Kyrkhamn is a new nature reserve, situated along lake Mälaren in the very northern end of the city of Stockholm. Here you can find silence as well as fantastice nature experiences.
It took 25 minutes by car to reach the starting point of this hike. But you can also take a commuter train and bus and walk from the bus stop to the start, it will take you about an hour from Stockholm central.
This is a short morning walk early in October, it's a sunny and very calm day. Take a deep breath and set a side a few minutes to follow us on this virtual walk.
Add sound to the experience. If you have decent speakers on your computer/pad or headphones, you can turn on the sounds of nature. Click below, to hear the sounds from this walk. But don’t forget to turn up the volume, the sounds of nature are subtle.
The first part of the path is flat and paved, but after reaching the power line we turn right into a small trail.
Slow down, find a pace that is a bit slower than your normal. The goal is to experience every step of the walk.
Information and knowledge about the name of the trees, flowers and the history of the area can be interesting, but on this walk we skip that.
This is a walk focused on being present in nature.
From the bright sun into the woods, from a wide trail to a small narrow.
Some big roots on this trail, you have focus on where you put down your feet.
A trail like this can force us into presence and focus, at least for a moment.
We reach our first stop, a small opening in the forest and a solid piece of rock to sit on. Some might say that this place isn't that special, no big views, no enourmous trees or spectacular greenery, just a very normal forest.
But sit down for a few minutes, take a deep breath, look and listen and see the value of the ordinary forest.
We keep going and get closer to the water. The forest gets less dense and we can see patches of the lake.
Listen to the sound of your steps, the autumn leaves adds crunch.
And suddenly we get a wide view over the water.
Stop and enjoy.
This is our second stop, on the rocks high above the water, it's still, very quiet and the sun is warm.
Sit for as long as you want. Is the outer stillness getting mirrored into inner stillness?
With a big view in front of us we first focus on the far away scenery.
But look around you, look at nature close by, there is beauty in the dry leaves and green moss.
We finally leave our viewpoint and walk down the cliffs. It's steep and we have to go slow and easy.
The steep descent is a practice in presence.
We reach the water level. The lake is calm as a mirror.
For a moment the connection to nature feel enormous. Moments like this, of being in nature, might balance our hectic everyday life.
The third stop by the water.
Nothing needs to be said, just sit for a while and be as still as the water.
We live in a world focused on seeing and hearing.
But on a walk in nature we can add touch and smell. Feel the bark of the tree, smell the moss on the ground and for a moment you are even more present.
The lake, the views, the silence and a few birds.
The simple act of being in nature can bring deep contentment and a big smile.
We head back up from the water, and keep the pace slow.
The slow pace might keep your mind from rushing off to everything you have to do this afternoon.
Back on the paved part of the trail. This slow lunch walk with three long stops took us an hour. The walk was about 1,6 kilometers (one mile).
In Japan they call walks focused on just being in nature "Forest Baths", because it can clean/clear your mind and recharge your batteries. This walk in Kyrkhamn on this calm October morning was a great example of a foresth bath. A walk like this can give you new energy, new perspective and help you be more present in everyday life.
I hope you have enjoyed this low-tech virtual forest bath and if you happen to be in Stockholm contact me and I will give you a guided tour in the real fantastic nature of Stockholm (but remember it’s going to be a guided tour in silence and you will not learn anything about trees, geology and history, but maybe something about silence, stillness and....).
Sound facts: On this October day we had background sound levels between 28 - 36 dBA. That is really quiet, under 30 dBa can be defined as "bedroom quiet" (the sound level we need in our bedroom for a good nights sleep). You can hear a light breeze in the trees, a few birds, some waves. In this area we also get occasional planes and boats but usually only as short noise disturbances and quite far away.