Winter walking – 10 trails to explore this winter
Hiking in the winter months can be absolutely magical. And you can always add to the cosiness factor by combining it with a warming fika or food stop. So get your winter boots on and head out on a lovely winter walk in West Sweden!
We have chosen a selection of hiking trails for you that are perfect for winter walks. And at the bottom of the page you’ll find some tips for extra important things to think about when you’re hiking in winter.
1. Winter walk on Vänga Mosse
Setting off on a walk over a raised bog during winter perhaps doesn’t sound like the best idea but don’t worry, large parts of the trail are on wide wooden boardwalks which are easily traversed. The open landscapes out on the bog give it a lovely feeling of the high fells, despite being in the middle of Västergötland.
Vänga Mosse lies a little north of Borås and just half a kilometre from the trail you’ll find Vänga Kvarncafé, dating back to the 1800s. Step into the charming mill buildings for lunch or a warming cup of coffee with a cake.
Length: 5 km.
Suitable starting place: There’s a car park on the east side of the bog. The nearest bus stop is 600 metres away.
2. Gotaleden, Lerum-Floda stage
Hop off the commuter train from Gothenburg when it stops at Lerum station. From here enjoy a couple of hours gentle walking along the Gotaleden, beside the scenic river Säveån. Along this stretch there are a number of small bridges and boardwalks where it can be slippery if it’s icy, so be extra careful there.
Are you feeling chilly? In the outskirts of the town of Floda lies The Tannery Club, which alongside its normal training activities also has a sauna and lovely lounge to relax in. Cold water swimmers are just a couple of steps away from the jetty by the river if they want a brisk dip.
In Floda you can get the commuter train back to Gothenburg. It couldn’t be more convenient! Check current train times on the Västtrafik app To Go.
Length: 9 km.
Suitable starting point: Lerum train station.
3. The Trollstigen trail on Billingen
Billingen table mountain in Skövde is known for its snowy winters, so you can reckon with it taking around 3-5 hours if you want to hike the whole Trollstigen trail when it’s snowed. Along the way you’ll pass, among other things, Rhododendron Valley, Ryds caves, and of course the charming Skogsmulle Kingdom for kids, with little dens and fun activities.
There are lots of BBQ areas on Billingen so it can be worth bringing a rucksack with some warming picnic food. Several of the BBQ areas are equipped with wood, including the one by Ryds Caves.
In the Billinge Center you’ll find a bit of everything, with a shelter, sauna and changing room, restaurant and sports shop. If you want to stay the night on Billingen there’s a cosy cabin and campsite.
Length: 12 km (Can be shortened to 8 or 3 km).
Suitable start point: Billingebadet pool, where there is both a car park and bus stop.
4. The Bohusleden, Stensjön-Skatås stage
Getting the tram or bus to Skatås on the eastern outskirts of Gothenburg is neither difficult or particularly time consuming. When you get there you’ll find an almost unlimited amount of different outdoor activities to do. We recommend a lovely winter walk starting in Skatås where you can pick up the Bohusleden from the south.
You’ll arrive at Stora Delsjön quite quickly, offering lakeside walking with lovely views. The long wooden bridge over the southern end of the lake is a definite Instagram stop. Continue past the Borås road, via Lake Norra Långevattnet to this stage’s finish – Gunnebo House and Gardens next to Lake Stensjön.
Treat yourself to something delicious at Gunnebo Kaffehus, where you’ll find organic fika and really good food. If you have time you should try and fit in a walk around the estate gardens. The bus back to Gothenburg goes from the north end of the lake, which you passed on the road leading to the House.
Length: 8 km.
Suitable starting point: Skatås Leisure Centre.
5. Walk a bit of the Åsundenleden Trail
At Lassalyckan in Ulricehamn there are several exercise trails, and the beautiful Åsundenleden passes through the area. The whole trail, which is almost fifty kilometres long, circles Lake Åsunden and takes several days to hike, but you can walk shorter sections.
From Lassalyckan follow the trail’s orange posts going north. You’ll walk past the golf course, through the outskirts of Ulricehamn, and past Hotell Nyboholm before reaching Prångens Camping by Lake Åsunden. Turn off the trail here and walk south along the shoreline.
There’s a cosy sauna at Ulricehamns Kallbadhus, and perhaps you’ll want to brave the waters for a winter dip? Afterwards go past Hotell Bogesund and then take the bus from Ulricehamn bus station back to Lassalyckan (Sanatorievägen bus stop). It’s about 2-3 kilometres if you’d rather walk.
Back at Lassalyckan you can warm yourselves by the fire at Hotell Lassalyckan, and also get a well earned fika or meal there. If you want more winter experiences you can hire cross country skis and get out on Lassalyckan’s beautiful ski trails.
Length: 6 km.
Suitable starting point: Lassalyckan Outdoor Centre, Ulricehamn.
6. Kroppefjäll in Dalsland
Few places in southern Sweden can boast such beautiful wilderness areas as Kroppefjäll in Dalsland. There are a selection of different circular walks to choose from in the car park at Ragnerud Hiking Destination. If you’re unsure which one is best for you, have a chat with the staff on the campsite.
If you want a real adventure we recommend walking a stretch of the Kroppefjäll Trail which takes you up on the fells in the nature reserve. The whole trail is too long to walk in one day, especially in winter, so plan to turn back along the same route after a while.
