grazing. Along the trail, you will see Bodback, which is the former fishing harbour of the village of Björkö. Today, Bodback is a museum site that boasts many boathouses and boat docks. During the summer, the seaside meadows are managed by grazing Highland cattle. Along the trail, you will see Saltkaret, an observation tower, from where gorgeous views open out over the area.

 

Nature Trails on the mainland

Two hikers on a nature trail in the forest. There is a statue made of stone next to the trail.

 

Sommarö Nature Trail, 1.5 km, a longer trail of 7 km / direction and demanding accessible 2.4 km circular trail

Demanding accessible nature trail symbol.

Come and enjoy the world heritage scenery with the whole family. In addition to the nature trail, the area also has demanding accessible sandy roads that are suitable for wheelchairs and prams.

Difficulty: Demanding accessible.

Estimated travel time:
In the snow-free season, approx. 1-2 hours, no winter maintenance.
In the snow-free season, travel time by wheelchair: 
Sommarö parking area - around Hålören peninsula - Sommarö parking area 2.4 km, 1.5 hours.

Starting point

Parking lot in the Sommarö guardroom courtyard. Address: Sommaröntie, 65930 Södra Vallgrund,
no exact address. 
The parking area does not have separate accessible parking spaces, but there is usually plenty of space. The parking area’s surface material is gravel. The parking area is flat.

​Sommarö Nature trail map (julkaisut.metsa.fi)

Sommarö nature trail map on Retkikartta.fi.(Excursion map)

Hiking structures

  • Two campfire sites
  • Two composting toilets
  • Two lean-to shelters in the yard of the Sommarö guardroom in public use, also a table and benches
  • At both ends of the trail, a terrain board with maps, and along the trail, there are five nature trail boards. 
  • The Sommarö guardroom can be rented to groups. 

Trail description

The width of the trail: the demanding accessible trail from the Sommarö parking area, round the Hålören peninsula, is approximately 4 metres.

Trail markings: orange (1.5 km / 2.4 km) and blue (7 km) paint markings, signs.

The surface material on the demanding accessible section of the trail is gravel. Gravel material is dense. In places, pits and unevenness on the surface of the trail.

The trail (1.5 km) runs around Ängesholmlampi pond and continues down to the seashore. You can also take the longer route (7 km) leading to the Södra Vallgrund beach, in Sommarösund.
The demanding accessible trail (2.4 km) leaves next to the parking area, going round the Hålören peninsula.

To see

In 1940-2000, the area was used as an army depot and as a fort for the coastal artillery. The Finnish Defence Forces left behind a network of roads and paths, foundations of demolished buildings, a pier, foundations for artillery pieces and bullet chambers. There is a memorial for the coastal artillery fort in the area. Only one residential building, as well as a guardhouse and its outbuildings, remain in the area. Along the longer trail, you will see a geologically fascinating giant's kettle, as well as cultural landscape (including stone fences).

A nature trail with arrows marking the trail.

Risö Nature Trail, 4.9 km       

Estimated time to walk is about 1-2 h in summer.
Easy for beginners, families and groups. Duckboard trail to bird watching tower.

The road leading to Risö's nature trail is temporarily closed

The road leading to Risö's nature trail, Ampumatie and Ampumatie's parking area is closed on weekdays from 7:00 to 16:00. Otherwise, the area is freely accessible, even on weekends.
The road is closed for safety reasons as there are a lot of work machines in the area.
The goal for the city of Vaasa is that the stretch from Tuovila river to Paukkumaja will be completed during week 45.
We apologize for any inconvenience to the users of Risö nature trail.

A sea landscape with reed.

Starting Point
Parking area at the end of Ampujatie Road.
Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 03.7663' lon: 21° 41.9537'ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7003634 E: 232305

Hiking Structures
Risö birdwatching tower, birdwatching platform, campfire site and a dry toilet. NOTE! No wood supply. Bring your own wood if you want to make a fire. There is a map of the area in the parking area.

To see
There are great views opening out from the Ryövärinkari birdwatching tower to the Eteläinen Kaupunginselkä bay (the southern city bay) and excellent opportunities to observe the birds in the area. There is also a lower birdwatching platform by the mouth of River Tuovilanjoki. At the time of the spring and autumn migrations, hundreds of geese, swans, waders and thousands of waterfowls use the area as a resting and feeding place.

