The canoe trail Strömsholms Kanal / The Kolbäck river in Sweden

The Kolbäck river flows through the heart of the Bergslagen area. Bergslagen is known for its mountains with iron ore and deep forests. The high-valued iron-ore was, for a few hundred years, transported downstream in the Kolbäck River. Today, the fire has died out in the ancient iron works and the blacksmith's hammer is silent. The river flows as it did long before the days of iron producing. Silent, winding and beautiful. But there are interesting historical relics left from the past, including one of Sweden's World Heritage Sites - The Ironwork in Ängelsberg. 

110 km long, the Strömsholms Kanal was built at the waterfalls in the 1700s. Altogether, the canal’s stretches are 12 km long and include several lochs. These stretches are named The Strömsholms Kanal. Along the other 98 kilometers, the river follow its original course. Paddling The Strömsholms Kanal along the few hundred year old canal stretches is a thrilling and exciting experience. 

From forests and hills in Bergslagen to expansive fields in the valley of Mälaren; throughout history, the canal has been a very important trade route. It was along the canal that iron ore, timber and wood carbon were transported to the ironworks, and it was along the canal that the pig iron was transported further from the ironworks and out into the wider world. A classic watercourse with plenty of history along its way. The highlight is the World Heritage Site – The Ironwork in Ängelsberg. In Ängelsberg, on the small island, Oljeön, is also the world's oldest preserved oil refinery. Crude oil was transported from Pennsylvania in America. The ancient ships came in through Stockholm and the lake Mälaren, and passed through lochs up along the canal. 

The train station in Smedjebacken connects directly to Stockholm and Västerås. The port and supermarkets are both within walking distance of the railway station. Train connections:  See time table 55.

Strömsholms Kanal / The Kolbäck river

Trail description: River and lake paddling
Degree of difficulty: Easy
From-to: Smedjebacken-Strömsholm
Distance: 110 km, 50 % river paddling
Drop: 101 m total, 1 m/km on average 
Portages: 0-13. No portages if you choose to use the lochs (only during the peak summer season). The river is equipped with special dochs to make each portage easy. The canoe trolleys are rolled along smooth paths beside the lochs
Landscape description: Forests and meadows 
The rain and wind shelters have good, strong fireplaces and sometimes dry toilets
The canoetrail continues to Mälaren
Good canoe trail description in English or German with a map is included in the hire
Fishing: Pike and perch 
Smedjebacken-Söderbärke: Free transport of hired equipment for hires over 3600 SEK/transport day
Söderbärke-Ängelsberg: Free transport of hired equipment for hires over 4500 SEK/transport day
Ängelsberg-Strömsholm: Free transport of hired equipment for hires over 5400 SEK/transport day

Canoe trail map: Strömsholms Kanal 1 >> 

Canoe trail map: Strömsholms Kanal 2 >> 

Other maps: 12FSO,12GSV,11GNV-SV-SO,10GNO

Read about canoe transport >>

Book canoes, kayaks and transport to Strömsholms Kanal / The Kolbäck river

900 SEK/kanot och kajak /transport day. 450 SEK/canoe and kayak/day without transport.

The price applies to full group discount of the costs of canoe transports to and from Strömsholms Kanal / The Kolbäck river. With bookings of low numbers of canoes, please check the price list for canoe transport before booking.

Better canoeing and kayaking, better price and no transports

As the wilderness canoeing and kayaking in the Malingsbo - Kloten Nature Reserve is more affordable and the paddling and the nature much better, we recommend you to also consider the canoeing and kayaking in the Malingsbo - Kloten Nature Reserve, as an alternative paddle area. Canoeing and kayaking in the Malingsbo - Kloten Nature Reserve >>

Canoe & kayak service to Bergslagen's 20 canoe trails

1) The Malingsbo-Kloten Nature Reserve >>
2) Middle Hedströmmen >>
3) Lower Hedströmmen >>
4) Gunnilboån >>
5) Nittälven >>
6) Garhytteån/Northern Arbogaån >>
7) Bottenån/Borsån/Southern Arbogaån >>
8) Arbogaån/Southern Arbogaån >>
9) Hjälmare Kanal >>
10) Mälaren >>
11) Strömsholms Kanal >>
12) Rastälven >>
13) Järleån >>
Svartån in Västmanland
Dalälven (Borlänge-Avesta)

Read about canoe transport >>


Trackless Excursions

The paddler is a guest in the nature and is required to demonstrate responsibility and care. Not to harm and not to destroy. We have the right to enjoy Swedish nature, but there is also a duty to behave responsibly. The paddler’s only trace should be the whirlpools from the paddles.

Swedish Adventures