Cross country skiing minutes from the city center of Östersund

In winter, days up north seem shorter due to the earth´s tilt away from the sun. Don’t let short days stop you from making use of good XC skiing conditions. Cross country skiing is magic in an illuminated ski track!

Cross country skiing in Östersund. Photo: Roger Strandberg
Cross country skiing within walking distance Östersund that offer good opportunities both for the novice and the professional skier.

In the winter months, although the Earth is closer to the sun, it is tilted away from the sun in the Northern hemisphere. This results in the sun rising lower in the sky and staying above the horizon for a shorter period of time, producing less hours of daylight and cooler temperatures. This makes days seem shorter in Jämtland Härjedalen.

With a total of 89 km linked ski trails, within walking distance of the city center, Östersund offer good opportunities both for the novice and the professional skier. The trails open in the beginning of November, using snow from the previous year if needed, and even though the days are short you don’t have to plan your skiing to daylight hours. Large parts of the system are illuminated, with the longest floodlit distance of 20 km. So, wait for the sun to set and experience the feeling of skiing in the light of the lamps and with the stars glimmering above.

Or, bring a headlamp, make your own tracks and enjoy the silence with the shadows of the forest as your only company. Find your own pace and experience the landscape changing in the dark. If the sky is clear, the moonlight might be enough to find your way. And stay on your watch, away from the city lights it’s always a better chance of spotting the northern lights.

Photo: Roger Strandberg
Bring your youngest in a sled.

Illuminated Ski tracks in most Villages

Almost every village in Jämtland Härjedalen has well-tended trails in a variety of distances and many of them have floodlighting. Close to the trails there’s usually nice resting spots with shelters from the wind, perfect for a “swedish fika” or why not do some outdoor cooking for a whole day out. Bring the kids and some extra clothes in a specially made sledge for cross country skiing and go for an evening adventure. With the sledge you keep to the skating part of the trails so as not to ruin the groomed trails.

Master the Sport with a Professional Instructor

If you feel a bit unstable on the ski’s, there’s plenty of ski instructors who can help you master the sport. We promise it will be even more fun with your new improved technique!

Bring Your Little Ones

Do not miss out on the fun because you have toddlers. In Sweden most parents bring their little ones in a “pulka”, a sled which is comfortable and allows a nap on the tour. A good choice is to rent, or buy, a sled with metal poles that attach to your waist. The sled remains at a steady distance behind you and your children stay safe. Often these sleds also have cargo compartments so you can carry diapers, snacks, drinks, pictures books and extra clothes. Don’t forget hats, sunscreen and sunglasses for your little ones and you’re good to go.

Bring the Dog

A man´s best friend is the perfect company for skiing. Choose the trails where dogs are welcome and remember the leash.

XC Skiing on a Budget

Keep to the off season weeks like the weeks between New Year´s and the Swedish Sports Holidays (choose weeks number 2-5) and the weeks after week number 10 til the easter week or after easter to get a better price renting a cabin or an apartment in the ski resorts. Make your own meals, choose public transport and bring a sack lunch to your skiing adventure of the day. There are often so called “Värmestuga” (heated cabin) in the ski resorts where you are welcome to eat your own lunch and sometimes these facilities even include microwave owens so you can heat your lunch. There is also a big difference in prices between the ski resorts so comparing prices will be worthwhile if you are on a shoestring.

Getting to the Resort of Your Choice

Getting to Sweden from abroad you can either fly into Trondheim Vaernes Airport in Norway or Åre Östersund Airport. From Vaernes Norway you can take the train to Storlien, Åre and Östersund and if you like, change trains to go to Vemdalen. From Åre Östersund Airport you can take the airport taxi to Åre or the airport bus into Östersund city center and further by train if you like to Åre, Storlien or Vemdalen. There are often airport taxis with fixed prices in addition, so check those opportunities as well. Ask the local Tourist Information for the latest information.

Cross country tracks in Östersund. Photo: Sverker Berggren
Nearly every village in Jämtland Härjedalen has well-tended trails.

Trail systems

You will find the largest systems of linked trails in Funäsfjällen, Östersund, Åre, Åsarna, Vemdalen, Lofsdalen, Bydalsfjällen, Storlien, Frostviksfjällen, Ljungdalsfjällen and Södra Årefjällen (the southern Åre mountains).  

Trail fee

In order to offer well-tended trails early in the season there’s sometimes a track fee. Before you go, check what applies to the tracks/trails of your choice.


Photo: Roger Strandberg
Children sleep well in a sled while you ski.
Skip to content