Ragnerud Hiking Destination has everything weary winter walkers might need. Good food, coffee and cakes, a warming sauna and beds for the night.
Length: 2-6 km.
Suitable starting point: Ragnerud Hiking Destination.
7. The Gothenburg archipelago trail on Hönö
The archipelago can be as beautiful in winter as in summer, especially on a beautiful crisp winter’s day. Then it’s ideal to take a good friend or your dog on the ferry over to the island of Hönö, for a lovely winter walk. You can set off right from where you get off the ferry.
The first stage of the walk follows Hönö’s southwestern shore, over coastal meadows and past several small bays. If you want you can carry on along the extra section out on the neighbouring island of Fotö (approximately 5 kilometres), but remember that it can be slippery on the rocks along the beaches.
When you arrive in Hönö Klåva you can hop on the bus back to the ferry and Gothenburg, but not before having eaten something yummy at either Tullhuset, Lilling Cottage, Franses Skärgårdspub or Skafferiet at Skärgårdshotellet Hönö. Lovely cosy places all of them!
You can of course continue along the second stage of the archipelago trail through Ersdalen nature reserve and finally over the bridge to Öckerö, if you want.
Length: 5 km.
Suitable starting point: Hönö ferry terminal.
The Gothenburg archipelago trail
8. Winter walk around Dyrön
This pretty little island between Tjörn and Marstrand is a popular destination all year round. During winter it’s probably the sauna that’s most attractive to visitors. It’s in a beautiful setting overlooking the sea and has been named Sweden’s loveliest electric sauna. Anyone can book to use it.
What about winter walking then? Well the Dyröleden goes all the way round the island with stunning views in every direction. The trail covers some hilly terrain and walking can be demanding, in particular if it’s icy. So remember to pack sturdy footwear with a good grip or choose an easier route if you’re not sure its for you.
The boats to Dyrön go either from Rökan on the way to Marstrand, or from Rönnäng on Tjörn. Plan your journey on Västtrafik’s app To Go.
Length: 5 km.
Suitable starting point: Dyrön’s south or north harbour.
9. Tofta hiking trails
Tofta nature reserve is on a beautiful part of the coastline west of Kungälv. There are several circular walks to choose from here. Some of the trails are right by the sea, with benches and tables for picnic stops by several lovely viewpoints. Keep in mind that the paths up on the rocks can be slippery if the temperature is sub-zero, so it might be better to choose one of the loops along gravelled lanes if that’s the case.
During weekends you can warm up and eat good food in the restaurant at Tofta Herrgård. The estate's history stretches back several hundred years and the surroundings are well worth a visit. You can spend the night here if you want to enjoy a manor house lifestyle for a couple of days.
Length: 1-5 km.
Suitable starting point: Tofta Herrgård.
10. Koön’s walking trails on Marstrand
The classic west coast pearl that is Marstrand is already well known by many, but this time we would like to bang the drum for its neighbour Koön. It’s the larger island you come to just before Marstrand. In fact most of the town of Marstrand is actually on Koön.
There are several circular trails on Koön. During winter we recommend the blue trail which is slightly easier underfoot, but on a mild winter’s day then the black trail out on the rocks is also lovely.
Before you set off stop at Bergs Bageri, just a few hundred metres from the car park/bus stop on Koön to buy some delicious goodies.
The best way to finish your winter walk? Check in at Marstrands Havshotell with its spa, warm pools and gorgeous food of course.
Length: 2-5 km.
Suitable starting point: Danske Sten car park and bus stop.
Tips for winter hiking in Sweden
When’s the best time to go walking in winter?
- You can go hiking all year round but the days are of course shorter during the winter months, so you’ll need to plan your hike well and don’t make your walks too long. Remember that it could also be snowy or icy, which will slow your pace.
- Keep an extra eye on the weather before you set off and adapt your route accordingly. If the temperature has dropped below zero the ground quickly becomes slippery, so it might be better to choose a shorter hike and avoid routes along rocks in that case.
- Many of the hiking trails are close to train or bus stations. Plan your journey on Västtrafik’s travel planner or their app To Go.
Photographer: Roger Borgelid
Clothes and footwear for winter walks?
- Dress according to the layering system. You can easily take something off so you don’t sweat unnecessarily and get damp, which will make you feel colder. You can also put more clothes on when you stop for a rest. Thermal base layers are great in cold weather.
- Boots with a good grip and a pair of warm socks. It’s always good to have a pair of extra socks with you in case your feet get wet.
- Another tip is to have two hats with you if it’s really cold out. A thinner one to wear while you’re walking and a thicker one to put on when it’s time for a break.
What equipment do you need for winter walking?
- A headlamp can be useful, dusk often falls sooner than you think.
- A sit mat is always good to have along, and of course a tasty and energy boosting snack for your fika stop. A warm drink in your thermos won’t hurt either.
- Don’t forget water. Even in winter a lot of moisture gets evaporated as we hike.
- If you’re planning to make a fire it can be a good idea to contact the local tourist organisation to check whether there’s any wood at the BBQ area, otherwise you’ll have to take it with you. And of course don’t forget to pack something tasty to grill, in your rucksack.
Photographer: Mårten Bergkvist