Tyresta – a national park on the edge of the city
Only 20 kilometres from the centre of Stockholm lies one of the most unspoilt areas of natural beauty in central Sweden – Tyresta National Park and Nature Reserve. The area is characterised by a rift valley landscape which is typical for central Sweden but unique in an international perspective.
» Read more about Tyresta national park (pdf, 0.9 MB).
The park extends over almost 5,000 hectares. It has been protected to preserve its exceptional natural values and to safeguard its importance for recreation. You can find primeval forest here with pine trees that are 400 years old, clear forest lakes and a large number of unusual plants and animals. You can also see broad-leaved deciduous woodland, open arable land and historical buildings of cultural interest.
A typical feature of primeval woodland is the great number of plant and animal species. Up to 8.000 species of animals can be found here which is four times as many as in exploited forests! Many species are also completely dependent on primeval woodland for their habitats, indeed for their very survival!
Naturum – Your doorway to nature
In Tyresta national park’s information centre "naturum" you can learn most of what there is to know about the local area’s cultural heritage, geology, birds, insects and other animals. In this folder you can find information about the location of all naturum around Sweden and telephone numbers.
» Read more about the Tyresta information centre "naturum" (pdf, 165 kb)
We also provide information about the location of, and telephone numbers to all naturum around Sweden.
» Read more in the folder "Naturum – Your doorway to nature" (pdf, 850 kb)
Guided tours, slide shows and group activities in Tyresta and in naturum
The following activities will be conducted in English:
- "Swedish National Parks": slide show, 15 minutes. Any time – just let us know. Admission free.
- "100 years of Swedish Conservation": slide show, 20 minutes. Any time – just let us know.
- "Crown Jewels of the North", slide show, 15 minutes. Any time- just let us know.
- "Kosterhavet"- Sweden’s first marine national park, slide show, 15 minutes. Any time-just let us know.
- "The Virgin Forest Trail": 1,5 hrs guided tour by foot. Arranged upon request when pre-booked, during times when no scheduled activities are taking place. Fee: SEK 60 /person. Groups (10-30 people) SEK 954 per hour.
Booking via tel. +46-(0)8-745 33 94 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Guided tour of Naturum. Up to 30-minute presentation of the exhibition. Admission free.
- Guided tour of the national park’s virgin forest. Group cost: SEK 1272 (2 hrs).
The Tyresta forest fire
In August 1999, around 4.5 square kilometres of forest or ten per cent of the national park and nature reserve burnt down. It was over one and a half weeks before fire fighters brought the fire under control and it was even longer before it was completely extinguished. The extremely hot and dry conditions contributed to the extent of the fire and made it very difficult to put out. The wind also complicated matters. At most, there were 400 fire fighters tackling the blaze using over 180 kilometres of fire hose. Water was obtained both from neighbouring lakes and the sea.
After the fire
The fire in Tyresta National Park is a tragedy in many respects. Partly because the park is such a valuable area of unspoilt natural beauty so close to a large city, and partly because the fire caused havoc for plant and animal species that are dependent on an unharmed habitat. At the same time, fires are a natural part of the change process in primeval forests and far from disastrous from an ecological point of view. Fire creates the conditions for the natural regeneration of the forest.
Many species benefit from the natural chaos in the aftermath of a fire. New grass shoots forth and several species whose seeds have been buried in the soil can only begin to germinate after exposure to the intense heat. Many species of insect are completely dependent on fires in our landscape. Some of these have heat sensors and can detect the fire from a distance of many kilometres. Their lifecycle begins in the red hot ashes.
The area of the national park which burned was cordoned off for a long period of time but is now open to the public. The previous accident risk due to burnt roots causing many trees to fall has all but been eradicated and since Tyresta is a national park, the area of the fire, in common with other parts, will be allowed to develop freely. Footpaths which were destroyed have been restored to make the area accessible once again. The area is also being continuously documented and researchers are following the development of plant and animal life.
Trails and footpaths
By means of the 55 kilometres of marked, colour-coded trails and footpaths running through Tyresta National Park and the adjoining Nature Reserve, visitors may experience the extensive ancient forest, the lakes with their impressive shoreline cliffs, or stroll all the way to the Baltic Sea. The paths which were partially destroyed by fire run between Tyresta village and Åva, between northern Årsjö lake and Stensjö lake, and around Stensjö lake. They have now been fully restored.
One of the hiking routes, the Primeval Forest Trail (Urskogsstigen), provides the perfect introduction to Tyresta National Park. It is 2.5 kilometres long and along the route there are boards with information, some of which is designed for children.
The area of the fire
The Tyresta national park’s information centre "naturum" arranges guided tours of the fire-stricken area, where you can witness the phenomena which characterise an area that has been ablaze.
An exhibition produced by "naturum" and the Tyresta Forest Foundation about the fire is on show in the Centre. It reflects the fire in an exciting way, illustrating lots of facts and showing both the positive and negative changes caused by a fire.
The main entrance to the national park is at Tyresta village, which is considered to be among the best preserved villages in the Stockholm region and has been inhabited since the iron age. The buildings date back to the 18th century and have been preserved in their original state. There is a café, a farm with a rather unusual animal centre, and a little farm shop.
Regulations for Tyresta National Park
The regulations, telling you what you may and may not do within the protected areas can be found here.
Camping and accommodation
Camping in the national park is allowed at the camp fire sites, one night at a time. Fire wood is available at the sites and free to use for cooking. Please note that in summertime, fire may be prohibited because of dry conditions. Look for notices by the camp fire sites. The water of the lakes is possible to drink after cooking it. Fresh water is available in the village of Tyresta by and a water pump at Stensjödal (southern part of the national park).
At the northern side of the national park, there is a youth hostel, Lilla Tyresö. See www.lillatyreso.se.
At the southern side, there is a free camping site at Stensjödal, also available for groups for single nights. Book at email@example.com +46-(0)8-741 08 76. For campings of several nights, contact Åva Camping: +46 (0)706-84 77 90, firstname.lastname@example.org.
By bus, subway and train to Tyresta
Let the SL Journey Planner give you directions on how to travel to Tyresta national park and nature reserve with Stockholm Transport. The Journey Planner gives you the quickest and most convenient journey from your nearest station or bus stop.
To find out how to get to Tyresta village and the main entrance to the national park, just type the name of your nearest bus stop, underground/subway station or commuter train station in the ”From”-box. In the ”To”-box, you should type ”Tyresta by”. » SL Journey Planner
By car to Tyresta
By car from Stockholm: exit south onto route 73, (signposted Nynäshamn). After about 15 km exit right to Haninge, then turn left at the first t-junction. Go straight on over the traffic lights. In the roundabout, take the first exit to Brandbergen. Then follow the signs ”Nationalpark” and you will end up in the big car park at the main entrance to Tyresta and Tyresta village.