Paddling Swedish lake Storsjön – with a mountain view

The brave autumn sun reflecting in the water of lake Storsjön makes us squint. Paddling around an island like Norderön can be treacherours since it is always so exciting to see what´s behind the next headland. We are paddling out on lake Storsjön towards the sun. The fog comes and goes while the silhouettes of pines in backlight forms a beautiful background

Paddling on Swedish lake Storsjön with the mountains in the back. Photo: Erika Enequist

By Car Ferry on Lake Storsjön

Driving through morning fog, the lightness making your eyes squint. Our destination for the day is the island Norderön and neither I or Doris, 11 years old, have ever been on a ferry for cars before. As we drive in higher grounds we see above the fog, and we see all autumn colours of the nature bursting in the sunlight. We are turning of road number 321 at Håkansta and approach the ferry waiting. The water on lake Storsjön is calm and everything seems like in a fairy tale.

Tivars farm built in the Viking era

The island Norderön has been inhabited for ages. The old farms have gone from generation to generation. The Tivars farm, where we are heading, was originally built by Tivad from Norway some time in the 800s or 900s. Later the farm was named Tivads after him and today 15 generations later the name has transformed into Tivars. The farm is owned by Urban Olausson and he runs the farm with a dairy making cheese, a restaurant with local produce and events and he also lets kayaks. The farm has a striking view of lake Storsjön and the nearby island Verkön with the white castle-building. The Oviken mountains form a perfect backdrop. The colours of the flag for Jämtland are clearly visible from where we are standing – green for the land, white for the patches of snow on the mountains and blue for the sky. Our plan is to paddle a gentle tour around the island and then go for Tivars famous cookie buffet.

Coffee on the beach on a paddle tour on lake Storsjön around the island Norderön. Photo: Erika Enequist.

Paddling Around the Island Norderön

We are trying on life wests and spray skirts getting comfortable in our autumn coloured kayaks. The brave autumn sun shines and makes us squint as the sun reflects in the lake Storsjön water. Paddling around an island like Norderön can be quite treacherous since it always so exciting to find out what is behind the next headland. The fog comes and goes and the silhouettes of pines in backlight form a beautiful background to the scene. Suddenly a ghostship appears in the fog, the Flying Dutchman comes towards the island with high sides, like something out of a Japanese Animé Movie. It is the car ferry – but one should never underestimate one´s imagination…

The fog disperses and all of a sudden we see the mountains Bydalsfjällen in all their splendor with patches of snow and mighty silhouettes. Tivad knew what he was doing choosing this place for his family.

It is a good day for paddling! Says Doris, maneuvering her kayak like she has never done anything else in her life.

We are turning back. With the sun in our backs we see the farms on the island Verkön with fields going down to the lake. We pull up the kayaks on the beach. Imagine there are people living here on this small island Norderön in the middle of lake Storsjön! 140 inhabitants with a cooperative daycare center.

Norderön isn´t really that far off, says Urban Olausson when we meet outside the Tivars dairy. We are right in the fairway really, for boating.

And with ferries every half hour from each side there are good possibilities to either go towards Östersund or towards the mountains of Bydalsfjällen, Åre or south to Svenstavik from here. A trip to Östersund takes only 10-15 minutes, so it is not like it takes a day to get here.

Kakor Norderön Tivars gård
Cookies for dessert at Tivars farm on island Norderön after paddling. Photo: Erika Enequist.

Some Great Reward

We enter the restaurant at Tivars, pretty hungry by now. There is the different kinds of cheese produced on the farm and the cookie buffet tempting us, but we go for hamburgers with “canoe potatoes”. The meat and cheese is from the farm and the flavours makes us completely silent during the meal. And yes, we did go for the cookie buffet afterwards, and some beetroot icecream with black pepper (!) and some coffe on the pier. Are we coming back? Guess again…

HERE’S THE SKINNY

ACTIVITY

Paddling, kayak

SEASON

Spring, summer, autumn

START&STOP

Choose between a shorter tour around the islands or paddle longer. There are 17 places to go ashore between the bridge Vallsundsbron (Frösön) and the bridge Sannsundsbron (Oviken) via Storsjön Kayak. You will find a map here.

SKILL LEVEL

By calm weather around the islands – easy
Wind and open water – difficult

GETTING HERE

From Östersund by car – Östersund – Frösön – Vallsundsbron – Sunne – Andersön – Isön (free car ferry) – Norderön.
From the south by car: Road 321 to Håkansta ferry harbour (free car ferry) – Norderön.
Train to Östersund and from there by bus, taxi or rental car. Fly to Åre Östersund Airport or Trondheim Vaernes Airport in Norway and then train, bus, taxi or rental car.

ACCOMODATION

Choose between staying in the archipelago of lake Storsjön or stay in one of the destinations around lake Storsjön: Östersund, Bydalsfjällen, Hallenbygden, Södra Storsjöbygden or Krokom.

Moosegarden – stay in cabins overlooking the grazing moose.
Brunkulla gård – stay at a farm with meat and dairy production.
Wikners in Persåsen – doublerooms, cabins, restaurant and exhibits).

DO NOT MISS

Norderö kyrka – Medieval church from the 1100s.
Andersöns nature reserve with trails for hiking.
Monster lookouts (Storsjöodjursspaning) – there are observation spots at Vallsundsbron, Sunne and Håkansta.

ARE WE MISSING SOMETHING?

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