Industrial lifeline gains new lease of life as leisure arena

The Klarälvsbanan was originally a 180-kilometre narrow-gauge railway line. It was constructed in the late 19th century and ran from Skoghall to Filipstad via Karlstad, Munkfors and Hagfors. The then Uddeholmsbolaget was the principal owner and the line was named the Nordmark-Klarälvens Järnvägar (NKIJ line).

The line was used to transport raw materials to the industries along its route, initially primarily iron ore to foundries and smelting plants, and later paper from the various mills down to the port in Karlstad. However, by the 1950s the line had had its day and was gradually shut down. And in the 1980s the tracks were also removed from the majority of the route.

At the start of the 2000s, the Klarälvsbanan was given a new lease of life when the municipalities along the route got together and asphalted the stretch from Karlstad to Hagfors. A 90-km car-free, totally unique and easy-to-traverse cycle, inline-skating and roller-ski trail became a reality. And for much of the route you are accompanied by the sparkling waters of the Klarälven river.

Since it is a former railway embankment it is both straight and flat, allowing relaxing travel for inline skating, roller skiing and cycling.

And there’s more

The asphalt track ends just north of Hagfors, but the trail continues as a cycling and hiking trail through wilderness and on forest roads for a further 120 km right up to Sysslebäck.