Silverfallet was one of two waterfalls of the same name that we visited in Sweden during our epic Scandinavia Trip in the Summer of 2019.
This waterfall sat near the town of Skövde between Sweden’s two largest lakes – Vänern and Vättern. However, it resided in the reserve of Silverfallet-Karlsfors Naturreservat.
We happened to visit Silverfallet on a hot day so we tended to think of this waterfall as more of a relief from the semi-muggy Summer heat of south central Sweden.
After all, the waterfall was largely composed of a series of smaller waterfalls and cascades as opposed to a singular attraction.
Of these waterfalls, there were a couple of smaller more vertical drops that had perhaps 5-10m drops.
There were plenty more that had even tinier cascades better suited for splashing and cooling off.
It’s this latter aspect about the falls that we’ve observed had been the greater draw to Silverfallet than the biggest of the waterfalls on the Karlsforsbäck.
And that alone made this place quite the popular spot despite the detour that we made to visit it on the long drive between Stockholm and Gothenburg (Göteborg).
Industrial History of Silverfallet
According to the signage at the trailheads, the Karlsfors Creek was the basis for the local 19th century industry here.
This industry involved energy production as well as alum slate and limestone quarrying.
The slate had further uses after additional processing to yield oil and uranium.
During our visit to Silverfallet, we noticed a ruin that apparently once belonged to a limestone mill.
These days, we noticed large plots of farmland, and the lowermost of the trailheads resided right in one such farm.
We did a roughly 1.6km loop hike to fully experience Silverfallet.
We started and ended from the uppermost of the four main trailheads (see directions below) to accomplish this loop.
So this is how we’re describing our experience with this waterfall.
From the uppermost trailhead, we followed a fairly well-defined path through a lightly dense forest providing some modest shade for the first 500m.
Along the way, we noticed a handwritten sign in Swedish where the fork on the right went to the middle car park.
We kept straight (left) at this fork and eventually made it to the Karlsforsbäck, where we encountered some tiny stair-stepping cascades.
While many Swedish families found this area to be sufficient to chill out and splash in the calmer waters upstream of this section of Silverfallet, we continued following a creekside trail heading downstream.
Along the way, it appeared that the authorities had set up electric wire fencing to prevent people from getting too close to the edges of the mini gorge carved out by the Karlsfors Creek.
After maybe 100m or so, the trail descended some steps before I noticed a steep and slippery scrambling path leading to the bottom of one of the more vertical drops of Silverfallet.
Julie, Tahia, and I spent quite some time at this tier of Silverfallet since it was calm and relatively isolated from the foot traffic above.
Perhaps the only thing keeping us from lingering for longer were the mosquitoes as well as the need to get to Gothenburg at a reasonable hour.
Continuing further downstream another 120m or so, we then encountered perhaps the tallest of the Silverfallet waterfalls and cascades.
On its own, it was perhaps a bit on the underwhelming side, but it still provided enough of a spray to keep the immediate area cooler in spite of the hot weather.
Roughly another 50m further downstream, we encountered somewhat of a clearing as well as a four-way trail junction.
The path on the right led about 160m back to what turned out to be the handicapped trailhead, which was the closest of the four trailheads here.
The path straight ahead went about 60m past the limestone mill ruins (mentioned earlier in this writeup) before continuing possibly another 500m back to the lowermost of the trailheads.
Lastly, the path on the left crossed over a bridge and continued towards some other trail leading elsewhere in the area. It was on the start of this trail that I noticed more signage discussing the alum shale extraction that once occurred here.
In order to complete the loop, we took the fork on the right to get back to the road and the handicapped parking.
Not interested in walking the 350m or so uphill to the topmost of the trailheads, Julie and Tahia stayed behind while I went up to get the car, drive back down, and then pick them up.
Overall, we spent about 90 minutes on this excursion though we did take our time enjoying the water as well as enjoying the trail.
Silverfallet was closest to the city of Skövde, which belonged to the municipality of the same name, and was part of the Silverfallet-Karlsfors Nature Reserve. The municipality belonged to the county of Jönköping. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you may want to try the local municipality website.
In our routing towards Silverfallet, we used the town of Skövde since it sat the closest to the waterfall. It was actually our second stop after visiting Stalpet nearby Anneby.
This 84km stretch of road took about 90 minutes.
Once in Skövde, we then continued north on the Route 26 for roughly 17km to a signed turnoff on the left for Timmersdala and Lerdala.
We then took this turn, which left the Route 26, and we followed this road towards Lerdala for about 6.5km. At that point, there was a signed turnoff on the left for Berg and Silverfallet-Karlsfors Naturreservat.
We took that turnoff and then drove about 360m to the lowermost of the Silverfallet Car Parks on the right.
Another 150m further along the road, it reaches a bend where there was a car park for handicapped people.
Continuing another 200m going uphill along the road, we then reached one of the upper car parks and trailheads for Silverfallet.
Finally, after another 200m further up the hill, we ultimately reached the uppermost of the car parks and trailheads for Silverfallet. This was the one we started and ended our loop hike on.
Overall, this stretch between Skövde and the Silverfallet Trailheads was just under 30 minutes to cover the roughly 24km.
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