Storforsen Nature Reserve is a majestic river landscape in Northern Sweden. The Pite River is one of four unharnessed “National Rivers” in Sweden. This is where the Piteälven goes wild 46 km upstream from Älvsbyn. It changes name to Storforsen before it runs into Varjisån and calms down again. The combination of rapids and deltas produces an extraordinary biodiversity.
Storforsen Nature Reserve was established in 1971. The wild river is an imposing attraction. There is a remarkable wildlife associated to this special environment. Frequent sightings of otters are possible; the bird life is also out of the ordinary.
And as a river, it has attracted people throughout times: Both for fishing and transportation. The forest along the river has been important for people in for many years. Until the 1980’s logs were floated down the river. Constructions along the river show how people have controlled the passage of the logs. The culture surrounding the rapids is unique and adds another dimension to the nature attraction.
Angelo and I came to Storforsen for the second time in two years. It was just before closing time for the season when we met Ms. Maria Lundh at the tourist information. It was raining, a really nice early evening shower. Luckily, we had taken some pictures of the rapids and the surroundings in 2012. So, we just talked with Maria for a while.
The area is made available to the public, wonderful crafted and safe pathways leads right up to the water masses. It is accessible for people using wheelchair. It is possible to view Piteälven at the reserve free of charge. Maria said that the toilettes are also free and picnic areas have been supplied with free fire wood. Everything is set for a grand day outdoors in Storforsen.
There is a museum for timber floating, tourist information, and a tourist café open in the summer. A souvenir shop is open all-year. A hotel is built close to the waterfalls. In short, Storforsen is a travel destination. Millions of people have seen the waterfalls.
Storforsen is the largest free flowing rapids in Europe. The massive river falls 82 meters 5 km. The last leg drops 50 meters in 600 meters.