Stora Mosse National park is located just north west of Värnamo, about an hours drive from Växjö and was formed in 1982. Almost the entire park consists of mire, and it’s the largest untouched mire in Sweden, south of Lappland. Together with Brokullen och Långö Mosse it’s almost 8000 acres of protected land. There is a system of pine forest “islands” within the mire, and there are 40 km of hiking trails in the park. Some of them are possible to use with wheelchairs or a baby stroller, while other trails cross the mire on 30cm wide foot-bridges. If you want to leave the foot-bridges it’s possible to use snow-shoes to hike in the mire.
From 2013 it’s also allowed to camp in certain areas in the park. Detailed maps can be found here. If you’re lucky you might spot one of the White-tailed eagles or Golden eagles living in the area.
You get here by road 151 between Värnamo and Gnosjö, and the road cuts right through the park. In the middle of the park there is a visitors center, but be sure to check the opening hours before you get there.
Last weekend, on March 12, me and the family drove to Stora Mosse National park for a day hike. We had planned and packed most of the stuff we needed the day before. We decided not to bring a stove, but instead bring sandwiches, snacks and vacuum bottles with warm water and hot coco.
It was an hours drive from home, and we got to the park at around 11.00. We followed road 151 and drove to the main entrance, near the visitors center. We didn’t go the the visitors center though, but started hiking at once. First, we had planned to hike around Kävsjö, but that’s 13 km and that would be a too long hike for my son to do. So instead we decided to hike the Lilla Lövö runt, a circle trail that’s 6,4 km long, south of road 151.
It’s a two km long road walk from the visitors center, but you could drive up to the trail head, where there’s a parking lot and toilets. There is a bridge over the railways that cuts through the park, and on the bridge you get a good view over the vast mire.
My son and I took the car as my wife walked with my daughters from the visitors center. When we’d joined up we entered the trail. After the bridge there were a couple of hundred meters of solid ground before the foot-bridges begun.
The first section of the trail goes through parts of the mire that’s been used for to harvest peat and you can see traces of it with the square patterns in the mire.
After that you get out on untouched land. I wore high boots, and the rest of the family wore rubber boots. It was needed, as both of my older kids and my wife stepped in pools of water at the side of the foot-bridge.
The foot-bridge stretched far om the horizon. After a while we came to a bench where we could have a rest and a snack. After a short rest we kept walking. We were closing in on Lilla Lövö. You’re allowed to camp on Lilla Lövö, but as far as I could see there wasn’t any place you could actually set up a tent. Most of the level ground was covered in storm fallen trees. I didn’t check the entire island though, and there might have been good campsites that I missed.
We took a short break on a big rock, overlooking the east side of the mire. When we had packed up again we heard the sound of what we think were eagles. We didn’t see any though. After Lilla Lövö, which was mostly covered in spruce, we came into a beautiful pine forest. The sun had come out and made the forest even more beautiful. The last stretch of the hike was mainly through the pine forest, and we hiked in a faster pace than on the foot-bridges.
Eventually we got back to the car. We’d been hiking for more than five hours, and the kids were tired. As we stood next to the car and packed up, we looked up and saw a flock of cranes passing us at a low altitude. There sound of their wings resembled that of a helicopter hovering. Just as they passed us we heard several splats. The cranes had pooped right as they passed us, and there was a diagonal line bird poo from the ground near the left back door, and over the roof and over to the right front door. We had been inches away from getting all of in on us. It felt like we just survived the blitz.
The day hike at Stora Mosse was great and we had nice weather. This early in the season you’re not bothered by mosquitoes, but I guess it’s worse in the summer with all the standing water. I’d like to spend a weekend hiking and camping here. But if I do I’ll probably try to find a campsite outside the park.