The Strömbäck-Kont nature reserve is located
about 20 kilometres south of Umeå where the Västerfjärden
bay flows into the sea. The cliffs at Kont have long been a popular
destination for Umeå residents. In 1978 Umeå municipality
purchased a large area and formed the Strömbäck-Kont
Today Strömbäck-Kont is one of the most easily
accessible nature reserves along the southern Västerbotten
coast. The many hiking trails and picnic areas make it easy for
visitors to enjoy nature at the coast. Some of the paths farthest
to the south are also wheelchair-accessible. Most visitors park
at the end of the road and enjoy a picnic on the cliffs. Before
you reach the small cliff you will find a small inlet with a barbecue
grill. Umeå municipality provides wood and toilet facilities
here and other places in the nature reserve. Another alternative
is to hike from Strömbäck Folk High School all the way
to Kont, about three kilometres.
The Strömbäck-Kont area's history stretches
back almost three thousand years and there are traces of both
prehistoric and more recent cultures. Close to Sörböle
are huge Bronze Age barrows. Northern Sweden's first glassworks
was built in the middle of the eighteenth century in the village
of Strömbäck, at the north end of the nature reserve.
The glassworks operated until 1882 and the buildings have now
been renovated and are part of the Strömbäck Folk High
School. Våtön island in the nature reserve has old
pastures set up for stallion breeding at the manor in Strömbäck.
Today's hikers may still encounter animals grazing on Våtön.
At the end of the nineteenth century it was the navy's turn to
leave its mark on the community. Timber was gathered in Lake Hatten
to be towed from Simphamn to the sawmill.
Strömbäck-Kont has a few sites of geoscientific
interest. Hattholmen, a point jutting out into lake Hatten, has
a few kinds of rocks that are unusual for Västerbotten, such
as gabbro and anorthosite, and the labradorite with its feldspar
that cuts like a light path through the crumbling dark gabbro.
On the eastern edge of Våtöberget is a lovely carved
out cave that is difficult to find. Two elongated drumlins, Granskär
and Vidögern, jut upwards in the northern portions of Västerfjärden.
Strömbäck-Kont, one of the most diverse and
species-rich nature reserves along the Västerbotten coast,
varies from fresh to brackish water. Almost every seashore and
freshwater species that occurs along the Västerbotten coast
can be found here. Lake Hatten has unusual plants such as blunt-leaf
pondweed (Potamogeton obtusifolius),
marshpepper knotweed (Polygonum hydropiper)
and smartweed (Polygonum foliosum). Narrow-leaf
plantain (Plantago lanceolata) can be
found on the southern part of Flakaskär.
Although Strömbäck-Kont is a nature reserve,
there are large areas of young forest in the area. This is because
over 100 hectares of old spruce forest were cut before the reserve
was formed. These young forests are being managed to recreate
the natural forest. The most valuable old forests can be found
at Vidögern, which is home to truly old spruce forests, and
in the southern portions of Flakaskär where really old pines
grow in bogs and beautiful flat rock forests.