The undiscovered gem
Direction: Crossing over starting clockwise
Percentage: 85% gravel
Style: Gravel roads
Route designer: Zachary Stone
At GRVL.se we are always looking for contributors and new routes. Imaging the surprise we got when we received an email from Montreal. Zachary lived in Stockholm for a year before moving to Canada but his time in Sweden, or should I say his biking time, left a mark. Nacka might be the famous polished diamond of Stockholm’s gravel scene but Järvafältet is it’s undiscovered gem. Here’s Zachary’s favourite tour.
“This route encompasses everything
I love—and miss—about cycling in Stockholm.”
During the year my wife and I lived in Stockholm I would spend most afternoons exploring the endless trails and gravel roads between our apartment in Sankt Eriksplan and Järvafältet. The perfect gravel roads and tracks of Järvafältet are the clear highlight of this route but the endless ways to get there and back keeps each ride fresh. Every road, path and track feels different in each season and each direction.
This route may start in the heart of Stockholm and yet, within a few kilometres, you’re on the gravel paths of Hagaparken. In fact, what is remarkable about this ride is the way the paths, trails, and roads snake through the suburbs to string together 50+ kilometres of glorious gravel biking whilst hardly leaving town.
After a pleasant ride up the western side of Brunnsviken, duck under the highway and soft peddle around Ulriksdals Slott to the Överjärva gårdsväg. For me, the runestone by the bridge crossing the E4 near Överjärva gårds always marked the “start” of the ride.
(context: my PhD is in medieval literature—I love runestones! I would organise entire rides just to hunt them down).
Once you cross the bridge and enter Igelbäcken it’s time to get to work.
Igelbäcken can be as hard as you want it to be. This route follows good gravel paths, but depending on your bike, your experience, your time, and your psych, you can spend some exploring the mountain bike trails which crisscross the nature reserve. For what it’s worth, I found that all but the hardest mountain bike paths were doable on an old school Ridley CX bike, with cantilever breaks, and 32mm semi-slick clinchers.
Make your way by hook or crook to west side of Igelbäken, slip under the E18, and head into into the Igelbäckens Kulturreservat. Here, again, you have options. Wander a bit. Hunt runestones and ancient graves. Take some of the smaller paths. Just aim for Drumsögaten on the north-west end of the park. Ride it north east and turn left on Mariehemsgaten and cross Akallalänken. Once you cross Akallalänken you’ve reached your destination: Järvafältet.
This route follows my favourite loop but you can string together any number of routes through the forest. Do a loop, do a bunch of loops, try some rougher trails. Have a snack by the lake or some meatballs at the local IKEA (my cycling team in the US could not get over the fact that in Stockholm you can take a gravel ride to an IKEA). Have fun. Savoir the fact that you can get from the very heart of a major European capital to an endless network of nearly car free gravel riding in c. 1 hour.
When you are ready to go home, reverse the process: take different routes through Igelbäcken and around Brunnsviken. Maybe you want to come home an entirely different way and spend some time by the water. If you have time take on a Norra Djurgården loop or three. Or just grab a beer or a coffee. Or better yet, a kardemummabuller at my old local bakery, Lillebrors.
Whatever you do, know that you are lucky to live in a city that has rides like this.