Welcome to Brattforsen

Brattforsen is one of the county’s most well-known stretches of rapids. The otherwise tranquil River Nittälven enters a wild and dramatic rapids section, rushing between steep slopes and vertical cliffs. The foaming water splits up into several torrents as it plunges down the waterfall, which is especially impressive in the spring flood. The river bed and a broad strip along the banks are formed of bedrock or blocks of granulite. 

In the past, the River Nittälven was used for floating timber after logging. Traces of blasting and log sluices can be seen here and there, but today the river is totally unregulated.  

The Brattforsen nature reserve is a fantastic natural experience for all ages. The best time to visit is during the spring floods, but the rapids are also beautiful at other times of the year. A path leads round the reserve, and there is a wind shelter with barbecue. The vegetation in the nature reserve will mainly be allowed to develop freely into natural forest. 

Forest and other vegetation

The vegetation around the rapids mainly comprises spruce forest with a ground layer of bilberry. The more open sections contain birch, rowan, grass and herbs. Along the river banks there is a narrow strip of purple moor-grass, bog myrtle, dwarf birches, grey alder, melancholy thistle, devils-bit scabious and bloodroot.

The steeper stretches of rapids have very special climatic conditions, creating a suitable growth environment for several unusual mosses, including greater whipwort, beaked bow-moss, liverwort (Harpanthus scutatus) and heller’s notchwort. The oblong woodsia fern is profuse at the river bend. In the coniferous forest along the river, there are many types of hanging lichen, such as the rare Bryoria nadvornikiana and Bryoria bicolor. Birds commonly found here include the three-toed woodpecker and the grey-headed woodpecker, and the river fauna includes the brown trout.

How to get there

The nature reserve lies approximately 20 km northwest of Kopparberg. Follow the road from Kopparberg towards Skäret and continue westwards. After about 18 km there is a sign to the nature reserve and the car park is after approximately another 1.5 km.

In the nature reserve, you are not permitted to:

  • have dogs unleashed
  • remove minerals or damage solid rock, loose blocks and other ground surfaces by, for example, digging or chiselling
  • light fires except where designated
  • remove branches, cut down or damage in any other way living or dead trees and bushes
  • pick flowers, dig up or damage in any other way herbs, mosses or lichens
  • camp or fish
  • mark trails with paper strips, etc set up notice boards, placards, posters, signs, inscriptions, or similar
  • drive motor vehicles or cycle

 Fact sheet


Established: 1978 (3 ha), extended in 2000

Area: 14 ha

Landowner: Swedish Environmental Protection

Agency Managed by: County Administrative Board

Established by: County Administrative Board


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