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Use the interactive map to plan your biking or hiking trip along the Ancient Road. Organise your trip by choosing from more than 22 stages.
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hirtshals loenstrupHiking Stage 1 - Hirtshald - Lønstrup

Map no. 1 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

This section of the Ancient Road offers a vivid impression of the landscapes of the western region of Vendsyssel with its majestic coastline and inland dunes, from the industrious port town of Hirtshals to the beautiful woodlands of Tornby Klitplantage and the idyllic fishing village and holiday resort of Lønstrup. The Ancient Road winds through inspiring nature reserves where you can enjoy the bird life and flora in abundance.

Hirtshals

Hirtshals is a thriving fishing and trading town, whose commercial port is one of the nation’s largest with ferry connections to Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. There are fine beaches, an authentic fishing harbour environment and open views to the North Sea from the unique stairs that connect the central square, Grønne Plads, with the harbour. Hirtshals Museum is housed in a fisherman's cottage from 1880. The museum features an interactive exhibition about Hirtshals Harbour, the Hirtshals fishing industry in addition to a separate section about Signe Hansen and the local aquavit called Bjesk.

Hirtshals Church was designed by architect Carl Valdemar Hansen-Harild and was completed in 1908. Until that time the locals had to travel 5-6 kilometres to Horne to attend church.

At the invitation of the local Fishery and Marine Association, a memorial to local fishermen and seafarers lost at sea was erected in 1951.

Before heading south along the Ancient Road, you can follow Nordsøstien (the North Sea Route) a few hundred meters eastwards and visit the North Sea Oceanarium, which houses one of Scandinavia’s largest tanks with 4.5 million litres of water.

Hirtshals Lighthouse and Bunker Museum

South along the Ancient Road you reach Hirtshals Lighthouse – the town's landmark, which became operational in 1863. The lighthouse guided seafarers for more than 150 years. There is access to the lighthouse every day between 10:00 and 17:00. Venture up the 144 steps and enjoy the stunning views over the North Sea, the region of western Vendsyssel and the town itself.

The next stop is the Bunker Museum in Hirtshals (Bunkermuseum) – one of the best-preserved German WW2 fortifications in Denmark. The 450 X 750 meter fortification is still operational and is today an open-air museum.

Tornby Klitplantage

The Ancient Road follows along Tornby Beach where it meanders inland through the beautiful woodlands of Tornby Klitplantage, which is a wind-swept coastal conifer plantation where the centuries-old drifting dunes are easily spotted in the forest undergrowth. The hilly terrain offers deep, lush valleys and high vantage points with magnificent sea views.

Here you can take a detour to Tornby Church further inland. The church was constructed in approx. 1200 and there is a light-hearted runic inscription in the church. The altarpiece features a beautiful wood carving from the 1400s, where you can see St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus and the patron saint of sailors.

When in Tornby, visit the 200-year-old village merchant house, Tornby Gl. Købmandsgaard, which is furnished as it was in 1860 when the local trade with seafaring vessels using shallow-hulled, beach-friendly boats was at its peak.

The merchant house and its coffee room and bjesk-serving salon is open year-round (including the exhibition). Located just 300 meters south of Tornby Gl. Købmandsgård, the over 4,000-year-old Neolithic dolmen, Tornby Dyssen, is also worth a visit.

Towering 84 metres over sea level, the hillscape of Tornby Bjerg offers magnificent views of Northwest Vendsyssel and its undulating landscape shaped by Ice Age glaciers. The sea and the vast dune plantations stretch to the north and northwest as far as the eye can see. If the weather is clear you can even catch a glimpse of the dunes of Skagen, the very tip of Denmark. To the east and southeast you look inland towards the town of Hjørring, and here the landscape is lush, green and hilly.

Kærsgård Beach

Back on the Ancient Road, you head towards the beach of Kærsgård Strand and onwards to the river estuary of Liver Å. A little south of the parking lot at beach behind the dunes there is a water-covered hollow. The area is calledVandplasken and is a great location for nature walks and bird watching. The area is protected and there is no direct access but there are fine views of this wetland from the dunes by road. Continuing along the Ancient Road you reach open countryside where you can see birds such as linnet, whitethroat, meadow pipit, and whinchat. Maybe you are also lucky enough to come across a red-backed shrike.

Skallerup

Travelling inland from Nørlev Strand you reach the dunes of Skallerup. The distinctive dunes were shaped by shifting sands from the 1500s until the 1800s when farming got the better of the menacing sand drift. Sand drift was a disaster for the peasants at the time, who had to abandon their homes to the shifting sands. Inland sand dunes offer very distinctive flora and fauna.

Next stop is the famous Skallerup Seaside Resort where there is also a convenience store. Skallerup Seaside Resort offers plenty of experiences, including a waterpark, Roman baths, and an equestrian centre as well as farm visits.

A looped detour of three kilometres allows you to visit Skallerup Church. Before his appointment as bishop in 1518, the illustrious Stygge Krumpen was a dean with Skallerup Church as his seat. The church was originally consecrated to Saint Nicholas, who is also a patron saint of sailors. There is a finely carved crucifix and a beautiful oak cabinet from the 1500s. Uniquely, there is a stone checkerboard, which has served as a combined board game, calculation board and as a warning against the sin of gaming.

Back on the Ancient Road we now head to the seaside town of Lønstrup.

loenstrup thiseHiking Stage 2 - Lønstrup - Thise

Map no. 1 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

From the sea and up into the hills, and down again through lush meadows. From Lønstrup, the Haervej passes Denmark’s highest migrating dune, Rubjerg Knude. At Nr. Lyngby you turn inland and move up to Børglum Monastery, the powerhouse of history and spirituality in Vendsyssel throughout the Middle Ages and until the Reformation. From Børglum Monastery, you have a splendid view across most of West Vendsyssel, and from here you continue through a lush hinterland to the historic Thise Church.

Lønstrup

Lønstrup is picturesquely situated in a long gully. Many craftsmen have settled in the town, but fishing was once the main source of income here. A small group of fishermen still land their fish on the steep slipway. In therescue house from 1852, you can see an exhibition about the history of fishing in Lønstrup.

Vennebjerg Church and Holy Spring

An inland side trip of four kilometer (round trip) takes you to Vennebjerg Church and Holy Spring from where you may see far and wide. The church was built in the mid-1100s and consecrated to St. Andrew.  In the church is a crucifix from 1500 and an amusing rune inscription,”Hic locus est horum, qui cantat, non aliorum” (This place belongs to those who sing and no one else). Go and see the Bronze-Age mound Klangshøjjust west of the church and enjoy the fantastic view.

Mårup Church Ruin

Back to Lønstrup and on to Mårup Church Ruin. The church is from the 13th century and was about 4 kilometers from the coast back then. It was disused since 1928 when the farms were moved further inland because of the sand drifts and because the sea had eroded the cliff. The church is now partly demolished, and only some of the walls and the churchyard are left.

Rubjerg Knude and Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse

From Mårup Church, the Haervej goes on to Rubjerg Knude and Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse. Rubjerg Knude is one of our biggest migrating dunes and its luminous silhouette can be seen far down the beach. The lighthouse was built in 1900 and was in use until 1968 when sand drifts put an end to its use. For a time, the lighthouse was a sand-drift museum, but in 2003, it had to be closed due to the sand drifts. The sands buried the building, and now only the top of the lighthouse can be seen. Now the dune is migrating again and is in the process of uncovering the old buildings. When the lighthouse was built, it was at the highest point in the landscape, well above 60 meters above sea level and 200 meters inland. Now it is quite close to the cliff.

From Rubjerg Knude the trail passes through the beautiful area behind the migrating dune to Strandfogedgården, today a cosy and interesting museum about coastal history. Guided tours are arranged from here and into the characteristic and beautiful landscape.

Then the Haervej passes on to Rubjerg Gamle Kirkegård. In 1904, the Middle-Age church was demolished because it was lying desolate on the edge of the parish. A new and more centrally placed church was built from the materials.  In the churchyard, you can still see the remains of the old graves, but scrubs and sand drifts have covered most of the place.

Nr. Lyngby

The last stretch along the North Sea goes toward Nr. Lyngby. The town was originally a fishing village, but now it consists mostly of summer cottages.  Due to coastal erosion, Lyngby Church was demolished in 1913 and a new church was built further inland. Only the bell tower remains. A great part of the churchyard has fallen into the sea and you can see remains of the graves as the erosion progresses. At Nr. Lyngby, you can also see the famous summer cottages that fall down on the beach because of the erosion of the cliff – or you can just enjoy the sunset at the Sunset Place.

From Nr. Lyngby, the Haervej continues into the hinterland, and at Vittrup, it crosses the highway between Hjørring and Løkken and moves toward Børglum Monastery.

Børglum Kloster

Børglum Kloster – originally a medieval royal residence, later an important religious center of power in the period leading up to the Reformation, with the famous Bishop Stygge Krumpen as its leader. The monastery dominates the landscape and may be seen from afar with its white walls and red roof. The monastery charges an entrance fee to the permanent and temporary exhibitions on the fascinating life of the monastery through the ages. The exhibitions will give you an interesting insight into the history of this part of the country as well as everyday life in the monastery. You should also visit the amazing monastery church of which the earliest parts hail from the Romanesque Period.

The area is a great place to be. From the top of the hill you can see a great part of West Vendsyssel, down to Løkken and the North Sea, only 5 kilometers away. Here you also find the restaurant The Old SmithyThe Mill and the hilltop Bålhøj. Bodil’s Spring is on the north side of Bodilshøj with the monastery mill. The identity of this Bodil remains a mystery. The Catholic Church has no female saint by this name, and it is assumed that her name is a corruption of the name of the English St. Bodolph. It is also probable that the saint in question is King Erik Ejegod’s queen Bodil who was a local saint in Børglum for a time in the Middle Ages. Bodil went with her husband on a crusade to the Holy Land in 1103. King Erik died in Cyprus, but Bodil continued with the army to Jerusalem where she died on Mount Olive in 1104. She was given an unusually pompous funeral in the church which also holds the remains of no less than the Virgin Mary, and it is quite possible that this may have caused her relatives – among which were bishops in Børglum – to make her a local saint.

South of Børglum and down to Løkken-Brønderslevvejen, the Haervej follows ‘trails in the landscape’ and The Trail at Børglum Monastery. It starts atBomhuset. In the old days, people paid a fee to pass down the long flat stretch of road toward Vrensted. Old maps show that there used to be a windmill here, and the miller collected the toll.

The road across the field is from the 1940s when the field boundaries were moved to give room for windbreak belts as new farming systems were introduced. On the northern side of the field road is a larger field that enfolds an area of woods. The name of the field is ”Ridehusmark” since there was a riding and dressage house here in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Bispegården

From the edge of the woods where there is a turn in the road, we can look across a very interesting place. For centuries, we have tried to find out whereBispegården (the episcopal residence) and the adjacent buildings were. Now it is generally assumed that ”Bispegården” was probably on this field. Old maps indicate as much, and they call the farm Bisgårdstoft. The episcopal residence was built in 1104, but exactly where is uncertain. There is a large depression in the middle of the field. Tradition has it that it was flooded in the Middle Ages to such an extent that you could sail from here to the North Sea.

The trail continues across Munkebroen (Monks’ Bridge). Old sources have it thatthe bridge was built by the canons from the monastery in Børglum. A number of archeological finds have been made south of the bridge that indicate that the place was a judicial district in the old days.

The Haervej continues across the heath and the meadows and crosses Klostergrøften (the Monastery Ditch), upon which it passes the Løkken-Brønderslev Road and Kongsengene (the King’s Meadows) toward Thise Church.

