Last weekend, I went out with my packraft to Sörmland, a county just to the south of Stockholm known for its thick forests, lakes, and rugged terrain. My route saw me string together a chain of narrow lakes, three of which form the Marviken lake system just to the south of the small town of Åkers Styckebruk. Mercifully, motorboat traffic is banned on the three lakes with the result that it gives the area more a of a wilderness feel – though summer cabins, forestry tracks, and campsites mean you never fully escape.

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In places, impressive cliffs some 40 or 50 metres high rise out of the lakes. This characteristic landscape is known as sprickdalslandskap in Swedish, which refers to a narrow crack in the bedrock created by the movement of the earth’s crust that, over millions of years, has eroded and widened, often becoming filled with water. A stiff breeze blew the whole weekend from the south-east, so I decided to start in the town of Gnesta and have the wind to my back as I paddled.

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