Canoeing in Rogen Nature Reserve in Sweden
The Rogen Nature Reserve is a wilderness area located in northwestern Sweden and bordered by Norway, where it is adjacent to the Femundsmarka National Park. Rogen is known not only for its excellent fishing opportunities, but also one of the best places in Sweden for canoeing, ideal for those looking for a real paddling experience in nature. The following article describes Bob from The Nature Travels team’s experience with our Discover Wilderness Canoeing self-guided canoe tour in Rogen (5-8 days or more). A longer and more challenging canoe trip in the Rogen area, The Rogen Wilderness Canoe Expedition (8-14 days or more), is also available.
With three Scottish friends (Adam, Craig and Euan, our official photographer for the trip), I spent six days paddling in the area in mid-June 2011-six wonderful days with fresh air, clear water and breathtaking views, all served with a good dose of camaraderie for the boys and, of course, the occasional mosquito!
The night train from Stockholm bathed us in the morning sun from Östersund at 6 am. Fortunately, the station staff is used to passengers early in the morning, and the kiosk had already turned on the coffee machine and baked cinnamon buns in the oven. This, and the fact that it was the middle of summer, when sleep felt like a shameful waste of daylight, meant that we were relatively awake and ready for use.
We had an instructional meeting with Kalle from the canoe center, who wisely advised us to “let it go quietly”, especially when it comes to land transport – wise words, because even a simple twisted ankle can be very serious in such a remote area.
A question often asked by guests planning a visit to Rogen is: “How far will we paddle every day?”, but in Rogen this question has little importance. Depending on the specific area of the reserve you are exploring and other factors such as terrain, wind and weather conditions, and of course your own energy level in daily life, you may find that you paddle through the Miles sipping a full day, cover only a handful of kilometers in a day requiring difficult ground transportation, or decide to take a day or more off the water to climb one of the peaks and enjoy an incomparable view of the surrounding wilderness.
Kalle was right – “take it easy” and you will have a more pleasant, safer and more rewarding experience than if you focus on fixing too many destinations for your trip. We dropped our suitcases at the canoe center and went to the supermarket to stock up. Unexpectedly, we were spoiled for choice and it took us a little longer than expected to negotiate a menu that we were all satisfied with, but after a quick reconditioning, we were ready for departure and we left Funäsdalen by gravel forest paths to the starting point.
With a joyful sign, Kalle disappeared in a cloud of dust, our last vision of civilization for the next week. The silence closed around us and we looked for the first time with a mixture of great excitement and just a flutter of concern on the water.
We wanted to start the tour in Käringsjön and end in Käringsjövallen, which would at least take us through a series of small interconnected lakes, into the large Lake Rogensee itself and through another maze of small lakes to the pick-up point six days after. How much further we would come would depend on the weather and our own inclination.
For our first day, in a light rain, we paddled through a beautiful labyrinth of peaceful lakes bordered by forests, connected by short land transport.
The edges of the reserve are particularly good fishing bodies of water, and sometimes we saw a local sitting quietly in his rowing boat, looking into the distance, looking at the greatest secrets of life, as only a lonely fisherman can do.
Ground transportation in Rogen is a difficult business. The most commonly used transport points between the lakes have basic trails that have been worn by previous paddlers, but the terrain can be steep and rocky and sometimes it feels like climbing in a canoe rather than walking with it.