Kjarnaskógur is a forest just outside Akureyri Township, and one of the largest forests in the country. It belongs to the Akureyri Municipal Council and is under the guardianship of the Eyjafjörður Forestry commission.
To look at Kjarnaskógur woods today, one would never think that just over half a century ago there was not a tree in sight. Thanks to the reforestation efforts of Iceland, however, Kjarnaskógur has bloomed across 800 hectares and is now one of the most visited forests in Iceland.
A vast network of trails spread through the area, including 7 km (22,965 ft.) that are lit, giving hikers and nature lovers a great opportunity to explore the woodland at any time of the year. Mountain bikers have a 10 km (32,808 ft.) route they may ride through, and in winter, another 10 km of the walking trails are prepared for the use of cross-country skiers.
Many different bird species make the forest their home, and there is a specialised bird watching site at the adjacent marsh Hundatjörn. Kjarnaskógur is tailored to appeal to families and large groups as well as individuals; there are picnic areas, barbeque facilities, two play parks, and even a volleyball court.
While Kjarnaskógur is not finished growing, intended to encircle the nearby town of Akureyri, it is already a marvellous forest that validates the efforts the Icelandic people have put into regrowing their woodland and allowing their nature to thrive.