Hiking Stage 3 - Thise - Tranum

Map no. 1-2 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Description coming soon.

Hiking Stage 4 - Tranum - Svinkløv - Løgstør

Map no. 2 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Description coming soon.

loegstoer aarsHiking Stage 5 - Løgstør - Aars

Map no. 2-3 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Between Aars and Løgstør, the Hærvej follows the Himmerland Trail constructed on the old railway that was 69 km from Viborg to Løgstør.

Aggersund

After Løgstør, the Hærvej continues along the Limfjord to the Aggersund Bridge connecting Vesthimmerland with Jammerbugten. The Aggersund Bridge is a beautiful arch bridge consisting of to large arch spans with a double bascule that the bridge watch can open for ships to and from Aalborg. Situated high on a hill near the coast of the Limfjord, Aggersborg Churchhas for centuries been used by mariners to navigate Løgstør Broad.  Originally, the church consisted of a choir with a granite apse and a wooden nave built around 1100. The wooden nave, however, was in the late 12th century replaced by a larger granite ashlar nave with two entrances, one for men and one for women, as it was tradition in the Romanesque style.

Near the church close to the Broad, you find the famous Viking fortress calledAggersborg. Built in 980 by Harald Bluetooth, Aggersborg Viking fortress is the largest ring fortress ever built in Denmark and has circular shape with a diameter of 240 metres surrounded by an 840 metres long rampart. The rampart is excellent for taking in the Viking fortress while enjoying a nice walk.

Løgstør

Muslingebyen Løgstør roughly translates as “Løgstør the town of Mussels”. Muslingebyen is an old coastal town with an authentic town environment, cultural harbour and beautiful old fisherman's cottages.

By Løgstør Harbour, you find yourself in a relaxed and cosy atmosphere, and around Kunsttorvet you can experience plenty of art and live music throughout the summer. Løgstør Grunde Lighthouse is a characteristic twin light in one lighthouse that guides ships safely through the narrow channel Løgstør Grunde. The Limfjord Museum invites you to experience the cultural history of the Limfjord, and you also have the opportunity to join the guided tours on Frederik the 7th Canal, the so called Tales of the Limfjord. Frederik the 7th Canal is also ideal for a walk where you get the chance to enjoy the unique flora and special natural conditions along the canal. 

Løgstør is home to many interesting events during the course of a year, for example, the famous Tour of the Limfjord and the Mussel Harvest and Mussel Festival. You can also try out your skills as a chef at Løgstør’s mussels cookery school or just enjoy a day on Løgstør Beach.

You find Løgstør Church beautifully located in the middle of town. The church was built in 1893 using red bricks and is 32.6 metres long with a 46.5 metres tall tower that for a long time was the hallmark for travellers from the south. I 1933, the church underwent a refurbishment and has today a completely new and very interesting church interior created by Arne L. Hansen.

The Moors of Himmerland

You pass the Moors of Himmerland as you continue your trip along the Hærvej toward Løgstør.

The Moors cover an area of around 1,300 hectare and are what is left of a vast moor covering most of the region up until the 19th century.

In Vesthimmerland, it is the Vindblæs, Oudrup, Ajstrup and Lundby moors that are once again growing together becoming a unity without disturbing elements such as houses, pylons and wires. All you will find here is heath, sheep, cattle and a few trees. Hike across the moor, and you will find a wealth of flowers, plants and shrubs. During the summer, you can experience a fantastic colour palette of flowers that in late summer is replaced by heather covering the moors in a purple blanket stretching as far as the eye can see.

Vindblæs

From the moors, you continue along the Hærvej to Vindblæs, one of many market towns that appeared with the arrival of railway in Vesthimmerland. Rumour has it that Vindblæs got its name after a storm brought down all the clay houses. The town was afterwards rebuilt around Vindblæs Church, which is a medieval church located high up on a hill. The nave and choir is constructed in the Romanesque style, and the porch and the tower are late Gothic style and were added around 1550. The tower of Vindblæs Church has served as a navigation mark since it is located so high and can be seen from miles away.

In Vindblæs, you can also visit Vindblæs Mill, a so called Dutch mill with wooden chips built in 1875 to 1879. The grinding mill, millstone and screen box are still inside the mill exactly as when the mill was still in use. 

Hornum

Visit Himmerland's Railway Museum in the old station building in Hornum and experience 100 years of history from the railway in Himmerland. The museum is the smallest railway museum in Denmark but also one of the best preserved.

Ulstrup Church close to Hornum was originally built in the Romanesque style with rare rounded corners. However, the church was rebuild in 1936 adding the main nave crosswise of the old church, and today, the church is classified as a cruciform church.

Gatten

Gatten is home to Himmerland’s Golf & Spa Resort where you can unwind and enjoy the picturesque view of Sjørup Lake with the ruins of a Norman church on one of the banks. The church ruins were discovered when the golf course was expanded in 1989. 

Aars

In the centre of Himmerland, you find Aars, a commercial town with lots to offer when it comes to nature and town life. The history of Aars is as old as it is exiting. The brave Cimbri resided in the area about 2000 years ago which is why people from Himmerland are also known as Cimbri. Experience the history of Aars at Vesthimmerland’s Museum that houses more than 12,000 years of archaeology and cultural history. At the museum, you can, for example, see a copy of the Vessel of Gundestrup found in a bog near the Fort of Borremose.

The Danish Present-day Museum in Aars is run by volunteers and houses one of the largest collections in Denmark of everyday objects from the 20thcentury. The squares in Aars are a lovely sight beautifully decorated with artworks created by international artists such as Per Kirkeby, Kirsten Ortwed and Poul Gernes. Built between 1200 and 1250, Aars Church is a typical Romanesque granite church, and inside the church, you can find a beautiful blue slate memorial from 1651. Enjoy a walk along the Planet Track and try to grasp the magnitude of our solar system. If you have some time to spare in Aars, you can rent bicycles at Aars Tourist Information and explore one of the many bike trails in the area.

aars moeldrupHiking Stage 6 - Aars - Møldrup

Map no. 3 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Experience the diverse and beautiful nature and cities of Vesthimmerland in a new way by travelling on the Hærvej.

Aars

In the centre of Himmerland, you find Aars, a commercial town with lots to offer when it comes to nature and town life. The history of Aars is as old as it is exiting. The brave Cimbri resided in the area about 2000 years ago which is why people from Himmerland are also known as Cimbri. Experience the history of Aars at Vesthimmerland’s Museum that houses more than 12,000 years of archaeology and cultural history. At the museum, you can, for example, see a copy of the Vessel of Gundestrup found in a bog near the Fort of Borremose.

The Danish Present-day Museum in Aars is run by volunteers and houses one of the largest collections in Denmark of everyday objects from the 20th century. The squares in Aars are a lovely sight beautifully decorated with artworks created by international artists such as Per Kirkeby, Kirsten Ortwed and Poul Gernes. Built between 1200 and 1250, Aars Church is a typical Romanesque granite church, and inside the church, you can find a beautiful blue slate memorial from 1651. Enjoy a walk along the Planet Track and try to grasp the magnitude of our solar system. If you have some time to spare in Aars, you can rent bicycles at Aars Tourist Information and explore one of the many bike trails in the area.

Aalestrup

Aalestrup is a relatively young commercial town that was founded in the 1890s with the arrival of the railway in Vesthimmerland. Enjoy a quiet walk on the main street and maybe visit the Bicycle Museum that shows the history of the bike going all the way back to the first wooden bicycles. Besides the exhibition, the museum also hires out bicycles for trips on the Hærvej or in the surrounding area. Aalestrup Church is also worth a visit and by the entrance you find a burial site sandstone monument from WWII. Aalestrup is also home to the Jydske Rosenpark that houses more than 200 different species of beautiful, colourful and fragrant roses.

Located about 3 km from Aalestrup, Testrup Church is an exiting and historical site especially for pilgrims because of the hospital chapel that existed up until 1748. Around Testrup Church, you can still se the ruins from the chapel. Further toward Aars, the Hærvej crosses Lerkenfeld Streamwhich is a shallow stream with gravel and stone bars.

Møldrup

Like many other market towns, Møldrup is a young town. It was established in 1893, shortly after the railroad between Løgstør and Viborg was finished. Today, Møldrup is a typical market town with no station, but with an inn, a bakery, a grocer, a pizzeria and a gas station. In what was the station area there is a lunch house with tables and benches and an outdoor barbecue. There is access to a bathroom next to the old station building. Møldrup has bus services to Viborg and Aalestrup.

frederikshavn jyskeaasHiking Stage 7 - Frederikshavn - Højbylund

Map no. 4 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

This stretch takes you through beautiful hilly countryside southwest of Frederikshavn. First through Bangsbo Deer Park, Bangsbo river valley and then up over Øksnebjerg, a hill reaching 106 meters above sea level and offering stunning views of the bay of Ålbæk Bugt all the way to Skagen, the very tip of Denmark. From Understed the tour continues along dirt lanes through Karup to the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgaard.

The Bangsbo area

Heading out from the town of Frederikshavn, the Ancient Road starts at the Tourist Office. From here you travel just a few kilometres to reach the Bangsbo area where there are many experiences and places to enjoy. Among the attractions are Bangsbo Deer ParkBangsbo Botanical Garden,Bangsbo MuseumBangsbo Manor, and a nature playground. You can also take a detour up Pikkerbakken, a hill offering views across the town, the bay of Ålbæk Bugt and even as far as Skagen on a good day.

Continuing from Bangsbo you head through the beautiful Bangsbo Ådal river valley past the Neolithic burial site of Donbæk Gravplads and the majestic barrows of Kongehøj.

Kongehøj and Borgbjerg

Kongehøj and Borgbjerg, which can be seen from the road, are part of Donbæk Gravplads, a prehistoric burial site with 60 barrows, which are spread out over a narrow hillscape. A number of Neolithic urn graves were discovered in the early 1900s in addition to a number of different objects, including a gold bracelet.

Archaeologically, this is a very exciting location where new discoveries are made every few years. There is public access to the area, so you are free to explore the barrows.

You now head along country lanes until you reach the top of Øksnebjerg, a hill offering absolutely magnificent panoramic views in almost all directions. To the southeast you see the seaside town of Sæby and as far as the island of Læsø to the east. To the west you see a stunningly beautiful hillscape and to the north the bay of Ålbæk Bugt with Denmark’s northernmost town of Skagen in the distance.

Øksnebjerg

The name "Øksnebjerg" (the Oxen Mount) indicates that this was a site where cattle were herded before their long journey down the Ancient Road.Many local manors and large farms founded their wealth on the exports of cattle. The steer were gathered in large flocks from different estates in Vendsyssel and herded down the Ancient Road by professional drovers. The first goal was Southern Jutland, where the steer after a strenuous trip were fattened only to be herded further south into Europe. Customs accounts from the 1600s show that in good years about 50,000 cattle were herded down the Ancient Road.

Understed

From Øksnebjerg you travel along a gravel road, which is the old road on the east side of the ridge. Here you enjoy fine sea views all along. Reaching the village of Understed you will here find the sacred springs of Understed andUndersted Church.

You'll also find a nice and peaceful shelter approx. 1 km beyond Understed. The route passes right by, so it should be easy to spot.

Karup

Wandering along gravel roads you now head westward though the hilly landscape to the town of Karup. Along the way, you can make a small detour to Karup Church and another sacred spring called Helligøbben.

