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 Abisko National Park

 

 

 

Abisko National Park
Lappland, Sweden
Earth's Natural Wonders in Europe & Middle East
Coordinates: 68°19'N 18°41'E? / 68.317°N 18.683°E / 68.317; 18.683
 
The Abisko National Park, with the deep Abisko Canyon, rises from the Torneträsk lake into high alpine terrain. This is a park of tremendous beauty, overlooking the classic ”Lapp Gateway” mountain formation, and one of the most popular and most easily accesible spots for hikers and skiers from near and far, who use the Abisko mountain station as a base for exploring the vast mountain regions here.[1]
Abisko National Park [2]
 
   

 

Geographically, Abisko is situated in the Swedish province of Lapland near the Norwegian border (distance approx. 37 railway km), and belongs to Kiruna Municipality, Sweden's northernmost and largest municipality. It starts from the shores of Torne träsk, one of Sweden's largest lakes where the village of Abisko is located, and extends some 15 kilometres to the south-west. It is situated about 195 kilometers north of the Arctic circle. The total area is 77 km².

The park was established in 1909, the same year Sweden's first laws on nature conservation were created.

The intentions of the Abisko National Park was to "preserve an area with northern Nordic fell nature in its original condition and as a reminiscence for scientific research". The region has proved to be of much scientific interest, as is evidenced by the Abisko Scientific Research Station which exists to study the area. Furthermore, the national park was intended to be a prominent tourism attraction.

Abisko is also home to the Abisko Scientific Research Station, first established in 1903 near the Abisko village and incorporated with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1935. It is used primarily for environmental, biological, and geological research and contains several on-site laboratories as well as off-site field research stations.

Tourism
The 425 kilometer-long Kungsleden hiking trail, which follows the Scandinavian mountain range, starts (or ends) at the Abisko Turiststation (consisting of a railway station of the same name and the Abisko Youth Hostel) (approx. 4 km west of the village itself) and follows through the national park. The Nordkalottruta uses trails of the park as part of its longer passage. The Abisko Turiststation, run by the Svenska Turistforeningen (STF), houses many visitors to the park and provides lodging, food, and other amenities, and is one of many similar facilities located periodically along the Kungsleden trail. The national park is known for its skiing opportunities, snowshoeing, and other winter sports. As its location is 195 km north of the Arctic Circle, summer hikers enjoy the midnight sun, while winter visitors may find the light pollution-free location ideal for viewing the aurora borealis.

Transportation
Daily passenger electric trains run by SJ AB connect Stockholm with the Norwegian city of Narvik, stopping at both the Abisko village (the name of that railway station is Abisko Östra [east]) and the Abisko Turiststation. Additional regional trains provide links within the Kiruna-Narvik stretch. Abisko is also reachable by car via the highway E10 which links Kiruna and Narvik since early 1980s. Other local forms of local transportation include hiking and dog-sledding in winter. A chair-lift provides access to the summit of nearby Mt. Nuolja.

Fauna
There are many species of birds in the park.

Of the mammals, smaller ones like the marten, stoat, squirrel, the fell lemming and similar are common parts of the fauna. Of larger animals, the Moose and reindeer are common, and moose droppings and tracks are found; however, wolverines, arctic foxes, lynx and bears are only seen sporadically.[3]

This Swedish National Park starts from the shores of the beautiful lake Torne träsk ("träsk" is Swedish for "lake"), which is one of Sweden's largest lakes. The Abisko National Park is a beautiful park with gorgeous mountain formations. The park is very popular with hikers and skiers because of its easily accessible places. Many of them use the Abisko mountain station as a base for exploring the enormous mountain areas here.[4]

 

The national park consists of a low-lying valley framed by mountain ranges in the south and west and the waters of Torneträsk lake in the north. Abiskojokka river, which runs through the whole park, is particularly interesting. Just before its mouth, the river passes through canyon about 20 m deep, with sheer cliff walls which give a picture of the area's geological history.

From the mountaintop of Njulla, to which there is a cable car, there is a magnificent view of Torneträsk in the north and the well-known Lapporten in the east. The lime-rich rock is favourable to plant life, and some of the rarest plants of the mountain regions are found here.

Abisko's best-known flower is the protected orchid Lapp Orchid, which grows nowhere else in the country. There is also a rich fauna here. There are many small birds, such as the rare Arctic Warbler. Mammalian life includes martins, stout, lemmings and elks.

Abisko's foremost sights are the view from Njulla, Abiskojokka's canyon, the flora and the bird life. The Abisko Naturum centre, by the mountain hotel, offers guided trips.[5]

 

Rackelhane
February 02, 2007

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References
 
1.  Abisko National Park- Encyclopedia Brittanica 2009-retrieved 1/17/10
2. Flickr- Abisko National Park-Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 1/17/10
3.Wikipedia-Abisko National Park-retrieved 1/17/10
4.Lapland Travel-Abisko National Park-retrieved 1/17/10
5. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency- Abisko National Park-retrieved 1/17/10
 
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