The High Coast (Swedish: Höga kusten) is a dramatic coastal area and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Västernorrland County, Sweden. It is approximately bounded by the cities Härnösand in the south and Örnsköldsvik in the north, and also cover parts of the rural municipalities Kramfors and Sollefteå.
The area is part of the historical province Ångermanland, and has historically simply been known as the Ångermanland Coast. The name High Coast was coined in connection with a 1974 report on the area. The area is intersected by Ångerman river. Close to its mouth it is bridged by Högakustenbron, which since its 1997 inauguration has become a symbol of the area. Today Ångermanland, together with the province Medelpad, constitutes Västernorrland County.
During the last ice age the High Coast, like most of Northern Europe, was covered by a continental block of ice. At the center of the glacier, which could be found in the Baltic Sea just off the shore from the High Coast, the ice reached a thickness of 3 km (1.9 mi)! The immense weight of the ice depressed the earth's crust. As the ice started to melt away some 10,000 years ago, the earth crust slowly started to rebound to its former position, causing the landmass to slowly rise further and further above sea level. While this phenomenon can be observed around all of the Nordic countries it is at its most extreme in the High Coast, as the world record of post glacial rebound is held by Skuleberget, where the historic coastline is 286 m (938 ft) above sea level as of 2019! The rebound still continues today, at a rate of about 8 mm (0.31 in) per year. In 2000 UNESCO listed the area as a world heritage, claiming that: The site affords outstanding opportunities for the understanding of the important processes that formed the glaciated and land uplift areas of the Earth's surface. In 2006 the heritage site was expanded to also include Kvarken Archipelago, across the Finnish border.
Aside from making the area scientifically interesting, the post glacial rebound has also made the High Coast very scenic. While most of the coast of Baltic sea is relatively flat, the High Coast is known for its dramatic cliffs and steep hills.
The city of Kramfors and several outlying villages became the centre of lumber and pulp industry in Sweden during late 19th century. As an important industrial center the town saw a boom during the first half of the 20th century but have since then been declining in population and strategic importance. The Ådalen shootings, which occurred in the area surrounding Kramfors in 1931, is one of the most famous events in Swedish political history. After a drawn-out industrial conflict at the pulp factory at Långrör, the workers union called for a general strike in the local timber and pulp industries. After a major rally, thousands of workers marched towards some strike-breakers' quarters in the village Lunde. While the strike-breakers where defended by military, the troops failed to stop the protesters. In the resulting confusion the military opened machine gun fire towards the strikers, causing the death of five people. The event caused a raging national debate, deeply divided along political lines, as left-wing newspapers condemned the "murders", while the political right claimed that the military had been forced to open fire to defend themselves and innocent civilians. The event is still remembered in popular culture, for example in worker's anthems and in the 1969 movie dramatization "Ådalen 31".
Regional trains between Sundsvall and Umeå stop in Kramfors, although there is one kilometer distance between the station and the airport, so many use a taxi for the transfer.
Highway E4 follows much of the Swedish east coast, and thereby spans the entire length of the High Coast. It continues north towards Haparanda and the Finnish border, and south towards Stockholm and eventually Helsingborg. The highway crosses the river Ångermanälven close to its mouth, on the High Coast bridge, which since its inauguration in 1997 has become a symbol of the area. Just south of the High Coast bridge it intersects with Route 90, which continues westward towards Kramfors, Sollefteå, and from Sollefteå towards Östersund as Route 87.
- 1 High Coast Art Valley. A collection of some 25 art objects, scattered along the coast from Ulvön Island, and westward through the Nätra river valley. The center of the exhibition can be found at Herrgårdsparken in Köpmanholmen.
- 2 Mannaminne, Häggvik 109 (Nordingrå), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. May & Sep Sa Su 12:00-16:00, Early June daily 12:00-18:00, End of June-Aug 10:00-18:00. An open air museum and Gesamtkunstwerk, created by the local artist Anders Åberg. The site features an agricultural museum, art museums, a bureaucracy museum, a coastal museum, an accordion museum, a Chinese pavilion, a subway, seven trams, buildings from Hungary, Estonia and Norway, a stave church and a lot of other weird and wonderful exhibitions! The museum also has their own café and accommodation. Adults 100 kr, children up to 15 enter for free.
- 3 Skuleskogen National Park. A 30 km2 (12 sq mi) forest and national park. As typical for the High Coast, it features a very rough topography with many cliffs and rocks. One of its most famous sites is the 40 m (130 ft) deep ravine Slåttdalsskrevan, found close to the park entrance.
- Höga Kustenleden (High Coast Hike). At 127 km (79 mi) it is the second longest hike in Sweden, second only to Kungsleden. It starts at the mouth of Ångermanälven, and continues north towards Örnsköldsvik, thereby covering most of High Coast. It is split into 13 legs, each of which has its own lodging.
- Världsarvsleden (The World Heritage Trail or Nordingråleden). A 100 km (62 mi) hike around Nordingrå parish, about halfway between Örnsköldsvik and Härnösand.
The area is home to one of Sweden's most famous (and infamous) delicacies: Surströmming, a smelly fermented herring fish dish.
- 1 Björnstugan, Roted 102 (By E4, some 5 km (3.1 mi) south of Ullånger), ☏ . Set in a 200 year old croft, with a tradition of serving which goes back at least 150 years! The restaurant is also noticeable for the huge bear statue next to it. Offer traditional Swedish husmanskost and à la carte.
- 2 Fiskarfänget, Hamnslåtten 131 (Norrfällsviken), ☏ . They offer home made fish-dishes and a seafood buffet, with fish caught from their own boat, served in a boat house.
- 3 Grill House, Storgatan 57 (Sollefteå), ☏ . While their name might give the impression of being a fast food joint, they have a full à la carte menu with pizza, pasta, and of course, a lot of grilled dishes!
- 4 Gårdsbutiken (Restaurang Lustgården), Själand 109 (Nordingrå), ☏ . A combination of a restaurant, a cafe and a farmer's boutique. Listed in the national restaurant guide White Guide.
- 5 Villa Fraxinus, Hyndtjärn 120 (In Nordingrå parish, 10 min by car from E4), ☏ . Summer open. A combination of a display garden and a restaurant, set in a pretty villa. 70 kr entry fee for the garden.
- 1 Hotell Höga Kusten, Hornöberget (By Högakustenbron), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Located along the main highway, E4, this hotel offers splendid view of Höga Kusten-bron, the third longest suspension bridge in Europe.
- 2 First Hotel Kramm, Torggatan 14 (In central Kramfors), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Part of the First Hotel hotel chain.
|Routes through High Coast|
|Haparanda ← Örnsköldsvik ←||N S||→ Härnösand → Sundsvall|