Hørbylund

From Karup you head towards the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgård and you are now about halfway between Frederikshavn and the hillscape of Jyske Ås.

frederikshavn jyskeaas

Hiking Stage 8 - Højbylund - Jyske Ås

Map no. 4 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The onward trip from the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgård takes you along the ridge to the churches of Hørby and Thorslev. The trip takes you across an open expanse in the direction of Ormholt. On the way, you pass many prehistoric barrows and reach the beautiful protected nature reserve of Nymølle Bæk at the edge of hills of Jyske Ås.

Hørby Church

Hørby Church, constructed using ashlar stone, was once the estate church of the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgaard and was for a short period owned by the seventeenth-century Danish-Norwegian naval hero Niels Juel. Members of his family are buried at the church.

The trip from Hørby church continues towards Torslev Church and from there by road you reach Ormholt.

Ormholt Hovedgård

Ormholt Hovedgård is an old manor dating back to 1455. The manor is believed to have grown to prominence thanks to the cattle farming in the region. Droving took place along the Ancient Road and the cattle reached buyers further down in Europe.

In the late Middle Ages only the nobility were allowed to own manors. Ormholt’s heritage main buildings bear witness to a bygone era when the aristocracy wielded great political power and possessed great wealth.

There is reason to believe that Ormholt, like other manors in Vendsyssel, built its fortune on cattle breeding, which were reared and herded along the Ancient Road to buyers further down in Europe.

Customs accounts from the 1600s show that in good years about 50,000 cattle were herded down the Ancient Road.

In Ormholt’s eastern wing a woodworm pokes its head out from the gable. Purportedly, the manor is associated with a legend about an ‘Orm’ (i.e. a worm, serpent or even dragon). Alas, there are no written sources but the name of the manor Ormholt (‘holt’ means forest) suggests that this was a place in the forest with plentiful ‘worms’.

Barrows

From Ormholt Hovedgård we head to Nymølle Bæk. On the way to this protected nature reserve you pass prehistoric barrows. These are a common sight along the Ancient Road. Unfortunately, many barrows have disappeared over the past centuries, ploughed over and reclaimed as farmland. No archaeological studies have yet been made of the barrows here, but the location and dimensions suggest that they are from the early Bronze Age.

There are no traces of prehistoric settlement in the vicinity, although one must assume such settlements must have been located near the hills, which apart from being burial sites also marked the territories of the settlements and strongholds.

Nymølle Bæk

One of the most scenic natural areas in Vendsyssel, the natural habitats ofNymølle Bæk include beech forest, meadows, heaths, grasslands, rivers, lakes and alder bogs.

Following the Ancient Road along the stream of Nymølle Bæk you will cross the beautiful old ashlar stone bridge. The bridge was constructed at some point after the 1600s – the date is not known.

Ingeborg Skeel (approx. 1545-1604) was a landowner at Voergaard Castleand also owned a glassworks by Nymølle Bæk in the late 1500s. There, where once the glassworks lay, you can still find shards of glass.

jyskeaas hammerbakker

Hiking Stage 9 - Jyske Ås - Hammer Bakker

Map no. 4-5 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Hiking Route through the Jutlandic Ridge to Hammer Bakker (Brønderslev Kommune) Go lengthwise through this partly wooded, hilly highland with varied scenery. To the north east is the wide valley, Voerådal, and to the south is the big lowland that enfolds Nørresundby where Ice-Age glaciers have leveled the hills.

Jyske Ås

On the top of Fejborg Hill at the thoroughfare you find info about the area and a long barrow to the north with a fantastic view toward the east. The entire area on both sides of the ridge have an unusual number of burial mounds.

After a short trip by gravel road, the trail enters the beautiful and hilly area with sporadic grassy areas and forest. From the point 57o16’22’’N 10o12’39’’Ø you can see 23 kilometers north east to Cloos Tower. The highest point in this area is Brøndbak with its 107 meters and a  geodetic postament. Cross Brøndbakvej and go through the area of thebird Red Kite to the shelter camp Slettingen. From the hill top you see a hollow where Ryå Brook starts, the longest and biggest brook In Vendsyssel, and it irrigates 600 km2. To the south you can dimly see Aalborg Industry.

Grevsmose Lakes

In the old days, the barren slopes of the ridge were the haunts of social rejects who would dwell in caves dug into the slopes. The moraine hills contain clay which preserves the moisture of the ground, and a bog was formed. This was utilized for peat digging, and this is how the Grevsmose Lakes were made. The glaciers brought gravel and pebbles with them. In this manner, porphyry found in these hills originally came with the glaciers from Norway.

To get to the point 57o16’8’’N – 10o12’Ø at the top of Lyngbakken, you pass a gate which you are kindly requested to close when you have passed (so the good-natured  Iceland horses stay in the enclosure). On a clear day you can see Børglum Kloster, and if the sun shines on the yellow sands, you can also see Rugbjerg Knude at the North Sea, 32 kilometers away. There is a great amount of deer in this area.

A small spring starting at the edge of the ridge (from where the inhabitants got their drinking water until shortly before 2010), waters the ditch where Fældenvej enters Allerup.  The water runs under the road.

The trail continues along an old, charming wheel track called Røgelhedegaarde.

At the south-west end of the hollow which Larsgårdsvej crosses is St. Nikolaus’ Holy Spring which still remains moist.

On the other side of Kvindbjergvej a dirt road leads to a series of eight burial mounds from the Bronse Age.

Klokkerholm Møllesø is now the biggest lake in Vendsyssel. Up till 1915, the water kept a watermill running. From here the waters converge with the water from the brook in the hollow under Slettingen to Ryå.

Hellevad and St. Nicolaus holy spring

In the village of Klokkerholm, the church carries the old name of the parish,Hellevad. The church was built in the 1100s in honour of St. Nicolaus whose holy spring this route passed earlier on. By the church you find the big shop in town.

Ørum

Ørum Church dates from around 1250. Lars Dyrskjøt, who donated altar silver to the church, is buried here. Ørum was where the great Danish feta-cheese export started in the 1970s.

The road Digemarken leads to the Oasis: a camp site with shelters, lunch house etc., and of course bathrooms.

From Ørum the route continues to the old manor of Nr. Ravnstrup with the jagged gables, and on to the intersection at Tylstrupvejen. From here, there is about 2,5 kilometers to Hjallerup where there is an inn, public baths and many shops. In the first weekend of June, Hjallerup Market is the biggest horse fair  in the country.

Now the trail continues to Ørum Bog, a hollow, formerlys ea bottom in the Ice Age, from where the waters flow to both sides (Gerå in the east to Kattegat and Lindholm Å to the west around Lindholm Hills Viking settlement and on to Limfjorden).

The road continues at the edge of the bog over Kjellingbro and Møgelkær Bridge to the village of Grindsted. 

Hiking Stage 10 - Hammer Bakker - Svenstrup

Map no. 5 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Description coming soon.

Hiking Stage 11 - Svenstrup - Aars

Map no. 3 and 5 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Description coming soon.

moeldrup viborgHiking Stage 12 - Møldrup - Viborg

Map no. 3 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The hiking trail starts in Møldrup on the Himmerland Trail on the disused railroad between Viborg and Løgstør. The trail is Denmark’s longest continuous trail on a stretch of former rail traffic. Because the trail follows the railroad, it has only minor ups and downs. On the way, info boards inform about the history of the old railroad trail. There is an opportunity of resting at the many benches and tables, or at a lunch house, or you may choose to grill your food at the outside barbecue or in a bonfire house along the way.

Møldrup

Like many other market towns, Møldrup is a young town. It was established in 1893, shortly after the railroad between Løgstør and Viborg was finished. Today, Møldrup is a typical market town with no station, but with an inn, a bakery, a grocer, a pizzeria and a gas station. In what was the station area there is a lunch house with tables and benches and an outdoor barbecue. There is access to a bathroom next to the old station building. Møldrup has bus services to Viborg and Aalestrup.

Five kilometers west of Møldrup via Vester Testrup, you can take a side trip to the nature preserve Borup Heath and C.E. Flensborg’s Plantation.

The trail continues south to the village of Skringstrup where Skringstrup Town Park is right next to Himmerlandsstien. Here are two shelters, a soil toilet and a bonfire house. You can put up your tent and you have access to water. There is also a B&B in Skringstrup.

Hvolris Iron Age Settlement

From Skringstrup you can make a side trip to Hvolris Iron Age Settlement in Bjerregrav, about five kilometers east of the trail. Here is an archeological site with a reconstructed Iron Age Settlement, 4000 years of Denmark’s history collected in one place with remains of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Middle Ages. In Bjerregrav you also find a grocer.

Skals og Sklasnæs

From Skringstrup the trail goes across fields until you reach the village of Skals. Skals is on a foreland (næs) – hence Skalsnæs. The town is uniquely placed next to the fjord, the brook and the hilly landscape. Skal is almost entirely surrounded by water; such as Hjarbæk Fjord, Simested and Skals Brook, ideal for fishing. In the Railroad Forest in town, near the old station area, there is an outdoor bonfire place with benches and two tables. In Skals you find a grocer, a pizzeria, a public bath, a café, a bakery and shop, an inn and a B&B. There are bus services to Viborg and Møldrup. 

Hjarbæk Fjord

From Skals you follow the Himmerland Trail to the brook from where you have an excellent view to Hjarbæk Fjord on one side and Skals Brook Valley on the other. On the railway bridge you find info boards about the fjord and the brook valley, as well as about the local birdlife.  On the same side of the dam as the brook – sheltered from the west wind from the fjord – there is a rest area with tables and benches. Hjarbæk Fjord is a natural wildlife reservation, and especially in the autumn and winter, many birds stop by.

If you proceed, you reach Vorde. From Galgehøjen (Gallows Hill) you have an excellent view of Hjarbæk Fjord. This is where criminals condemned to death were hanged in the 1600s. To the south of the hill is Vorde Church, built in Romanesque style.

Hjarbæk

Continue to the lovely old town of Hjarbæk. The town has its own harbor, a marina and a cosy inn, a couple of artwork shops, a camping site and a lot of holiday houses. The history of the harbor goes back to the Viking Era when King Canute the Holy gathered his Viking ships in Hjarbæk Fjord and Lovns Bredning. Every year in August, in the weekend between week 33 and 34, old and new fishing boats gather for a world championship in fishing-boat racing.

Løgstrup

The trail goes on to Løgstrup where you find a grocer, a butcher and a bakery. There is a lunch house with tables and benches in a wooded area some 500 meters to the north.

Undallslund Plantage

The trail continues south to Undallslund Plantage and Magrethelund, on your way to one of the oldest cities in Denmark, Viborg. There is an info board at the former whistle stop Margrethelund and benches and tables at Undallslund Plantage.

viborg thorningHiking Stage 13 - Viborg - Thorning

Map no. 7 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

On the stage between the old Middle Ages town centre, with the cathedral to the area west of the Thorning, you will pass the unique countryside of Hald and the hills of Dollerup Bakker.

Viborg

The walking route begins at Viborg Cathedral, from where you walk through town centre to the railway station and out towards Viborg Plantation. While in Viborg, you can visit the cathedral, the Dominican church, museums or take some time in Viborg Pilgrims centre. Look into the tourist information office and get the latest on what’s on in town. 

Finderup Høj

Leaving Viborg, you will find Finderup Høj at Erik Glippingsvej. From the top of the hill, the king’s knights were able to see the building of Finderup Lade ablaze, when King Erik Glipping was murdered on the night of St. Cecily in 1286. Go further along the overgrown rutted way, which has probably remained unchanged since that time. 
Unlike the bicycle route, the walking route does not pass by the Hærvejs Carpet, nor the road stone.

Langskov

In Langskov oak woodland, with its many gnarled trees, there are a number of rutted tracks. The walking route goes directly through the woods to the campsite in Lille Traneskov, after which it continues to the inn, Niels Bugges Kro.

