The Heart of Södertörn, Stockholm.
Percentage: 75% Gravel 25% Road
Style: Gravel roads and single track
Route designer: Michael O’Dwyer
I’ve spent the past few years staring at the map trying to map out a “best of” loop in South Stockholm. I could never figure it out. But recently, by chance, I zoomed in on the difficult section and finally found the missing link. The result is a 74km, 75% off road tour taking you on some of the best gravel Södertörn has to offer.
Something most people look over is that Södertörn is in fact an island. It stretches from Södermalm in the north to Södertälje in the west and Nynäshamn in the south. During the Viking period it was possible to sail between the mainland and Södertörn at Södertälje. But due to the drop of the Baltic Sea’s water level the island became reconnected to the mainland. In 1819 a canal was dug out and a lock was set in place blocking of Mälaren from the open sea. The lock and canal where enlarged and deepened in 1924 to once again relegating Södertörn to its island status.
This is a really varied route with deep forest, open farmland and kilometres and kilometres of perfect gravel. But for all of these gravel roads, the trick in good graveling is to figure out how to link them altogether. This loop relies on four such links to join it all up.
Link one connects Ågesta/Vidja to Öran. An easy enough one to find at the end of the asphalt road. Steep up and a fast decent.
The second link takes you out of Öran towards Skogs Ekeby. After cycling through the village, a small single track can be found on the right just before the last house at the end of the road. Those on 40mm or thinner tyres might find these 200 meters a little tricky.
The third, and the important one from this tour links passed the scout hut at St. Pettersberg. Again, just before the last house and dead end of the road a sign will point you left towards St. Pettersberg hut. There has been some tree felling on this trail making a bit of a mess and a steep exist back up to the gravel but its all short lived and worth the push.
The fourth is to link up the gravel and asphalt at Gladö. Stick to the right just before you enter the private gård and cut through the forest before joining up with the asphalt on the other side.
On the day we rode this route, we began from Farsta Strand Pendeltåg Station, a short ride to the start.
You can also begin from Huddinge Pendeltåg Station, Tungelsta Station or on the route at Hemfosa or Segersäng Stations.
Notes: This trail passes by many horse stables. Please be respectfully to the riders by notifying them of your approach. If you approach from the rear, make sure the rider knows you’re coming. It’s not always necessary to dismount your bike when passing by but always slow down and have good communication with the horse rider.In spring with higher water levels sections of the trail may become waterlogged. Please see notes on the map to show where.