New national parks around the world

Southern Chile is famous for Torres del Paine national park in Patagonia but much more of the region’s spectacular landscape is now being made accessible. Donations of vast tracts of wilderness by foundations run by US philanthropists and environmentalists to the Chilean state has led to the creation of national reserves covering 4.45m hectares. 17 national parks and reserves are now linked by the 770-mile Route of Parks, which starts in the port city of Puerto Montt on the doorstep of Alerce Andino National Park and continues south to the town of Villa O’Higgins. A road trip through all of them could take months.

In Denmark, following years of preparation, the inauguration of the new Royal North Sealand National Park, west of the capital Copenhagen, is to take place on May 29, 2018. The park, to be Denmark’s fifth, covers 64,900 acres with the forest of Gribskov and the lake of Esrum Sø at its heart. Gribskov is one of Denmark’s largest forests, with centuries-old oak trees, rich fauna and flora, and prehistoric sites. Esrum Sø, the second largest lake in the country, is noted for its clean waters, recreational facilities and the 10th-century monastery Esrum Abbey at its northern end.

In Sweden, the 4,700-acre Åsnen officially opens this month. It is its first new addition since 2009. Nearly 75 percent of the park is water — the rest is made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered across Lake Åsnen, old-growth deciduous forests, wetlands, and lowland plains across a stunning swath of southern Sweden.

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