Hald

Hald and Dollerup Bakker are regions with a unique concentration of culture and natural history. Hald Hovedgård manor is built on the ruins of four previous manors, Niels Bugges Hald is a circle shaped moat by Niels Bugges inn, and on a peninsular in the lake, there are the remains of an old castle, built by the last Catholic bishop of Viborg, Jørgen Friis.

Dollerup Bakker

The landscape is dramatic, created by the ice mass and melting water during the last ice age, with Dollerup hills in the east, and the flat heath land in the west. The region is one of the most important borders between different landscapes and is known as the one of the jewels of Denmark’s ice age geology. There is an exhibition in Hald Hovedgård on the region’s nature and culture, where you can see models of the landscape and gain an understanding of the effect the ice masses had on the area. There is a also a sitting area, making it a good place to take a break, and the most northerly of the hostels along the Hærvej can also be found here.

Skelhøje

Skelhøje does not have shopping facilities, but you can take a bus to Frederiks here, where there are good shopping facilities. If you follow the walking route without taking any diversions, the next opportunity to buy provisions is Kragelund - so make sure that you’re well stocked up! 
The area south of Skelhøje is characterised by many plantations planted over a half century from the end of the 1700’s. The conifers slowly replaced the heath land and small oak copses. 
In the plantation south of Skelhøje is a large concentration of grave mounds. Over 50 Stone Age mounds remain in Havredal Plantation alone. Try to see how many you can find in a day. Some of the larger ones are built in a straight line, and could be used to find the right direction, but are now enclosed by trees. 

Stendal Plantation

Stendal is a striking valley on the northwest side of Stendal Plantation. Along the side of the valley, the wheel tracks on the road leading to the valley can be seen clearly. There are remains from a cobbled road, where the walking track turns southwest to follow the valley. In Ulvedal Plantation, where the route swings south, other wheel rutted tracks can be seen. 

Jens Langknivs hule

In the south west corner of Ulvedal Plantation is a well preserved long barrow from the late Stone Age, known as Jens Longknife’s Cave. The 40 m long barrow contains two chambers, and the 4000 year old barrows were named after the infamous robber, who is the subject of St. St. Blicher’s poetry. 

Blicheregnens Museum

You can choose to make a short diversion to Thorning, about 2 km east of the walking route, to stock up on provisions or to see the Blicher Museum. Steen Steensen Blicher was the local priest in Thorning from 1819 - 1825. He wandered widely over the heath land and wrote much about the region. He lived in the rectory, which has now been converted into the Blicher Museum, which shows information about the region as well as life in Blicher’s time. The museum gives an excellent introduction to the region before continuing the journey along the Hærvej.

thorning funderKirkebyHiking Stage 14 - Thorning - Funder Kirkeby

Map no. 7 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The route from the plantations west of Thorning to Tollund, west of Funder Kirkeby, leads through Grathe Hede heath land, which was the location of many royal feuds, and along Bølling Lake, which is a large nature reclamation project.

Kong Knaps Dige

At Haller River, there is a peaceful ford and a 200 m long defensive Stone Age moat known as King Knaps Dike. You can still see the wheel ruts at the crossing, and under the overgrown bridge is a stone box from the 1800’s. 

Grathe Hede

Grathe Heath, south of Thorning, is the scene of many royal feuds. In 1157, Svend Grathe fell in battle against Valdemar the Great, in a battle which marked the victory of Jutland over soldiers from Skåne and Zealand, and is an example of how the Hærvej lived up to its name. 

Stenholt Skov

The walking route goes through Stenholt Skov, which is an old oak coppice woodland. It was a tradition to fell the trees and to let the trees shoot again from the stump. The new shoots were used for fencing and for firewood. 
Stenholt Skov was made a conservation area in 1988, with the aim of protecting the recreating the oak thickets and the open woodland. There are marked walking tracks and information boards in the woods.  

Klosterlund Museum

In the southern part of Stenholt Skov, the walking route goes pastKlosterlund Museum, where you can see the trove from Jutland’s oldest habitation(around 8000 BC). The habitation, found on a farm south of the museum has given its name to one of the oldest Stone Age cultures - the Klosterlund culture. In a nearby building, there is an exhibition on the countryside at that time, where you can also take a break and eat a packed lunch.  

Bølling Sø

Bølling Lake was formed during the Ice Age, around 10.000 years ago. As time went on, the low waters of the lake slowly changed to a thick layer of peat bog. The lake was the largest, shallow lake on the Mid Jutlandic Height with water running off both towards the east to the Gudenå and west to Karup River. In 1870, the lake was drained, although it never became good agricultural soil. The area was made a conservation area in 2003 and the lake was recreated in 2004 -5, supplied by spring water, making it clean and an excellent biotope for plants and animals. Many important finds have been made in the area in connection with peat digging. The most well known are the two bodies found, the Elling Girl and Tollund Man, as well as two small amber animal figures. 
The walking route does not enter Kragelund, but there are only about 3 km in to the village, which has shops and a hostel. 
The Hærvej also circumvents Funder Kirkeby to the west, but there are only a couple of km in to town. 

funderKirkeby nrSnedeHiking Stage 15 - Funder Kirkeby - Nr. Snede

Map no. 7 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

On the journey from Tollund, west of Funder Kirkeby, to Nr. Snede, the landscape is characterised by deep river valleys, unusual cliff forms, plantations and some of Denmark’s cleanest lakes. The route passes by Funder River at Hørbylunde, slight east of the hill ridge. The deeply cleaved river valley is a clear contrast with the flat land towards the west.

Skærbæk Plantage

In Skærbæk Plantation, there are many attractive heath lands with juniper bushes, particularly an area roughly 1 km north of the old gamekeeper cottage, where there is a geologically interesting deep valley. In the southern part of Skærbæk Plantation, north of Ansø Mølle, the walking route passes a section of cobbled road, which is presumed to date from the time of the drovers.

Vrads

North of Vrads, is the sandy heath land, with dunes. The heath has both moist and dry areas and there is much juniper and broom, as well as erica, bilberries and cranberries. Vrads also has a village store and campsite. 

Tingdalsøerne

The Tingdal lakes are Rævsø, Grane Langsø, Kalgård Sø and Kongsø, which are extremely clean, clear water lakes, low in nutrients and known for their water lobelia. The lakes and their surroundings are protected, as they are vulnerable to human impact, and it is not permitted to walk on the bare banks, or bathe, fish or sail in the lakes. Torup Lake is a normal lake, with access to the eastern bank. 
The lakes are mostly surrounded by woods and heath lands. West of Kålgård Sø and Kongsø is Kongsø Heath, which is subject to nature landscaping, to prevent the area becoming overgrown, and to keep the heather trimmed. There is a small artificial lake on the heath, with the remains of an old hill fort “Hansborg”. 

There are marked trails and information boards as well throughout the area. 

South of Palsgaard Skov woodland is Nørhoved Hostel and Hærvejens Bondegaardsferie - Hærvej farmhouse holidays. 

Nørre Snede

On the journey from Viborg, Nørre Snede is the first slightly larger town, along the Hærvej and has been a meeting point for travellers for many centuries. It was the site of a holy spring, dedicated to St. Knud, which attracted many pilgrims and from the remains of ox shelters found in the woods, it is known that drovers used the town as a resting place. The churchyard contains a grave mound, which creates a link with the past, while the romantic periodchurch has a distinctive christening font from the 1100’s with carved lion heads. 

The route goes east about the town, so you have to leave the tour if you want to stock up on food. 

nrsnede givskud nyHiking Stage 16 - Nr. Snede - Givskud

Map no. 7-8 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

After Nr. Snede, the Hærvej goes through the woods of Nedergaard Skov, before coming to an area which is the source of both the Gudenå and Skjern rivers, the great watershed. You should also take a diversion to the beautiful area near Rørbæk Lake, after which the journey continues along Denmark’s largest oak forest and past dikes and pilgrims’ churches to Givskud.

Nørre Snede

On the journey from Viborg, Nørre Snede is the first slightly larger town, along the Hærvej and has been a meeting point for travellers for many centuries. It was the site of a holy spring, dedicated to St. Knud, which attracted many pilgrims and from the remains of ox shelters found in the woods, it is known that drovers used the town as a resting place. The churchyard contains a grave mound, which creates a link with the past, while the romantic periodchurch has a distinctive christening font from the 1100’s with carved lion heads.

Rørbæk Sø

A few kilometers west of the route is the magnificent scenery aroundRørbæk Lake, where you can find hilly terrain with steep slopes, heath lands, juniper bushes and plantations. There are many excellent hiking paths, which offer a wonderful view over the lake, where you can also find campfire and grill facilities, a landscape exhibition and a small cafeteria. South of the lake is the public building Ballesbækgård. You can also take a relaxing canoe trip on Skjernå River.  

Koutrupgård

On the stretch between Koutrup and Tinnet Krat, around 4 km of the Hærvej is nature conservation area, and the route winds through a quiet landscape with woods, heath and meadows. At Koutrupgård, which used to be one of the old wayside inns, a nature centre has been opened, with a nature school and campsite. The area has a large network of hiking trails. 

Sources of the Gudenå and Skjernå

A kilometer west of the Hærvej lie the sources of the Gudenå and Skjernå rivers, which are only a few hundred meters apart. The Skjernå River starts in a small lake and runs westward, becoming Denmark’s largest river before finishing in Ringkøbing Fjord. The Gudenå River has its start in an impressive spring site, running first towards the east and then later northwards, when it empties 160 km later in Randers Fjord, making it the longest river in the country. 

Largest single oak forest in the country

The woodlands west of the Hærvej on this stage, are the largest single connected oak forest in the country. Oak has been part of Denmark’s natural flora, long before beech trees were found. Oaks are often found with several trunks, which is the result of the growth of new shoots, after having been cut down many years ago. Today, the forest is composed mostly of 40 - 60 year old tree trunks, while their roots may be several hundred years old. Part of the forest is maintained as nature conservation woodland.  

Margrethediget

Immediately south of Tinnet is the Margrethediget, a 150 meter long defensive dike constructed perpendicular to the Hærvej. It is not known when the dike was built, or which Margrethe was responsible for it. 

Øster Nykirke

Lying 127 meters above sea level, Øster Nykirke is one of Denmark’s highest situated churches and is an easily identified landmark on the route. The church was built as a pilgrims church in 1150-1200 next to the holy St. Peter spring, where many sought healing. In the spring itself, which today is surrounded by a copy of a Middle Ages well top, pottery fragments have been found, presumably from sacrifices. The water is now still and not very inviting. 

South of Øster Nykirke, the road passes a granite way marker from 1856. The town Kollemorten, just like the Danish feast “Morten’s Eve” is named after “Cold Bishop Martin” - St. Martin of Tours. 

Some of the Hærvej trails south of Givskud are not accessible for either walkers or bicyclists, as they are in fact in Givskud Zoo, and access is restricted - for obvious reasons - to those in motor vehicles. 

givskud bindeballeHiking Stage 17 - Givskud - Jelling - Bindeballe

Map no. 8 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

On the route at Givskud, the Hærvej goes through open farm land, dotted with copses and thickets, and south of Harresø Lake, it turns southeast to the old royal town of Jelling. Further on, the road goes past Fårup Lake, through the Vejle river valley towards Egtved valley and Bindeballe.  

Givskud og Givskud Zoo

Some of the Hærvej trails south of Givskud are not accessible for either walkers or bicyclists, as they are in fact in Givskud Zoo, and access is restricted - for obvious reasons - to those in motor vehicles.

