There are many potholes in Sveafallen. A pothole is formed when large and small stones are swirled in a circular motion in water. These stones create a hollow by grinding down into hollows in the bedrock. Most of the potholes in Sveafallen were probably formed during the most recent glacial period when the ice sheet lay over the area. Meltwater cascaded down into crevasses and tunnels, forming sub-glacial rivers between the rock and the ice. The powerful pressure that arose set the stones in motion.
The smallest potholes are just a few decimetres across, while the largest are 1–4 metres wide and up to 8–10 metres deep. Over 200 potholes have been found to date but every year new hollows are found. Vegetation and soil are removed from the potholes.
What features are visible?
In the nature reserve there are five channels through which the River Svea’s water is assumed to have discharged into the River Letälven. Particularly noticeable are the Domedagsdalen valley and Bergtjärnsrännan.
Domedagsdalen is the deepest channel of the five. On its western side, there is a steep cliff face with its highest point 17 metres above the ground. Bergtjärnsrännan is in the southern part of the reserve, at Bergtjärn. A high, vertical cliff towers over the lake. The watershed between the Baltic sea and Skagerak also runs through the nature reserve, where the drainage divide is at its lowest point.
There are paths of varying lengths and with varying degrees of difficulty in the nature reserve. The short path through the Domedagsdalen valley is approximately 1.4 km and is easy. The longest path, around Lake Bergtjärn and the watershed, is approximately 5.3 km. In its southern part, the path is undulating and more challenging.
The paths and potholes are marked with orange markers on trees and rocks. The car park is in the very north at Kulturcentrum Berget, and the paths start about 50 metres away.
Landscape and vegetation
The vegetation at Sveafallen comprises coniferous forest, dominated by pines that grow on the rocky ground. In some parts trees are cut down in the forest to keep the landscape open and provide good views. Other forest areas are left to develop naturally.
Rock campion grows sparsely on some flat rocks. Visitors are also certain to see creeping lady’s tresses near the potholes area. Sveafallen also have some forested marshy areas. In the southern part of the nature reserve, soil and stones are covered by moss, and visitors can experience a magical forest as depicted by the Swedish artist John Bauer.
How to get there
The nature reserve lies by the ironworks in the south-east part of Degerfors. From the town centre, follow the signs towards Svartå (road 205) and look for the signpost immediately before the bridge under the railway.
In the nature reserve, you are not permitted to:
- move stones or other natural materials or damage the ground in any other way
- pick flowers, grass, mosses or lichens or damage plants in any other way
- light fires
- drive motor vehicles
- camp or park caravans
- set up notice boards, posters, signs or similar set up orienteering control points or mark trails with paper strips