Hike the trails of Åre
Easy and flat , steep and wild, short or long. Here, you’ ll find everything.
In the late 1800s, Sweden’s Jämtland mountain region was already widely known for its excellent hunting and fishing. Englishmen built hunting lodges here and the wild and beautiful mountains, lakes and forests flourished with grouse, trout, elk and even wilder game.
In 1882, when the railway was extended along the banks of Lake Åre, something happened that would change the village of Åre forever. The landscape was filled with a new species – tourists. Visiting hunters were now mixed with another type of outdoor enthusiast who came to Åre to hike, exercise, play, look at flowers, as well as enjoy the clean environment that was quite different from urban living. With walking sticks, wool sport jackets for the men and slightly shorter, but still foot length skirts for the ladies, visitors were dressed for an active outdoor life.
The trend took off. The Swedish Tourist Association built a cabin on the summit of the mountain Åreskutan, and in 1910, Åre’s first lift was built. But it wasn’t until the midfifties that the focus shifted from the summer season to the winter – when Åre’s first alpine World Cup was held! In the mid 70s, when a new gondola was ready to take curious visitors up the mountain, Åre became a winter sports town and since then, the top ski resort in Sweden.
Long ago, the wool coats, hats and long skirts worn by hikers have changed to functional layers, rainwear with hoods and pants made from stretch fabrics. The hike to the summit of Åreskutan can be made much shorter by help of the gondola and in 2010, the hiking trails received a major facelift. Over the last 100 years, things have become a bit easier and more convenient, but the joy of discovery and heading out on an adventure in Åre is probably the same now as it was then. The mountain heaths, stone covered mountainsides and bright green coniferous forests with rippling streams are still there.
The updated trails around Åre form their own little ecosystem of orange and white route markers. Signs between the villages of Duved, Åre, Huså and Fröå show you the way out and home. Easy and flat, steep and wild, short or long. Here you’ll find everything. At the Åre Tourist Office you can get a pocket guide with 20 hike suggestions and out there you’ll find endless possibilities for anyone wanting to go their own way. Just don’t try to do all the hikes in the same week. And don’t forget to enjoy your journey, whether walking along Lake Åre or out on the lesser traveled trails around Åreskutan.