Harresø Kro

Harresø Kro, which dates from 1609, is one of the oldest preserved inns on the Hærvej. It was used by the many drovers on their journey south and the old travelling stalls can still be seen. There were other guests as well and Grundtvig’s regular table can still be seen.

Kongernes Jelling

The walking route goes to Jelling, which is one of the Hærvej’s main attractions and on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.
 
Jelling Church lies between two enormous grave mounds. At the beginning of the 900’s, a 170 m long ship form was built, starting from one of the mounds. A second larger mound was built over the northern mound, presumably by King Harald Bluetooth and a grave chamber from around 958/59 has been found, which is said to be Harald’s father, King Gorm. The south mound was built much later and contains no grave chamber. 

In between the two mounds are two rune stones, known as Denmark’s Birth Certificate. The large stone was erected by Harald Bluetooth, who according to the inscription on the rune, converted the Danes to Christianity. The smaller stone was found in the 1600’s and the inscription states “King Gorm raised this stone in memory of his wife Thyra, jewel of Denmark”. This is the first mention of Denmark by name.

Tørskind Grusgrav

Modern art and landscape melt together to form one unity in the quarry atTørskind Grusgrav. Landscape sculptures are exhibited by Robert Jacobsen and Jean Clareboudt. Different light and the changing seasons, means that each visit brings a new artistic experience. 

Vejle Ådal

Part of the route through the Vejle river valley follows the old Vandel railway, which was closed in 1957.

Bindeballe

Bindeballe Station has a small exhibition on the railway, and offers kitchen, bath and toilet facilities, as well as a small campsite to walkers and cyclists. Keys can be collected from the local shop, which is on the opposite side.

Bindeballe Købmandsgård is a living museum, where you can experience what a village store was like in days of old, and where you can stock up on provisions for the journey. 

bindeballe vejen nyHiking Stage 18 - Bindeballe - Vejen

Map no. 8 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

On the journey from Bindeballe to Vejen you can discover many monuments from the Viking Age, including four large rune stones, or a large open-air market.

Bindeballe

Before leaving Bindeballe you are recommen- ded to visit Bindeballe Købmandsgård founded in 1897, where you can buy local specialities and visit Denmark’s largest living shop museum, 

From here, the walking route goes through Spjarupgård Plantation, the outskirts of Tågelundgård Plantation and in a westerly direction towards Nordbæk Plantation, before again turning south. 

When you are about 5 km north of Bække, the walking route passes a heath land conservation area with a number of rutted tracks. There is access from the rest stop on the Bække - Egtved road.

Hamborggård stone

The 50 ton Hamborggård stone, left behind after the glaciers melted, can be seen north of Bække. It originated from the Åland Islands around 15.000 years ago. According to legend, Harald Bluetooth was having the stone dragged to Jelling, when he heard that his son Sweyn Forkbeard had rebelled against him, and instead left it where it was. 

Klebæk Høje

The route continues to Klebæk Høje, which conceals one of the Hærvej’s most interesting ancient monuments. Around 3000 years ago, during the Bronze Age, two grave mounds were constructed here. Later during the Viking period, they were expanded with a 45 meter long ship form, in the bow of which was a rune stone from around the year 900. There are many wheel ruts over the ship, showing the course of the Hærvej over the years. 

Bække

In Bække, there are shopping facilities as well as tourist information during the summer months at the old bus station, which also has an exhibition on the Hærvej. When you are walking in Bække, you will see that the Hærvej takes you past the 400 year old Bække Kro, by Royal Privilege.

In front of the town’s 800 year old church is another rune stone, found in the ditch around the churchyard in 1807. The stone dates from around 925 AD, but its original location is unknown. 

A little south of Asbo is Mannehøj, the remnants of a grave mound from the older Bronze Age. Previously, rows of grave mounds marked the ancient wandering from Bække via Asbo to Læborg.

Hundsbæk Plantation

After this, you walk north of Vejen, past Hundsbæk Plantation, where you can walk up one of the highest points in Vejen “Fru Mettes Bjerg” or Mrs. Mette’s Hill. 

Læborg

Immediately after the plantation, the route goes down to Læborg, where the land slopes south towards the Kongeå River. Just north of the 800 year oldLæborg Church, is a restored rune stone, with a text describing Queen Thyra, a name which is also repeated on the stone in Bække. It is not however certain that the queen in question is royalty. The word “dronning” for queen was also used as a general mark of respect. 

Just before Vejen, there is a grave mound slightly east of the bicycle route. The mound marks the halfway point between Viborg and Slesvig, and was known in the time of Christian IV as the Halfway Height. 

Vejen

The walking route follows the original Military Road, which has become the main street in Vejen. A large number of the grave mounds on either side of the road have long since been removed. The church in Vejen was built in the romantic style in 1896, but the remains of the original Middle Ages church can still be seen in the churchyard. The Hærvej passes under the railway line, which from 1874 meant that Vejen was considered a large town. 

Vejen Kunstmuseum

While in Vejen, you can visit Vejen Kunstmuseum (Art Gallery), which contains mostly sculptures, ceramics and paintings associated with the local sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen, as well as a special collection from around the 1900’s, and some works relating to the Hærvej. The museum is free of charge.

There is plenty of opportunity for shopping in Vejen, before continuing your journey along the Hærvej. Visit the tourist information office for information on what’s on in town. 

vejen jelsHiking Stage 19 - Vejen - Jels

Map no. 8-9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

This stage offers the beautiful scenery around Kongeå River valley and the lakes at Jels. You cross the Kongeå at Frihedsbroen - the Freedom Bridge, and there are many good stories from the time when the river marked the border between Denmark and Germany. Part of the area is a nature conservation site and it is definitely worth taking a break here to enjoy the countryside.

Askov

From Vejen the Military road goes westward to Askov, which is best known for its traditional high school, founded in 1865, where you are welcome to walk in the park and take in the atmosphere. The church in Askov was built in 1900, designed by the architect Rold Schrøder, who drew inspiration from early Christianity, which gives the building an unusual subdued light.

Skibelund Krat

From Askov, the route turns south to Skibelund Krat, where there is a memorial to many of the people who fought for the rights of South Jutland in the period 1864 - 1920. It has been used as a constitution day meeting place for over a hundred years. One a few km further on is the Freedom Bridge and Kongeå River. The bridge got its name during the period 1864 - 1920 when the river was the border between Denmark and Germany. At that time, the bridge was wooden and the German gendarmes had a sentry box on the south side. 

Kongeåen

Many South Jutlandic people escaped to Denmark across the bridge, while others fought bitterly for their nation’s rights and identity. Among them was the local farm owner H.D. Kloppenborg in Københoved, who built a small stone house north of the bridge, and who would cross the ford towards the west, over to Denmark and wave the Danish flag at the guards, to their great irritation. 

Knagemølle

The route follows the Kongeå River in an easterly direction, through a unique nature and cultural landscape. The river is conservation area between Gredstedbro and Knagemøllen
On the north bank of the river, is a fortification with the remains of the royal Skodborghus castle. Nowadays, the building is bisected by the highway and has had a thatched building attached to it, which was the local customs house until 1920.

On the way along the Kongeå, you will come to one of the old fords used by the Hærvej at Knagemølle, an old mill which was restored in 1960, and which is open to the public. After Knagemølle, the route returns southward past the South Jutlandic town Skodborg, which offers good shopping facilities for travellers. 

Haraldsholm Skov

Immediately before Jels, the route passes through Haraldsholm Skov, which was once state woodland and is assumed to be the remains of the original Farrisskov forest which covered Denmark from Kolding to Ribe. The hurricane in 1999 caused enormous damage to the woodland and felled nearly all older trees. 

Jels

In Jels, the route crosses Jels River, immediately after its origin in Jels Lakes. The town is well known for its windmill from 1859, which was used until 1971 and has since been restored and opened to the public. There is a tourist information office in the mill as well, and there is plenty of opportunity for shopping. 

Another of the town’s landmarks stands in bronze on the banks of the Nedersø Lake - the Jels girl statue. There is also a outdoor swimming pool with recreational area and open-air theatre. The Orion Planetarium is located nearby. 

jels vojensHiking Stage 20 - Jels - Vojens

Map no. 9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The road from Jels to Vojens goes through some beautiful scenery, including Stursbøl Plantation and Oksevad Hede along the Nørreå River. There are lots of entertaining things to do for all the family in Vojens.

Stursbøl Plantation

From Jels, the walking route follows woodland trails through Stursbøl Plantation. There are several places in Stursbøl Plantation, where the route goes on smaller trails of the Hærvej. As the woods are on the top of the ridge, with few streams to cross, it is likely that this route has been used by travellers for thousands of years. The link to ancient times can clearly be seen by the 70 Bronze Age grave mounds which lie close to the Hærvej track. 

South of the woodland is the old Hærvej inn in Stursbøl, which is today known as Café Ellegård. The trail goes south past Prinsens Høj - the Prince’s Hill, through the Oksenvad Hede plantation, which lies along the Nørreå River.

At Slevad Bridge, which is located immediately after leaving Oksenvad Hede, there are clear tracks, showing that the crossing at Slevad and Oksenvad has been used for many years. There is a signpost towards an Iron Age grave mound, which has been excavated and opened to the public, so visitors can see the double stone ring construction.

Vojens

From here the route goes east of Jegdrup, before reaching Vojens, which has atourist information office close to the walking route, as well as plenty of opportunities for shopping. 

Vojens has plenty of opportunities for shopping and to get the latest information on the region’s attractions and activities from the local tourist office. The town is known amongst other things for its speedway track, built by Ole Olsen, Denmark’s first speedway world champion. Vojens also has an excellent go-kart track, and skating rink, sports hall, swimming pool and leisure centre. In other words, there are plenty of fun things to do in Vojens before continuing along the Hærvej.

vojens roedekro nyHiking Stage 21 - Vojens - Rødekro

Map no. 9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

There are a number of cultural treasures on the stretch of the Hærvej between Vojens and Rødekro. You will cross the first of the Hærvej’s characteristic bridges, Immervad Bro. On your journey, you can also see the Hærulf Stone and a little south of Hovslund Stationsby, there is the old Damgård Mill from 1867.

Tørning Mølle

After Vojens, the walking route turns southeast towards Tørning Mølle. In the 14th and 15th centuries, there was conflict between the counts of Holstein and the kings of Denmark, and Tørninghus, South Jutland’s largest castle played a major role. The fortress was on a peninsular in the Haderslev valley, which gave it a strong position to be able to control movement in the region. 

Tørning Mill was built in 1908 and is still a functioning electricity producing water mill today (Open 1st May - First Sunday in September). North of the mill is a mill bridge, which was built by German pioneer soldiers just before the outbreak of the First World War. The park contains many rare trees and there are many recreational areas. The bailiff’s house has been converted into a visitors’ centre with landscape exhibition. 

After Tørning Mill, the route continues south towards Vedsted, which offers shopping facilities, and past a number of Bronze Age mounds by Vedsted Præstevej, down to Vedsted Lake. There is a track around the lake and in the southeast end, an outdoor swimming pool and recreational area. 

Northern Defensive Line

From Ll. Vedbølvej, a track leads up to Pothøj, where on a height on the western side, there is a well preserved observation bunker, part of theNorthern Defensive Line. This was a defensive position across the whole of South Jutland, built from 1916-1918, while the area was under German control. Originally, the line consisted of 900 concrete bunkers, of which 31 have been opened to the public. 

The Hærvej route continues along the edge of the peat bog conservation area in Abkær Mose and Stengelmose. Near the main road between the marshes, about 0,5 km west of the bicycle route is a bird watching tower, which has an excellent view over the whole area. 

