The Dalarna region is on many people’s bucket lists as the ideal travel destination in Sweden. Not surprisingly, as Dalarna is a “mini-Sweden”. During our tour of Dalarna, we started in the far south. There we stayed at the idyllic Kloten Nature Resort. We couldn’t have wished for a better base to explore the Malingsbo-Kloten nature reserve. We enjoyed the peace, the lakes and the most beautiful sunset we ever saw, as well as going on a beautiful hike from Kloten Nature Resort.
Nature reserve Malingsbo-Kloten
Malingsbo-Kloten is one of the largest nature reserves in central Sweden. You will hardly meet any people there, as the region is barely inhabited. The area consists of lakes, rivers, forests and hills.
Wildlife does inhabit the nature reserve. Elk and lynx live there, as well as bears and wolves. But the chances of coming face to face with any of these animals are not great. They live reclusively and are not found en masse in the nature reserve.
The area has two villages: Kloten and Malingsbo. For many people visiting the first village, a selfie with the village sign is almost a matter of course. We did not see the village and therefore did not have to resist that temptation.
The villages of Kloten and Malingsbo were founded in the 17th century. At that time, Finnish settlers came to those places. They had been lured with tax breaks to cut wood in the forest, make the land suitable for agriculture and grow grain. The villages are now more like hamlets. Only a few dozen people live in Kloten. While in the heyday of forestry, as many as 1,000 people lived there.
Our base: Kloten Nature Resort
From the capital Stockholm, we drive to the Kloten Nature Resort in just over two hours. This small-scale holiday complex is our base for our first introduction to Dalarna’s nature. And it is definitely not a punishment to stay there. The resort is beautifully situated by lake Långvattnet. The wooden cottages are scattered around the park. This time they are not traditionally red, like many houses in Sweden, but nicely painted grey.
We report to reception where the owner gives us a friendly welcome. She takes us to the restaurant. Following Swedish tradition, we enjoy a “Fika” there: coffee and sweets. Fortunately, we will be active for the next few days, because all those sweets are too good to pass up. The view from this spot on the lake is nothing short of fantastic. Later tonight, by the way, we will experience an even more beautiful view as the sun sets.
We stay in a wooden cottage, equipped with all modern conveniences. Great accommodation in the middle of nature. Besides the cottages, the resort offers sites for caravans and motorhomes. And for the ultimate nature experience, you can also go “glamping”. Spend the night in a tent with a comfortable bed, beautifully situated by the lake. We’ll have to try that next time.
Our walk from Kloten Nature Resort
Using Komoot’s app, we had already found a walk that runs past Kloten Nature Resort. A not too long route, but one that passes several lakes and goes through forests. A nice way to explore the nature of Malingsbo-Kloten.
We quickly put on our outdoor clothes. Today is ideal hiking weather. The sun shines regularly and the temperature is about 19 degrees. Closing the door of our cottage reveals how close we are staying to the route of the walk. In no time, we find ourselves on the right track. We walk northwards, quickly leaving the last cottages behind us.
Through immense coniferous forests
Immediately we notice the huge coniferous trees. Spruce, larch and pine trees dominate the scene. The first stretch we walk along a well-maintained path, which is nice and wide for walking side by side. That soon changes, however. The paths become narrower and meander through the woods. Then we also notice that the weather is worsening. Our route gets soggier and we have to be careful at some points to avoid some huge mud puddles. The lake lies a little to the east of us. Occasionally we catch a glimpse of the shimmering water among the trees.
It is indescribably quiet here. We encounter no other hikers. Nor can we detect any wildlife. Yet we do spot droppings in places. So, the game must be there, but for us it keeps quiet. Which is just as well, because we wouldn’t know what to do if a lynx or moose suddenly appeared. Or even worse, a bear or wolf.
We do catch sight of a beautiful wooden house, completely hidden in the forest. It is abandoned and by the looks of it, has not been lived in for ages. A great place for nature lovers who like the ultimate peace and quiet around them.
Dry feet on the gravel road
Still a little further north, the route goes directly along the lake That makes for some difficult passages. The combination of lots of groundwater, rain in recent weeks and the aftermath of a storm that recently hit Sweden and Norway make some sections impassable. Fortunately, there is a fallback option nearby. Right next to our path is a gravel road. We therefore decide to walk on this gravel road for a while. This makes for less muddy shoes and keeps our feet neatly dry.
It is our first gravel road in Sweden. These roads are especially common in sparsely populated areas in the centre and north of the country. So, during our road trip further through Sweden we will undoubtedly drive over a gravel road again. Right now, by the way, there is no traffic to be seen. And it will stay that way for the rest of the hike because although we can soon leave the gravel road again, our walking route runs right alongside it.