Trail Markings
Trail is signposted.
The nature trail runs along an easy sandy road, along which you can also cycle. After a walking distance of about 800 metres, you will see a signpost to the Risö birdwatching tower. This smaller trail continues as a duckboard trail (350 m) across a reed-bed area. You will get to the birdwatching platform that is located by the mouth of River Tuovilanjoki by walking to the end of the sandy road and by continuing onto a more narrow trail that runs parallel to the shore. The platform is right by the mouth of River Tuovilansuu.

Please Note
The trail that turns to the birdwatching tower is wet in rainy weather, in particular, and during the time of high water, the duckboards may be partly under water.
Note that there are lots of mosquitoes in June and July. Protect yourself with clothing and/or mosquito repellent.

Kikanberget Nature Trail, 0.8 km back and forth       

Estimated time to walk is about 1h in summer.
Mainly easy, climb to the rock a bit more demanding. The staircase to the observation tower is steep.

A sea landscape opens up behind the treetops seen from a tall rock. There is a wooden bench on top of the rock.

Starting Point
Café next to the Klobbskat harbour.
Coordinates:Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 18.2621' lon: 21° 05.5286' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7033144 E: 204185

Hiking Structures
A ten-meter-high observation tower, information boards, including maps in Finnish, Swedish and English.

To see
geology, vegetation and animals of the land uplift shores, an observation point on the rock, foundations of former fishing huts, boat docks and piles of stones in which net-drying poles used to stand in the past.

From the obervation tower you can spot the Kvarken's beautiful natural heritage from a total height of 25 meters. With the naked eye, the lighthouses are distinguished at Norrskär, Utgrynnan and Valsörarna. In the spring and autumn, the observation tower is a good place for bird watching.

A tree story wooden viewing tower.

Trail Markings
Trail is signposted

 

Öjen Nature Trail, 4.5 km circular trail       

Estimated time to walk is about 2,5 h in summer
Easy for beginners, families and groups.

A path leading through a dense coniferous forest.

Starting Point
Parking area that is located by the road running from Vaasa to Sundom.
Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 04.1704' lon: 21° 34.4469' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7007846  E: 3226122

Hiking Structures
At the campfire site, there are benches, firewood, an axe and a dry toilet.

To see
In Öjen you can find varying habitats from lush groves to barren pinewoods. The oldest trees are nearly 200 years old and many decades have passed since the last logging.Along the trail there are information signs with interesting facts about the nature, medicinal plants and folk tales of the area.

Trail Markings
Trail is signposted.

Read more 

Björkö-Panike Hiking Trail on the mainland side, 3.4 km in one direction

A demanding wheelchair route symbol. Toilet for the disabled symbol.   

Estimated time to walk is about 3 h in summer.
Easy route, however, one crossing of the sheepfence and somewhat rocky.

Hikers on duckboards in the coniferous forest.

Starting Point
Parking area in the Svedjehamn fishing harbour.
Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 21. 5709 ' lon: 21° 18.0090' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7041276 E: 3215182

Hiking Structures
Tables and benches, two campfire sites, a campfire shelter, composting toilets (also for the disabled), two piers, information boards (including maps) in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Take firewood with you from firewoodshed near observation tower to the campfire site about 80 m from the observation tower. On Långgrunds campfire site there are firewood supply.

To see
Walk along the land uplift shores, pass the bays that are closing up from the sea, cross straits and roam in the birch forests that are used for grazing. At the beginning of the trail, Saltkaret, which is a 23-metre-high observation tower, offers you gorgeous views over the Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage site.

An autumn sea landscape with moraine formations.

 

Trail Markings
Trail is signposted.  

Please Note
A sheep fence must be crossed along the trail.
Note that there are lots of mosquitoes in June and July. Protect yourself with clothing and/or mosquito repellent.

Stairs leading across a sheep fence. Three hikers are crossing the fence.

 

Björkö-Panike Hiking Trail map (julkaisut.metsa.fi) 

Västerö Hiking Trail, 4.6 km, 6 km or 14 km       

Estimated time to walk is about 3 -5 h in summer.
Rather demanding route.