Immervad Bro

Afterwards, the journey continues towards the Immervad River, where theImmervad Bridge, has been the main crossing point since 1776. The bridge is built of cut stone, and was presumably originally wooden, although the name Immervad suggests that this was a ford before the bridges were built. 

Hærulfstenen

Immediately outside Hovslund Stationsby is a remarkable rune stone at the side of the road.

The inscription is not long - only the name Hærulf or “Hairulfr” as it was written in the 900’s. The stone was moved to Berlin as spoils of war in 1864 and was first returned in 1952, where it now stands in its original place. 

In the same location, slightly east of the road is a Bronze Age mound - Strangelshøj, with a 2 m high standing stone close by. A legend says that the stone turns around when it smells bread! There is access to the mound and stone from the rest stop on the road. 

Damgård Mølle

A few km after Hovslund Stationsby, you can make a short diversion of around one km west of the Hærvej to Damgaard Mill, which dates from 1867 and has been beautifully restored. Previously used as a buckwheat mill, the working parts are still intact and it is considered to be the best preserved in Denmark. There is access to the mill from the main road under the railway, or via Hovslund Stationsby (Open 1st April - 1st November 10-17) 

Vendersvold

Further along, the route passes through Øster Løgum, where a few kilometers south of which is a fortification dating back to the late 200’s, the Vendersvold. The site was originally around 3 km long, of which 500 m can still be seen today. It consists of a moat and ditch the north, which today is an access track. From the Hærvej, there is access from the rest stop on Andholmvej. 1700 years after the fortification was finished, a second defensive system was built on the same site. On the western side, there is a well preserved cannon battery, the Andholmbattery, from the Northern Defensive Line. 

Rødekro

The Hærvej goes straight past the old inn in Rødekro and on through the main road in the town. Normally inns are named after the town where they are located, but Rødekro is an exception as the town inherited its name from the inn in 1642. There are good shopping facilities in Rødekro. 

Slightly south of Rødekro near Rise Church is a way marker from the time of Christian VII, with the inscription “Weg nach Flensburg und Sleswich”. The romantic period church with distinctive wall studs in the tower, contains well preserved inventory from the Middle Ages. 

roedekro kliplevHiking Stage 22 - Rødekro - Kliplev

Map no. 9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

This stage will take you back in time, to Urnehoved Mindepark, where the stones narrate the story of some of the dramatic events which have unfolded in this region. You can also see the most beautiful bridge on the route, Povls Bro and the oldest wooden building in Denmark, the church tower of Kliplev Church.

Hjordkjær

From Rødekro, the walking route goes south past Rise and Søst, after which it takes the direction around an industrial area, northeast of Hjordkær, where agrave has been excavated, which has been used by both Stone Age and Bronze Age people. The reconstructed Stone Age grave is built around a stone wheel, which was an important symbol of the sun god. 

There is shopping in Hjordkær, where you can stock up before continuing your journey. South of Hjordkær, around 10 km of the Hærvej is conservation area. The stretch is gravelled, although motor vehicles are permitted. 

Urnehoved Mindepark

At Urnehoved Mindepark, there is a rest stop, which is widely considered to have been the regional assembly. Ever region had its assembly during the Middle Ages, and for South Jutland, it was at Urnehoved, where it was used until 1523. A number of memorial stones have been erected in the grove which was planted from 1946 - 1948, which tell the story of many of the dramatic events which have happened at Urnehoved.

Povls bro

After the protected Hærvej route has passed by Årtoft Plantation, you will cross Bjerndrup River on the Hærvej’s most beautiful bridge - Povls bro. The single arched bridge, built in 1744 is an ideal place to take a break and admire the construction. The stone are built in a keystone arch, holding each other under pressure and in position. 

Kliplev

The route leads now towards the west and around Kliplev, but if need provisions, you can turn east instead into town. The town was an important pilgrimage during the Middle Ages, on account of St. Hjælper. A crucifix in Kliplev Church was viewed to be a picture of the saint, even though it was probably a picture of Christ. The crucifix has since disappeared, but Kliplev Church is still unique as the free standing clock tower is the oldest preserved wooden building in Denmark, dating from 1300.

kliplev padborgHiking Stage 23 - Kliplev - Padborg

Map no. 9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

On the route from Kliplev to Padborg you will see the last of the Hærvej’s old bridges at Gejlå, built in 1818. The route stops at “The bent road” right next to the border.

Gejlå bro

When you have passed Kliplev, the route turns southwest to Bjerndrupgård, after which it again turns south to the Gejlå, north of Bommerlund Plantation. Here you can see Gejlå Bridge, which consists of two stone arches, and was built in 1818. The stones are mortared together, unlike the older Povls Bro(see section Rødekro - Kliplev). A ford was once located here across the river and the flat stones can still be seen under the bridge. 

200 m south of the bridge was an inn, Bommerlund Kro, although only a marker stone remains today. 

After this, you continue along the Hærvej through Bommerlund Plantation, where there are a number of stones with inscriptions. They are not rune stones! 

Slightly south of Gejlå is the old shire border, and a marker stone can still be seen on the old road for Vis Herred (Wies 1778). Opposite is a way marker, showing the direction to Løgumkloster. 

The other stones in the plantation are road duty stones, which date from between 1770 and 1900, and are still in their original locations. In past centuries, road maintenance was the responsibility of farmers, who often lived a long way from the section of the road for which they were responsible. The stones showed which part of the road, each individual farm was required to keep in good order.

"Den Krumme Vej"

From the plantation, the journey continues past Østerbæk, past one of the Hærvej’s hostels and down to Bov, where there are shops. Before reaching the border, the route goes south of Bov to Røndamsvej, which is named after an old inn. The road is also known as “Den Krumme Vej” - the bent road, and is the old road to Flensburg. Part of the road still has the old cobble stones. 

“The bent road” stops at the border, but you can continue your journey along the border down the historic Gendarme path south to Padborg and north and east to Kruså. The Gendarme path continues along Flensburg Fjord to Høruphav.

Gendarmstien

After Reunification in 1920, the Gendarmerie guarded the new border and controlled the passage of ships along Flensburg Fjord. As they patrolled by foot until 1958, this gave rise to the name of the path. The County of South Jutland reestablished the path as a walking track from Padborg, past Kruså, along Flensburg Fjord, around Broager Land and on to Als. The route is signposted with a blue gendarme and the County has published information folders on the signposted sections. The route is 72 km and is described here.

Follow the Hærvej further on the Ox Road (Ochsenweg) in Germany. The route goes from the Danish-German border to Hamburg.

frederikshavn jyskeAasCycling Stage 1 - Frederikshavn - Jyske Ås

Map no. 4 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

This stretch of the Ancient Road takes you through the beautiful hillscape southwest of the town of Frederikshavn. Initially along country lanes through the river valley of Bangsbo Ådal, then by gravel road through the area of Hestvang and the rolling landscape to the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgård. From there you head through across a vast plateau, which is an old reclaimed inlet that branches out from Østervrå. This stretch ends at Nymølle Bæk, a stream that is one of the most amazing natural areas of the region of Vendsyssel, just at the edge of the hills of Jyske Ås.

The Bangsbo area

In Frederikshavn, the Ancient Road starts at the town’s tourist office. From here there are just a few kilometres to the Bangsbo area where there are many experiences and places to enjoy. Among the attractions are Bangsbo Deer ParkBangsbo Botanical GardenBangsbo MuseumBangsbo Manor, a nature playground, etc. You can also take a detour up the hill ofPikkerbakken to enjoy views of the town and Ålbæk Bugt bay – you can even see as far as Skagen on a good day, the very tip of Denmark.

Continuing from Bangsbo you head through the beautiful Bangsbo Ådal river valley past the Neolithic burial site of Donbæk and the prehistoric barrows of Kongehøjene.

Kongehøj and Borgbjerg

Kongehøj and Borgbjerg, which can be seen from the road, are part of Donbæk Gravplads, a prehistoric burial site with 60 barrows, which are spread over a narrow strip of hills. Here, a number of Neolithic urn graves were discovered in the early 1900s in addition to a number of different objects, including a gold bracelet.

Archaeologically, this is a very exciting location where new discoveries are made every few years. There is public access to the area, so you are free to wander through and explore the barrows.

From Bangsbo Ådal river valley, you turn south along Hestvangsvej, which is a relatively long gravel road that meanders through the beautiful rolling countryside. Here you’ll feel very much off the beaten track.

Having travelled the gravel road you will cross the Ancient Roads Hiking Trail. If you turn east approx. 500 meters along the hiking route you will find a nice and peaceful shelter by the children’s institution Granly. You can read more about it here.

Karup and Hørbylund

Leaving the hiking route you continue through a hilly landscape to Karup. From there you follow the hiking route approx. 4 km past Karup Church and a sacred spring called Helligøbben. You also pass the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgård and you are now about halfway between the town of Frederikshavn and the hills of Jyske Ås.

Gersholt Lake

The trip from Hørbylund to Østervrå runs along more open and flat stretches, leading you around the many hills so you can pedal a little faster. Along the way you pass a village called Søholt and the lake of Gersholt, which is the largest in the region of Vendsyssel. At Søholt a regional cycling route (Route 61) leads from Tolne to Skiveren.

The last stretch before Østervrå runs on a plateau offering a wide-open view of the landscapes of central Vendsyssel. You will be travelling across what used to be the end of an old inlet called Volstrupsletten. This is how far the sea used to reach Østervrå.

Østervrå

In Østervrå you can stock up on provisions. Here you will also find a swimming pool where you can enjoy a perhaps much-needed shower.

In addition, you will find a small shelter in Østervrå, which is situated by the sports field on Bredgade.

Nymølle Bæk

From Østervrå you ride along country lanes through a scenic and peaceful area. You pass the stream of Voer Å, which runs into the sea at Voerså.

At the nature reserve by Nymølle Bæk, a meandering brook, you once again cross the hiking route. Right here we recommend that you take a break from biking and walk to Nymølle Bæk, one of the most scenic trips in Vendsyssel. Here you will find beech forests, meadows, heaths, grasslands, rivers, lakes and alder bogs.

If you follow the hiking route along Nymølle Bæk you will cross the beautiful old ashlar stone bridge, which was constructed at some point after the 1600s – the date is unknown.

Ingeborg Skeel (approx. 1545-1604) was a landowner at Voergaard Castle and also owned a glassworks by Nymølle Bæk in the late 1500s. There, where once the glassworks lay, you can still find shards of glass.

Accommodation

Having passed the Nymølle Bæk area, the route continues along the country lanes. After a few kilometres, the Ancient Road Cycling Route turns left – to the south. But if you are looking for accommodation, you should continue to the right (towards west) down the regional cycling route (Route 60). After approx. 500 meters you will come to a large shelter, namely Naturskole Lunken.

If, instead, you continue south down the Ancient Road Cycling Route you will soon arrive at a major road, and if you leave the route here and continue left (i.e. to the east) you will after 1.5 kilometres come to a small town called Brønden where there is a very nice shelter.

jyskeAas hammerBakkerCycling Stage 2 - Jyske Ås - Hammer Bakker

Map no. 4-5 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The Haervej trail through South-east Vendsyssel is marked by the conspicuous Jutlandic Ridge with the highest hills in Northern Jutland, higher than anything in Rold Forest. Here the glaciers in the last Ice Age deposited heaps of debris in an end moraine; sand, clay and gravel, in a hilly area along the melting edges of the glacier. The trail goes along this partly wooded, hilly highland with a varied nature. To the north east is the broad valley, Voerådal, and to the south are the lowlands, stretching all the way around Nørresundby where the Ice-Age sea has leveled the hills.