We slowly leave Långvattnet lake behind and reach the northernmost point of the trail. There we bend back and walk a bit on the gravel road. Now this is planned, as the route leads us along this road. But not for long, as soon the navigation sends us into the forest. We walk along the north side of another small lake. What it is called? No idea. It is not mentioned on maps, not even on Google Maps. Apparently, the Swedes had no inspiration to name all the 100,000 plus small and large lakes. Understandable to be fair.
But that doesn’t diminish this lake at all. The sparkle of the sun in the ripple-free water is extraordinary. Special mosses and reeds grow along the shore. The image lingers on our retinas, it is that beautiful.
The route continues through the forest. The lake is now behind us. Through the forest, we meander on narrow paths further south. According to our app, there should be another small lake on the route. And indeed, there the water is already glistening in the sun. Here we meet people, real nature lovers camping there. Father and son grill some fish on the barbecue. No doubt they caught them themselves, as the fishing rods stand against a tree. A little further on, grandpa sits at a picnic table. He has everything ready for a late lunch or early dinner. A great spot, with a nice view of the lake.
Back to Kloten Nature Resort
It’s just a short walk to our cottage. The car parks are getting empty, at the cottages we don’t see many people anymore either. The weekend is over for most of them. They are probably already on their way to Stockholm, to throw themselves back into the busy city life. But over the past few days, they have no doubt indulged in the utter tranquillity of Kloten Nature Resort and its surroundings. What a nice place to completely de-stress!
My wife decides to take another cool dip in the lake. I save that for next time. Still, according to her, I missed something. The crystal-clear water offered a unique view of the underwater world with various fish. And with 15 minutes in the hot tub, she felt completely reinvigorated.
Dinner at Kloten Nature Resort’s restaurant was exquisite. Special local specialities appear on our plates. Beautifully presented and the taste experience is unique. As is the view. The sun sinks lower and lower, creating an intense glow on the water. Afterwards, we rush right outside. And there we experience a fantastic sunset. We take lots of photos, as the sky seems to become even more beautifully coloured by the minute. It’s a wonderful end to a first wonderful day in Dalarna!
Other hiking options
We found this walk on Komoot’s app. But there are more options for hiking in the area around Kloten Nature Resort. The people at the resort can certainly advise you on these. For example, there is the Malingsbo-Klotenleden. This is a great circular walk of about 45 kilometres. In doing so, you will see the most beautiful spots of the nature reserve. It is best to split this hike into at least two or three hiking days.
For the avid hiker who likes multi-day trips, Kloten Nature Resort is the starting point of the famous Bergslagsleden. This is a 280-kilometre hiking route divided into 17 stages. The first stage starts in Kloten, not far from the Kloten Nature Resort. According to the owner, this is also the most beautiful day hike during the entire Bergslagsleden. We have not walked this one, so cannot confirm whether she is right.
If you want to read more about the many hiking possibilities in Dalarna, this Dalarna hiking guide is an indispensable source of inspiration.
Other outdoor options at Kloten Nature Resort
The Kloten-Malingsbo Nature Reserve is ideal for being active in nature due to its tranquillity and beautiful scenery. Besides hiking, you can do many other things there.
With so many lakes, it is tempting to get into a rowing boat or a canoe and paddle around on the vast waters. It is even possible to go on multi-day canoe trips where you stay overnight in the countryside. But that’s for the real sports enthusiasts who don’t mind primitive camping.
Various cycle routes are possible. However, it is useful to do this with a mountain or gravel bike. Some routes run on gravel roads and a wider tyre would be nice there.
Practical information about the hike at Kloten Nature Resort
The walk as we found it in Komoot's app is 12.3 kilometres long. Our walk was slightly shorter because we started from Kloten Nature Resort instead of the village of Kloten.
In Komoot's app, you can find this walk.
This walk is not marked.
Dalarna is easily accessible from Gothenburg, Oslo or Stockholm.
From Stockholm, it takes just over two hours to drive to Kloten Nature Resort.
Dalarna is ideal to explore with your own car or motorhome. When travelling to Sweden, you can easily catch the Scandlines ferry. It departs from Puttgarden in northern Germany. You'll arrive in Rødby, Denmark. From there you can easily drive via Copenhagen and the Öresund Bridge to Malmö in Sweden.
No, this walk is definitely not strenuous. The paths are generally passable. Only parts of the route can be a bit boggy after rainfall. Therefore, make sure to wear waterproof shoes. Differences in altitude are limited. The route runs almost entirely on unpaved forest paths and part on a gravel road.
No, you won't come across anything along the way. But at Kloten Nature Resort's restaurant you can get something to eat before and after. While doing so, you'll enjoy stunning views over the lake.
As far as we are concerned, Kloten Nature Resort is the perfect place to explore the Malingsbo-Kloten nature reserve. And if you want to take this hike, start from your front door.
At the invitation of Visit Dalarna, we visited several nature parks and sites in the region. We compiled the content of the blog independently and objectively based on our own impressions.