A sea shore with big boulders.

Starting Point
Parking areas by Söderskatavägen and Equityvägen at Västerö. You can choose a longer or a shorter option.

Coordinates
Parking area by Söderskatavägen
Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 20. 2521 ' lon: 21° 57.6175' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7036063 E: 3247942  
Parking area by Equityvägen Coordinates:
Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 21. 3112' lon: 21° 58.3042' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7037981 E: 3248668

Hiking Structures
Campfire sites and resting spots, dry toilets, two huts to be used as rest spots (they are not meant for overnight stays). A map for the area is found in the parking area. There are also maps along the trail. The information boards are in Finnish, Swedish and English. NOTE! No wood supply. Bring your own wood if you want to make a fire.

A wooden building surrounded by deciduous trees.

A day-trip hut photographed from the inside. One person sitting at the wooden table. The walls are lined with old newspapers.

To see
A memorial for the Equity (a ship that carried weapons in the olden days), the cliffs of Ryssberget, the old land uplift forests, bays, flads and seashores.

A rock in the forest, there is a memorial plate attached to the side of the rock. There is a wreath beneath the plate.

Rocky terrain covered with gray lichen cover and sparsely growing conifers.

Trail Markings
Trail is signposted.

Please Note
Note that there are lots of mosquitoes in June and July. Protect yourself with clothing and/or mosquito repellent.

Nature Trails available only by boat

Mickelsörarna Nature Trail on Kummelskär, 1km/1.5 km, a circular trail      

Estimated time to walk is about 1,5 h in summer.
Rather demanding route.

Birch trees are growing at the shore, a sea landscape opens up in the background.

Starting Point 
Yard of the Mickelsörarna Nature Station.
Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 27. 6243 ' lon: 21° 46.3972' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7047522 E: 239649

A large building and yard.

Hiking Structures
A lean-to shelter, a campfire site, a composting toilet, a pier, information boards including maps in Finnish, Swedish and English, a reservation-only sauna, the nature station's tower, accommodation for groups in summer.

To see
Geology, vegetation and animals of the land uplift shores, foundations of old fishing huts and boat docks from the 16th century. There is a great view over the area from the nature station's tower.

Large stones on the ground in a summery forest. The stones are forming the remains of a building.

Trail Markings
Trail is signposted.

Please Note
In rainy weather, the rocky parts of the trail are slippery.

Molpehällorna Nature Trail 1km/2 km/3 km circular trail     

Estimated time to walk is about 1,5 h in summer.
Rather demanding route.

A flad in the sunshine, there is a forest in the background.

Starting Point
The yard of the Molpe Nature Station.
Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 62° 53. 5349 ' lon: 21° 05.4567' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 6990306 E: 3199951

Hiking Structures
Acampfire site, a composting toilet, a pier, information boards (including maps) in Finnish, Swedish and English, a reservation-only sauna, the nature station's tower, a lookout platform.

To see
Geology, vegetation and animals of the land uplift shores, the reconstruction of the Molpehällorna "vippbåk" beacon (which is a memorial for the first beacon in the Gulf of Bothnia). There is a great view over the area from the nature station's tower.

A wooden structure with a metal basket hanging at one end. Dense scrub in the background.

Trail Markings
Trail is signposted.

Please Note
In rainy weather, the rocky parts of the trail are slippery.

Valsörarna Nature Trail, 2,8 km in one direction     

Estimated time to walk is about 3 h in summer.
Rather demanding route.

A deciduous forest, low junipers are growing beneath the trees.

Starting Point
Pier in the nothern side of the island.

Coordinates:
Pier in the nothern side of the island:
Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 27. 6243 ' lon: 21° 46.3972' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7047522 E: 239649
A pier in the southern side of the island:
Coordinates: Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 27. 6243 ' lon: 21° 46.3972' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7047522 E: 239649

Hiking Structures
A campfire site, composting toilets, two piers, a platform for sitting, information boards, including maps in Finnish, Swedish and English. NOTE! No wood supply. Bring your own wood if you want to make a fire.