Jyske Ås

Where Håndsbækvej enters the ridge and then one kilometer to the west is Brønderslev Municipal Nature School ‘Lunken' . Here you find bathrooms, covered tables and benches and a big shelter camp.

At the top of Fejborg Hill, by the passage, you find info about the area and a long barrow to the north, from where you have a fantastic view to the east. The whole area on both sides of the ridge has an unusual amount of burial mounds. Fejborg Hill prompts you to descend to the east, 5% decline over 600 meters, mentioned in the Biggest Hills in Denmark, to Brønden with a shelter camp and a cheese shop on Fridays, 1.3 kilometers from the hilltop.

There is a sign at the shelter camp Slettingen, which has running water and a soil toilet. The barren hills used to be the haunts of social rejects of the area, living in caves dug into the slopes. The long arm of the law did not stretch that far, and assaults on travelers along the ridge were not uncommon. In 1841, the inhabitants were driven to take the the law into their own hands, so seven ‘good citizens’ convened to fight it out with some lawless, young men in Stagsted Poor House. This resulted in the Stagsted Heath Murders which left four dead before the authorities reacted. A memorial stone is erected on Stagstedhedevej east of the route.

100 meters along Østermarksvej you find a parking lot with information. Follow the red route 300 meter south west to the vantage point at 57o16’8’’N – 10o12’Ø through an enclosure with friendly Iceland horses – and do remember to shut the gate when you leave!

On a clear day you can see Børglum Kloster, and if the sun hits the cliffs, you can also see Rubjerg Knude by the North Sea.  

Grevmose lakes

On the top of the ridge, bogs have formed on top of clay, and after peat-digging, this has become the Grevsmose Lakes.

Further along Bjørnbakvej, from the top of a recently planted and fenced area, you have a view to Voerådalen and all the way to Kattegat between Holtbjerg and Agersted Hills.

The road is in the watershed on top of the Ridge, but on your way down on the north-eastern side of the Ridge you may see some of the brooks that run into Voer Brook. Freeway E3 runs across the Ridge in an old wheel track which the Forest and Nature Agency considered a thoroughfare in the pass when it was established, the only one of its kind in Denmark. Over E3 and the old Ålborg road we find Denmark’s first fauna passage, and it is now used by all animals, deer as well.

The fauna passage ends on the south-eastern slope at Dannerhøj, so named at Frederik VII’s and Countess Danner’s visit in 1852, on which occasion the inhabitants promised to celebrate the Consitution annually, and they have kept that promise so far.

3.7 kilometers north east along Ålborgvej is Flauenskjold with a shop and a ”Hay Hotel" with good facilities for horse and horseman alike, even if the horseman comes by ’steel horse’. The Jutlandic Ridge Trail, Northern Jutland’s first trail project, continues along Stenbakkevej, where there is a shelter camp with water and a soil toilet.

Cross Dorfgade, one of the passages across the Ridge, and the name of which goes back centuries.

Dorf Møllegård

2 kilometers to the east along the lovely winding and hilly asphalt road you find Dorf Møllegård with both a watermill and a windmill, as well as a coffee lounge and a Museum of Hunting and Fishing in Northern Jutland.

Voergård castle

Further  4.5 kilometers to the north east is Voergaard Castle, built by Bishop Stygge Krumpen in the 1520s, and enlarged by Ingeborg Skeel in 1590 with Jutland’s most beautiful and most adorned Renaissance house. Her ladyship’s fantastic 7.5 meters tall epitaph is close to Voer Church. Stygge Krumpen’s last happy days are relived annually in mid-July at the Medieval Days at Voergaard.

From Dorfgade you continue into the highest and most hilly part of the Ridge. The gravel roads here are not suited for racing bikes. If you prefer asphalt, you can go to Dronninglund from Dorf Mill via Storskovvej, which will bring you close to Knøsen, the highest point at 136 meter, and descend at great speed along 1.75 kilometers with a fall of 3.4%.

Sømosen

If you follow the Haervej, you pass close by the west end of Sømosen before you get to Lilleskovvej.  For half a century around 1900, Sømosen was the winter quarters of migrant families traveling with their circuses, tivolis, knife-grinding carts and other minor trades. In its heyday, Sømosen had 40 families dwelling here every winter, all of them with scores of children. The family names of Altenburg, Mundeling, Hertzberg and Benneweis doscument that modern circuses have their roots here.

The route also passes Ottemose on Tusbrovej, the old  Nr.Sundby-Sæby royal route, and round Markedsdalen where Hjallerup Market was held up till 1744. Go by Dronninglund Art Center and golf course. The Art Center is one of its kind. Built by a local craftsman who had made a fortune in Greenland, taken over by Tvind, and then repurchased by the locals who run the center with volunteers. There are varying exhibitions, a café with lunches and an art shop.

Dronninglund castle

On Kirkevej you go toward Dronninglund Castle. Today, it is a hotel and a restaurant etc., but formerly it was Hundslund Monastery from 1200 to 1536, manor and summer residence of the queen and the princess. Its present look is owing to the efforts of Count Moltke’s renovation in 1754. The formermonastery church has fine frescos from the days of Stygge Krumpen, among which is a frieze with three heathen, three Jewish and three Christian heroes and a gallery for lords from 1600 with images of seven half-naked Roman gods (!).

2 kilometers to the east, the town of Dronninglund offers opportunities for eating and shopping. The town was established in the 1890s when a pharmacy attracted a veterinarian, a doctor and a local hospital.

Hjallerup

On the way to Hjallerup you may see eight of the area’s many burial mounds, several of them long barrows, lying close together along Himmerigsvej at Langdyssevej. Galgehøjene and the 90 meter long Pyldbyrsdysse are to the north before you reach the freeway.

In Hjallerup, they have the annual horse and huckster fair in early June. Hjallerup has plenty of shops and a hotel.

The trail continues to Hammer Hills along the old Sæby-Sundby Highway that served as a main thoroughfare or royal route for ages. In Princess Sofie Hedvig’s time, the road across the wet meadows were covered twice a year with rice strewn across the wheel tracks to prevent the carriages from sinking into the mire. The old road continues along the field track and Kongsvænget toward Hammer Hills.

Cycling Stage 3 - Hammer Bakker - Svenstrup

Map no. 5 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Description coming soon.

Cycling Stage 4 - Svenstrup - Arden

Map no. 5-6 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Description coming soon.

Cycling Stage 5 - Arden - Hvornum

Map no. 6 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

Description coming soon.

hvornum viborgCycling Stage 6 - Hvornum - Viborg

Map no. 6 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

On this part of the Haervej Trail you travel between the Viking Age, medieval times in Viborg and the present day – and the entire world will be at your feet.

Map of the World

From Hvornum you pass Trinderup Krat close by Klejtrup Lake where you find the Map of the World; a miniature edition of the world complete with lakes, rivers, mountains and flags. The 5,000 m2 map is built by the Danish-American Søren Poulsen between 1944 and 1969 and lies in a green area along the shores of the lake. There is a shop, a cafeteria, and a lunch area with a view to the entire world. In Klejtrup you find a grocer and a pizzeria.

Beautiful natur- and culturlandscapes by Lindum Woods

The trail crosses the brook Skals Å and passes through the beautiful Lindum Woods which is owned mostly by the Tjele Estate. The view from the vantage points in the woods is spectacular. In several places, you have a view to Lindum town and church and of all of Tjele Lake. The area is rich on fauna and flora. In the fields, you can hear the lark sing from early spring. At dawn and dusk you may chance to see grazing deer or spot hares pressing against the ground. There are numerous tales of dramatic events in these parts, and place names like the Wolf Hills, the Bridge Cave, The Rørdals Cave and Kvindsø testify to horrors of the past. The earliest traces of people in the area are burial mounds from antiquity and flint-tool finds.

Tjele Lake and Bigum

The trail continues in Bigum Woods. You may opt for a side trip to Bigum Town in its beautiful surroundings close to the woods and Tjele Lake. At Bigum is a recreational area with a bathing jetty, a playground, tables, benches and bathrooms. With its 10 kilometers, Tjele Lake is the longest lake in Denmark. In Bigum is also an old passage grave with free admission. The grave has been in use throughout three periods with a thousand years in between.

Vammen

Bike on to Vammen where you find an inn, a camp site and a grocer. Vammen Lake shore is a big, recreational area which is a splendid sight all year round, not least because of its rich birdlife.

Sødal Woods and Sødal Manor

On the way south to Rødding, you may take a detour west of Torup to Sødal Woods and see Sødal Manor which consists of a brick-built main wing from 1865 and the older and valuable half-timbered side wings from 1603. Originally, Sødal Manor, then called Stapelgård, stood one kilometer west of the present building, and belonged to Chamberlain Rane Johnson who was declared an outlaw for his participation in the murder of King Erik Klipping. At the behest of Erik Menved, the manor was torn down, moved to its present location and renamed Sødal. Sødal Woods are 480 acres of mixed woods of fir, beech and oak, and it stretches from Vrå and the fields of Sødalgård to the border of Vammen Parish.

Rødding Lake

The trail leads on to the village of Rødding and Rødding Lake. The lake was recreated in 2004 after having been dried out for nearly a century. The lake and its surroundings are now a natural resort with many opportunities for experiences and activities. There is a marked-out trail around the lake which is 2.6 kilometers long. There are tables, benches, a bonfire place, bathrooms and a grocer in town.

The Flower Farm by Neder Kokholm

On the way to Viborg, you can make a side trip to Blomstergården (’the Flower Farm’) at Neder Kokholm. It exhibits 1000 different species and has one of the largest collections of fuchsia in Northern Europe. You may also see rare summer flowers and other plants in the blooming garden. In addition, Blomstergården has an impressive collection of fruit trees - a pometum.

Go on to Viborg, biking between Viborg Lakes And have a beautiful view to theCathedral.

viborg thorningCycling Stage 7 - Viborg - Thorning

Map no. 7 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The Hærvej’s bicycle route follows passes Viborg, and comes from the North between the lakes and turns south out of the town to The Hald area and the Dollerup hills.

Viborg

Before pedalling off, you should really take some time to see Viborg, the gateway to the Hærvej.Viborg Cathedral towers over the town, only a few hundred meters away from the Middle Ages Dominican Sortebrødre church, and the narrow old town streets. 
You can find more information on what to see and do in Viborg here...

Borgvold

From Borgvold and the cathedral, follow the bicycle path out of town. The path goes past Søndermark church, where the 10 meter long Hærvej carpet is exhibited.

Hald Ege

On your way through Viborg Plantation towards the town hidden in the forest, Hald Ege, you can see the Hærvej stone, a granite roller set on end. The text on the stone is by author Peter Seeberg “Traders, warriors, carters, coachmen, riders, drovers, travellers, horses, oxen, geese, the earnest, the good and the bad...”

The story of the Red Barracks in Hald Ege is narrated in the little museum, the Hald Ege Collection. 

Hald Ege church was built in the 1960’s by Inger and Johannes Exner, while the silverwork of the altar was a co-operation with the goldsmiths Helga and Bent Exner.  

Dollerup Bakker

South of Hald Ege, the route passes Hald Hovedgård manor, Niels Bugges inn and the hills of Dollerup Bakker - an area with a unique concentration of culture and natural history. Hald Hovedgård manor is built on the ruins of four previous manors, Niels Bugges Hald is a circle shaped moat by Niels Bugges inn, and on a peninsular in the lake, there are the remains of an old castle, built by the last Catholic bishop of Viborg, Jørgen Friis. 

