Storforsen are the longest rapids in Europe, surrounded by a very ancient-looking forest with rich fauna and flora. The upper part of the area is largely accessible to the disabled. There is also a delta nearby, where calm waters flow between giant’s kettles and water-polished rock slabs. From the wider stretch of water below you are rewarded with a wonderful view of the rapids and this is where the pedestrian walkway begins, which runs alongside the water. There is a shop here where you can buy local crafts, and a coffee shop that is open in summer.
Älvsbyn is permeated by hundreds of lakes and streams. Largest and mightiest is the 410-km long Pite River, winding its way through the municipality like a vein. The source lakes are located in the Sulitelma massif near the Norwegian border.
In Bredsel, 400 km west of the central town, the river transforms into the largest unbound rapids in Europe, Storforsen, with a total fall height of 82 metres.
Towards the end, the final two kilometres of the rapids, the river falls a full 60 metres, creating an amazing scene that has fascinated people for thousands of years. The average water flow is 250 cubic metres per second. Storforsen never freezes, even if temperatures drop down to minus 40 degrees Celsius in winter. The powers are so strong that not even Jack Frost can subdue them.
Storforsen continues to spellbind and attract more than 150,000 visitors every year. Near the rapids there is an easily accessible nature reserve offering a unique environment. Apart from the rapids themselves, the reserve contains the ‘Dead Fall’, giant’s cauldrons, ravines, and lagoons with rare plants. Taking a dip in one of the lagoons is popular on hot summer days. There are ramps with facilitated access, a forestry museum, a log driving museum, a souvenir shop and food service in summer.
Please note that this year’s tough snowmelt, has made the bridge over the “Varjisån” unusable. It will be inspected and we do not currently know what the future of the bridge looks like. Contact Storforsen’s tourist information if you need guidance to the rapids.