The Råneå and Vitå River valleys span the munici- palities of Luleå, Gällivare, Jokkmokk and Boden. These rich, unregulated, natural treasures stretch from the foot of the mountain Dundret in the north-west to the estuaries in the Gulf of Bothnia in the southeast.
The vast, untouched forestlands of the river valleys are home to extra ordinary experiences and great variety. The fauna is rich. The bathing beaches are many – there is the sea, there are rivers, lakes and pools. Wilderness adventures and great canoeing waters are amongst the attractions, as are the fishing opportunities. In the Råneå and Vitå River valleys you will also find many destinations of culturalhistorical interest to visit. The area also offers grocery stores, petrol stations and eateries, frequented by locals and visitors alike.Choose accommodation to suit your tastes – stay in a forest cabin, a cottage village, at a campsite or find conferencing opportunities at a local hotel or in a manor house environment. Skilled organisers will guide you through local activities and breathtaking experiences such as whitewater rafting, hunting and climbing.
Flora and fauna
The flora and fauna of the river valley are unique. A total of 318 different vascular plants have been recorded, many of them very rare, along the river banks and in its waters. There is a vast number of species. Rarities include red baneberry, Siberian lettuce and the knotweed Persicaria foliosa. In addition to a strong fish population you will also find noble crayfish, freshwater pearl mussels, white-throated dippers as well as beavers and otters here. Several rare flowers thrive here, such as the calypso orchid, lady’s-slipper orchid and the lesser butterfly-orchid.
Crayfishing on the Råne river
The noble crayfish was introduced into the Råne River in the 1950’s and a strong population has been established from Råneå by the sea and further upstream. Crayfishing is a major event and traditionally a family feast, for a few days in August. At dusk, small fires are lit and people gather to heat a tasty treat or just socialise as they wait to empty the fishing traps. The crayfish are boiled with dill according to a secret recipe and served with delicious condiments. The crayfishing parties are highly popular and a perfect way to round off the summer season. The lower part of the Råne River has one of Sweden’s richest noble crayfish populations. During three nights in August, a fishing licence purchased in the respective village will allow you to go crayfishing. About 50,000 crayfish are fished during these days, as locals come together to fish from the river banks and boats.
Mountain peaks & vantage points
PÅLBERGET 137 M: Located near Orrbyn, about 15 km up the Råne River. A road leads almost all the way to the top, which means that the hike will not be longer than approximately 1 km, there and back. A beautiful view of the Råne River and Pålsträsket. There are exciting caves to explore here.
SNÖBERGET 241 M: The silhouette of Snöberget towers over the landscape, 241 metres above sea level. From the car park, a 2.3 km trail leads to the top of Snöberget. There, you will be rewarded with a view spanning tens of kilometres of the forest landscape. Snöberget is a mountain whose peak was never affected by the waves of the sea and thus remains forested, whilst the sides are bare and home to mighty shingle fields, created by ice and waves. At the top, old-growth forest surrounds you. In addition to the birds of the old forest, there are many other species, including rare fungi such as the crust fungi Junghuhnia collabens, Fomitopsis rosea and Radulodon erikssonii.
STORKROKBERGET 307 M: Storkrokberget is the highest mountain in Luleå Municipality, its characteristic silhouette is seen from all over the Vitå Valley. There is no accessible road to the mountain, visitors will have to expect a 2 km forest hike.