The nature around Gothenburg is truly amazing! There are deep forests, rapids, lakes, seas and high mountains. In addition, it is free, open 24 hours and easily accessible by public transportation. It's simply so amazing that more people should discover it. That's why Fredrik and Karin started The Wild Gothenburg ("Det Vilda Göteborg"). They want to inspire families with children to find fun-filled adventures in their nearby surroundings. There are certainly plenty of amazing places to visit. But if you only choose a few, they will be a little extra if they are here!
1. Bring the stroller to the jungle!
Between the neighbourhoods Hjällbo and Angered is a jungle-like forest. The river Lärjeån flows with brown water, and is lined with lots of trees that either stand with the roots in the mud or have fallen and been covered with moss. Anyone can begin to imagine that a crocodile or parrot will appear...
Here you can walk along the river, down in the ravine that the water has created. It's a walk of about seven kilometres and the trail is easy to walk. It works well to bring a baby stroller, except at the end, closer to Angered, where you will have to lift it up a few stairs. After the stairs, you will reach Lärjeåns trädgårdar (Lärjeån’s gardens). Here you’ll find a café where you can eat of what has grown in the garden. It’s a nice way to end the walk!
The walk runs between Hjällbo and Angered. The trail starts at the parking lot at the end of the street Bollplansgatan in Hjällbo (search for the address in the map on your phone). The closest stop by tram is Hjällbo. The trail is marked with orange signs and "Lärjeleden". From the parking lot, cross the bridge and then turn left. Then follow the orange signs. Towards the end of the walk, you’ll see the sign "Lärjeåns trädgårdar", then go straight ahead, then turn left as you reach the main road and walk towards "Lärjeåns trädgårdar". You’ll find Angered centre, and the tram home, if you go around the café and head towards Ica Maxi and through the mall to the other side.
2. Paddle in Vättlefjäll – a really cool adventure
This is one of the coolest Gothenburg adventures we have tried. Vättlefjäll is a rare beautiful natural area, just off Angered. Here you’ll find yourself in an untouched landscape full of lakes, woody little islands and narrow canals with trees hanging over the water. You can find your own little cove, stop and swim, or make a fire at one of the many shelters. It's almost quiet; you don’t notice the traffic or the city noise. .
Paddling the canoe is a perfect family adventure. Anyone can handle it, if you cannot before, you will learn by hand. You can paddle a couple of hours or a whole weekend. A small child can sit in the middle of the canoe and watch the water while the adults paddle. In addition, it's incredibly cheap, a family of children can seat in a single canoe, and renting it a full day doesn’t cost more than just over two hundred including life jackets and everything else needed.
The coolest route to paddle in Vättlefjäll is through the narrow passages that run between the lakes. Besides that, we just think you should just sit in the canoe and paddle in the direction you feel like.
Vättlefjäll is a nature reserve outside Angered. It is a large lake system with both hiking trails and canoe rentals. Canoes can be rented Kanotpool Vättlefjäll, please call and book in advance. The canoe pool is located in Vättlestugan, almost at the end of the street Kryddnejlikegatan (search for the address in the map on your phone). There is parking and information signs. The closest tram stop is Kryddnejlikegatan.
3. Discover the world below the surface
For real, you cannot describe the underwater world for someone who hasn’t seen it himself. It's not only that it's incredibly beautiful; it's also a strange feeling to swim around in a quiet ocean, under the surface, peek on the pliers that flow and pick a shell from the bottom.
If you’ve you snorkeled in Thailand, you might think that the west coast of Sweden is not really worth it? We think you're wrong. In the right places around Gothenburg you can experience over ten metres of sight and clear waters, colourful plants and shoals of fish up close.
A nice place is Hummerviken on the island Öckerö. The bottom is full of large rock bumps, many different seaweed species, fishes and crabs. All you need is swimwear and goggles. Snorkeling makes it even more enjoyable. Hummerviken is suitable for older children, as there is no beach or stairway to get into the water.
Another tip is to follow a snorkel trail. These are underwater trails marked with small buoys, and at each one of them you can dive down to an information sign with pictures and texts about life below the surface. One good trail is located at the island Amundön south of Gothenburg. This island is by far the best place to snorkel and here you will find both rocks and ladders for older children, and a nice sandy beach for the smaller ones. The entire island is worth a visit and it is amazing to walk around the island.
The easiest way is to search for Hummerviken, Öckerö in the map on your phone. It is located at the end of Norgårdsvägen on Öckerö. The closest stop is Kärrviksvägen.
More nice snorkel places:
Ersdalen at the island Hönö
Hällsvik on Öckerö
More snorkel trails:
4. Explore Utby – a climber’s paradise
Utby is a perfect playground for children, with large boulders thrown about in a lush forest. Some of the boulders are so huge that you can climb them and take a look at the view, others lay on each other and form small caves and cubbyholes, and some are completely covered with moss. Come here, get rid of your backpacks and let the children play.
Here in Utby there are also some of Sweden's best climbing rocks. If you go here in the summer, you will definitely see a climber somewhere. Too bad it's almost just climbers that have discovered this cool part of Gothenburg. When the children have finished playing among the boulders, take the trail up the mountains. It will be an experience in itself, with amazing views and in the end the beautiful lake Bergsjön. Take a dip!
From the street Frimästaregatan, turn left onto the street Kanngjutaregatan (search for the address in the map on your phone). Kanngjutaregatan usually has parking possibilities and here you’ll find the path that goes into the forest. First it goes along the woods and the houses and then upwards. At the beginning there are big bouldera. When you continue along the path it divides, just go up or straight ahead, and you will reach Bergsjön.
5. Rainforest-feeling a minute away
About a minute from the bus stop, the hospital Sahlgrenska, car traffic and the noisy city environment, lies a small, small rainforest. Or at least something that looks like it. Here’s a winding stream, huge trees and everything is wild and overgrown. It’s an oasis in the middle of the city, which in the spring is completely strewn with white anemones.
The area is called “Vitsippsdalen” (The white anemones’ valley), and it’s a part of the Botanical Garden and the nature area Änggårdsbergen. The trail goes like a loop on both sides of the creek, but here you can also sit on a bench and relax. The area is kind of small, and often goes unnoticed in the much bigger, and wilder, Änggårdsbergen. It’s almost difficult to understand that Änggårdsbergen is so central in Gothenburg. Here you will find forests, streams, lakes and a heath that even has ocean views.
Vitsippsdalen is located in the Botanical Garden ( search for the Botanical Garden in the map on your mobile.) Walk from the main garden of the Botanical Garden, up through the park, and turn left after a few hundred meters, just before the restaurant. There you’ll see the path that goes into the trees to Vitsippsdalen. There are several information signs with maps. The closest stop is Botaniska trädgården.