To see
Geology, vegetation and animals of the land uplift shores, a memorial for Russian soldiers, the lighthouse and the lighthouse keepers' buildings, the biological station of the nature society entitled Ostrobothnia Australis.

People next to the lighthouse on a sunny day. There is a forest in the background.

Trail markings
The trail is signposted and marked with white squares.

Please Note
In rainy weather, the rocky parts of the trail are slippery.

Björkö-Panike Hiking Trail, the archipelago part, 8.6 km in one direction     

Estimated time to walk is about 3-4 h in summer.
Rather demanding route.

Deciduous forest in the summertime.

Starting Point 
Parking area in the Panike small boat harbour or the parking area in the Svedjehamn fishing harbour. From there, continue by boat to the hiking trail's archipelago part. 

Coordinates:
Stora Segelsören:
Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 21. 5405 ' lon: 21° 14.1221' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7038560 E: 211890
Rotörskatan:
Euref-Fin (~ WGS84) lat: 63° 19. 5630 ' lon: 21° 09.4536' ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7035252 E: 207674

Hiking Structures
Tables and benches, a lean-to shelter, a campfire site, a composting toilet, a canoe pier, two piers, information boards (including maps) in Finnish, Swedish and English in the parking areas, close to the pier moorings and along the trail.

An information board in the foreground and a rest stop in the forest in the background.

To see
Walk along the land uplift shores, pass the bays that are closing up from the sea, cross straits and roam in the birch forests that are used for grazing.  

Trail markings
Trail is signposted.

Please Note
Along the trail, there is a low bridge and a sheep fence to be crossed.
The duckboards along the insular part of the Björkö-Panike hiking trail are going to be removed completely. Due to this, rubber boots or similar footwear is highly recommended in this part of the trail.

A wooden footbridge crosses a shallow bay. Yellowed reeds grow in the water.

Parking Areas

Svedjehamn fishing harbour, parking area

  • Björköntie 1008, 65870 Björköby 

No winter maintenance.

Sommarö guardhouse, parking area

  • Sommaröntie, 65930 Södra Vallgrund

More precise parking area address is not available.
Open all year round.

At the end of Ampujatie Road, parking area

  • Ampujantie 65100 Vaasa

More precise parking area address is not available.
No winter maintenance.

The café next to the Klobbskat harbour

  • Klobbskatintie 170, Söderudden

Open all year round.

Parking area by the road running from Vaasa to Sundom

  • Myrgrundintie 160, 65410, Sundom

Open all year round.

Parking areas by Söderskatavägen and Equityvägen at Västerö

  • At the end of Söderskatavägen, parking area, not exact address, 66910 Soklot

Sanduddsvägen not exact address, 66910 Soklot.
No winter maintenance.

The yard of the Mickelsörarna Nature Station

  • The nearest harbour with a parking area is Köklotvägen 1208, 65760 Iskmo 

No winter maintenance.

The yard of the Molpe Nature Station

  • The nearest harbour with a parking area is Hamnvägen, 66210 Molpe 

No winter maintenance.

The pier in the nothern side of Valsörarna

  • The nearest harbour with a parking area is Björkövägen 1008, 65870 Björköby 

No winter maintenance 

  • or Klobbskatsvägen 170, 65970 Söderudden

The parking area is available in winter, but there may be delays in ploughing.

Parking area in the Panike small boat harbour 

  • Panikentie 520, 65970 Söderudden 

No winter maintenance.

Suggested Trips

Suggestions for Winter
Half a Day: Visit The Terranova exhibition, Ostrobothnian museum

Suggestions for Spring  
Half a Day: Bird watching excursion along the nature trail Bodvattnet runt (4 km).

Suggestions for Summer
Half a Day: Admire the view of the world heritage site from the Saltkaret view tower (2 km).
1 Day: Archipelago excursion to Valsörarna (3 km).

Suggestions for Autumn
Half a Day: Pick mushrooms along the Sommarö nature trail (4 km).

A hand holding a mobile phone showing Excursionmap.fi. Open the map of Kvarken Archipelago in Excursionmap.fi.

Customer Service

Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site, customer service: tel. int. +358 50 346 6200

info(at)merenkurkku.fi