Abisko National Park
|Abisko National Park|
|Location||Norrbotten County, Sweden|
|Area||77 km2 (30 sq mi)|
Geographically, Abisko is situated in the Swedish province of Lapland near the Norwegian border (distance approx. 37 railway km), and belongs to Kiruna Municipality, Sweden's northernmost and largest municipality. It starts from the shores of Torne träsk, one of Sweden's largest lakes where the village of Abisko is located, and extends some 15 kilometres to the south-west. It is situated about 195 kilometres north of the Arctic circle. The total area is 77 km2.
The park was established in 1909, the same year Sweden's first laws on nature conservation were created.
The intentions of the Abisko National Park was to "preserve an area with northern Nordic fell nature in its original condition and as a reminiscence for scientific research". The region has proved to be of much scientific interest, as is shown by the Abisko Scientific Research Station which exists to study the area. Furthermore, the national park was intended to be a prominent tourism attraction.
Abisko is also home to the Abisko Scientific Research Station, first established in 1903 near the Abisko village and incorporated with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1935. It is used primarily for environmental, biological, and geological research and contains several on-site laboratories as well as off-site field research stations.
The 440 kilometre-long Kungsleden hiking trail, which follows the Scandinavian mountain range, starts (or ends) at the Abisko Turiststation (consisting of a railway station of the same name and the Abisko Youth Hostel) (approx. 4 km west of the village itself) and follows through the national park. The Nordkalottruta uses trails of the park as part of its longer passage. The Abisko Turiststation, run by the Svenska Turistföreningen (STF), houses many visitors to the park and provides lodging, food, and other amenities, and is one of many similar facilities located periodically along the Kungsleden trail. The national park is known for its Cross-country skiing opportunities, snowshoeing, and other winter sports (Mount Nuolja and nearby Björkliden provides Backcountry skiing and freeriding opportunities). As its location is 195 km north of the Arctic Circle, summer hikers enjoy the midnight sun, while winter visitors may find the light pollution-free location ideal for viewing the aurora borealis.
Daily passenger electric trains run by SJ AB connect Stockholm with the Norwegian city of Narvik, stopping at both the Abisko village (the name of that railway station is Abisko Östra [east]) and the Abisko Turiststation. Additional regional trains provide links within the Kiruna-Narvik stretch. Abisko is also reachable by car via the highway E10 which links Kiruna and Narvik since early 1980s. Other local forms of local transportation include hiking and dog-sledding in winter. A chair-lift provides access to the summit of nearby Mt. Nuolja.
There are many species of birds in the park.
Of the mammals, smaller ones like the marten, stoat, squirrel, the fell lemming and similar are common parts of the fauna. Of larger animals, the moose and reindeer are common, and moose droppings and tracks are found; however, wolverines, Arctic foxes, lynx and bears are only seen sporadically.
Picture of Nuolja
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Abisko.|
- Sweden's National Parks: Abisko National Park from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
- Abisko, official site In Swedish, English, Japanese
- Abisko Fauna at the official mountain page of Norrbotten County, www.fjallen.nu
- Abisko Scientific Research Station
- Photos of Abisko National Park
- Photo Hiking Guide of Abisko National Park