Photo: Foto: Alexander Hall

A magical feeling in enchanting nature


Norra Kvill National Park, the third smallest of Sweden’s 30 national parks, can be found among fallen trees and moss-covered boulders in the northern part of Vimmerby Municipality. For 150 years, the forest has been allowed to grow wild over a 114-hectare area, first established in 1927, with a core area of 27 hectares. About 80 per cent of the trees are pines, some of which have grown old and tall, up to 2.5 metres in circumference, 35 metres in height and 350 years in age.


Signposted trails pave the way for forest experiences beyond the ordinary. With a chance to meet the handsome wood grouse, pass countless trees with fire scars and hear the hoot of the barn owl at dusk, every visit is unique. Around the waterlily-filled waters of Lake Stora Idgölen, you can listen to the song of the crested tit, and the challenging hike through rocky nature up to Idgölen outlook point is worth every step when you reach the beautiful outlook point and see the magnificent view of Rumskullaskogen Forest.


The story of the thousand-year-old oak


Just south of Norra Kvill National Park is Kvill Nature Reserve. Comprising just under 30 hectares, the reserve has exhibited both characteristic vegetation and rare flora and fauna since 2007. The rarest of all is the oak Kvilleken, an awe-inspiring giant that measures 13 metres in circumference. Standing in the middle of the pastures in Kvill, surrounded by fences and cow pastures, it tells its long history. From being a sacred place to a tool shed for the area’s farmers, the oak has experienced much during its lifetime.


The exact age of Kvilleken is uncertain. At the end of the 1930s, a thorough investigation was conducted, which dated it at an impressive 950 years. That means it has now passed 1000 years and is probably the only thousand-year-old oak in Sweden. In 1772, Kvilleken was described for the first time by the district bailiff Magnus Gabriel Crælius in the book Försök till ett landskaps beskrivning (An attempt at a description of a province) as remarkable and hollow.


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With 15 years of both illness and bone fractures, one of the municipality’s oldest residents is struggling with its health. Every year the flowering is uncertain and the wait through the month of May is long for those who long for green leaves on the millennium oak. In 2020, a green branch was viewed. However, Länsstyrelsen promises that Kvilleken will live on through 12 viable grafts from the tree that will be planted in a cloning archive for the biological diversity of the future.