The landscape is dramatic, created by the ice mass and melting water during the last ice age, with Dollerup hills in the east, and the flat heath land in the west. The region is one of the most important borders between different landscapes and is known as the one of the jewels of Denmark’s ice age geology.

There is an exhibition in Hald Hovedgård on the region’s nature and culture, where you can see models of the landscape and gain an understanding of the effect the ice masses had on the area. There is a also a sitting area, making it a good place to take a break, and the most northerly of the hostels along the Hærvej can also be found here. It is well worth while taking a short detour to the heather clad Dollerup Bakker hills, where there is a fantastic view overHald Lake towards Viborg. If the weather is suitable, there is a bathing area at the southern end of Hald Lake. On towards the south, there is the village of Skelhøje.

Thorning

Thorning village is particularly known for the writer Steen Steensen Blicher, who was the local priest from 1819 - 1825 and who wrote widely about the region. He lived in the rectory, which has now been converted into the Blicher Museum, which shows information about the region as well as life in Blicher’s time. The museum gives an excellent introduction to the region before continuing the journey along the Hærvej. 
In Thorning you can find a supermarket and a bakery.  

thorning funderKirkebyCycling Stage 8 - Thorning - Funder Kirkeby

Map no. 7 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The route follows small, less trafficked roads from Thorning to Funder Kirkeby and cuts through the village of Kragelund. Towards the west are the flat, sandy areas which used to be heath land, but today are pine plantations. 

Grathe Hede

Grathe Heath, south of Thorning is the location of many royal feuds. In 1157, Svend Grathe fell in battle against Valdemar the Great, and a cross has been erected in his memory at Grågårde. The battle marked the victory of Jutland over soldiers from Skåne and Zealand, and is an example of how the Hærvej lived up to its name. 

Kragelund

The route goes past a large romantic period village church in Kragelund, which has beautifully decorated granite portals. Near the church is a construction from the 1920’s called Helledammen, named after the holy spring. The works, which were rebuilt in 1987, contain a combination of new and old stones, including a rune stone, a town centre stone, a new memorial for Blicher and Dalgas as well as a block with the text “Death will also find you”. There are tables and chairs onsite, so you can take a break and perhaps ponder the meaning of the inscription. 

Kragelund has shopping facilities and a hostel. West of the village is the protected area of Stenholt woods, as well as Bølling Lake and Klosterlund Museum and Nature Centre. 

In the neighbouring village Funder Kirkeby, you can see Funder church, an old Hærvej church, where traces of the Hærvej can be seen only a few hundred meters away to the west. 

funderKirkeby nrSnedeCycling Stage 9 - Funder Kirkeby - Nr. Snede

Map no. 7 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The journey from Funder Kirkeby to Nr. Snede is a treat for nature lovers. You cycle through Skærbæk Plantation with its wonderful heath land, while north of Vrads is a sandy area with dunes, heather and lakes. You will also pass by the protected Tingdal lakes, where the rare water lobelia grows on the lake bottom.

Funder

The route crosses Funder River, south of the village of Funder itself and east of the ridge. There is a marked contrast between the river valley and the flat lands towards the west.  

Skærbæk Plantage

The route crosses Funder River, south of the village of Funder itself and east of the ridge. There is a marked contrast between the river valley and the flat lands towards the west. 

In Skærbæk Plantation, there are many attractive heath lands with juniper bushes.

Vrads

North of Vrads, is the sandy heath land, with dunes. The heath has both moist and dry areas and there is much juniper and broom, as well as erica, bilberries and cranberries. 

Vrads also has a village store and campsite.

Tingdalsøerne

The Tingdal lakes are Rævsø, Grane Langsø, Kalgård Sø and Kongsø, which are extremely clean, clear water lakes, low in nutrients. The lakes and their surroundings are protected, as they are vulnerable to human impact, and it is not permitted to walk on the bare banks, or bathe, fish or sail in the lakes. Torup Lake is a normal lake, with access to the eastern bank. 

The lakes are mostly surrounded by woods and heath lands. West of Kålgård Sø and Kongsø is Kongsø Heath, which is subject to nature landscaping, to prevent the area becoming overgrown, and to keep the heather trimmed. There is a small artificial lake on the heath, with the remains of an old hill fort “Hansborg”. There are marked trails and information boards as well throughout the area. 

From here, the route goes through Palsgaard Skov woodland, where you can visit the Palsgaard Skov museum and the Tourist Information Office in the old forest warden’s cottage. 

Nørre Snede

On the journey from Viborg, Nørre Snede is the first slightly larger town, along the Hærvej and has been a meeting point for travellers for many centuries. It was the site of a holy spring, dedicated to St. Knud, which attracted many pilgrims and from the remains of ox shelters found in the woods, it is known that drovers used the town as a resting place. The churchyard contains a grave mound, which creates a link with the past, while the romantic period church has a distinctive christening font from the 1100’s with carved lion heads.  

nrsnede givskud nyCycling Stage 10 - Nr. Snede - Givskud

Map no. 7-8 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

From Nr. Snede to Givskud there is a beautiful conservation area through which the Hærvej passes. You can see the great watershed, where the longest river in Denmark, the Gudenå and the largest in water volume, Skjernå, both have their sources, only a few hundred meters apart. 

Rørbæk Sø

The journey will also bring you past Denmark’s largest oak forest, an Iron Age fortification and a Middle Ages pilgrim church. You should also take a diversion to the beautiful area near Rørbæk Lake, west of the Hærvej.
A few kilometers west of the route is the magnificent scenery around Rørbæk Lake, where you can find hilly terrain with steep slopes, heath lands, juniper bushes and plantations. There are many excellent hiking paths, which offer a wonderful view over the lake, where you can also find campfire and grill facilities, a landscape exhibition and a small cafeteria. South of the lake is the public building Ballesbækgård. You can also take a relaxing canoe trip on Skjernå River.

Koutrupgård

On the stretch between Koutrup and Tinnet Krat, around 4 km of the Hærvej is nature conservation area, and the route winds through a quiet landscape with woods, heath and meadows. At Koutrupgård, which used to be one of the old wayside inns, a nature centre has been opened, with a nature school and campsite. The area has a large network of hiking trails.

The sources of the Gudenå and Skjernå

A kilometer west of the Hærvej lie the sources of the Gudenå and Skjernå rivers, which are only a few hundred meters apart. The Skjernå River starts in a small lake and runs westward, becoming Denmark’s largest river before finishing in Ringkøbing Fjord. The Gudenå River has its start in an impressive spring site, running first towards the east and then later northwards, when it empties 160 km later in Randers Fjord, making it the longest river in the country.

Tinnet Krat

The woodlands west of the Hærvej on this stage, are the largest single connected oak forest in the country. Oak has been part of Denmark’s natural flora, long before beech trees were found. Oaks are often found with several trunks, which is the result of the growth of new shoots, after having been cut down many years ago. Today, the forest is composed mostly of 40 - 60 year old tree trunks, while their roots may be several hundred years old. Part of the forest is maintained as nature conservation woodland. 

Margrethediget

Immediately south of Tinnet is the “Margrethediget”, a 150 meter long defensive dike constructed perpendicular to the Hærvej. It is not known when the dike was built, or which Margrethe was responsible for it. Remains of weapons and stone fireplaces have been found, and in the dike itself, even an iron cannonball. King Frederik VII erected the conservation stone in 1861.

St. Peter Spring

Lying 127 meters above sea level, Øster Nykirke is one of Denmark’s highest situated churches and is an easily identified landmark on the route. The church was built as a pilgrims church in 1150-1200 next to the holy St. Peter spring, where many sought healing. In the spring itself, which today is surrounded by a copy of a Middle Ages well top, pottery fragments have been found, presumably from sacrifices. The water is now still and not very inviting. 

South of Øster Nykirke, the road passes a granite way marker from 1856. The town Kollemorten, just like the Danish feast “Morten’s Eve” is named after “Cold Bishop Martin” - St. Martin of Tours. 

Givskud

On the road towards Givskud, the Hærvej crosses open farmland with small woodland thickets. Some of the Hærvej trails south of Givskud are not accessible for either walkers or bicyclists, as they are in fact in Givskud Zoo, and access is restricted - for obvious reasons - to those in motor vehicles. 

givskud bindeballeCycling Stage 11 - Givskud - Bindeballe

Map no. 8 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

On the route from Givskud to Bindeballe, the journey is mostly through woodlands. Take a break in your way to Jelling, a few kilometers to the east, where you can see a World Heritage site. Nørup has a baroque church and Engelsholm Castle, and at Bindeballe Købmandsgård store, you can go shopping just like in the olden days.

Givskud

Some of the Hærvej trails south of Givskud are not accessible for either walkers or bicyclists, as they are in fact in Givskud Zoo, and access is restricted - for obvious reasons - to those in motor vehicles.  

Harresø Kro

Harresø Kro, which dates from 1609, is one of the oldest preserved inns on the Hærvej. It was used by the many drovers on their journey south and the old travelling stalls can still be seen. There were other guests as well and Grundtvig’s regular table can still be seen. The route does not go through Jelling and if you wish to visit the town, turn west in Mølvang, about 7 km south of Givskud. 

From the Hærvej bicycle route, you can go a few kilometers south to see Nørup Church, with its beautiful baroque interior. Nørup is located on the banks of Engelsholm Lake, with a view across the water to Engelsholm Castle, which like the church, has an onion dome. Nowadays, the castle is used as a high school and there is free access to the park.

Firhøje

Slightly north of Randbøl Church, the Hærvej bicycle route passes "Firhøje", four Bronze Age mounds situated on an open heath. From the bilberry clad mounds, there is an excellent view over the heather to many other mounds.

Kong Ran's Mound

King Ran’s Mound can be seen in the churchyard at Randbøl. According to ancient legend, King Ran fell in combat at the Kongeådal valley near Gødding forest. Try a diversion at Randbøldal Museum.  

Bindeballe

Bindeballe Station, a few kilometers west of the route, has a small exhibition on the railway, and offers kitchen, bath and toilet facilities, as well as a small campsite to walkers and cyclists,. 
Keys can be collected from the local shop. 

Bindeballe Købmandsgård

Bindeballe Købmandsgård is a living museum, where you can experience what a village store was like in days of old, and where you can stock up on provisions for the journey. 

bindeballe vejen nyCycling Stage 12 - Bindeballe - Vejen

Map no. 8 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

On the journey from Bindeballe to Vejen you can discover many monuments from the Viking Age, including four large rune stones, or a large open-air market. On the way south, you will see the first rune stone on a small mound, west of the road. The stone was about to be broken up and used for road paving, until the runes were discovered on it.

Vorbasse

A little further south, there is a chance to visit Vorbasse, located only a few km from the Hærvej. The “Holy Body” spring which was once churchyard at Vorbasse, used to attract many sick people, who wanted to be healed. 
The influx of so many pilgrims, was very good for trade and Vorbasse market was the result, at one time the centre for ox trading. 
These days the market is more general and is held on the penultimate weekend in July.

Hamborggårdstenen

The 50 ton Hamborggård stone, left behind after the glaciers melted, can be seen north of Bække. It originated from the Åland Islands around 15.000 years ago. According to legend, Harald Bluetooth was having the stone dragged to Jelling, when he heard that his son Sweyn Forkbeard had rebelled against him, and instead left it where it was. 

Klebæk Høje

The route continues to Klebæk Høje, which conceals one of the Hærvej’s most interesting ancient monuments. Around 3000 years ago, during the Bronze Age, two grave mounds were constructed here. Later during the Viking period, they were expanded with a 45 meter long ship form, in the bow of which was a rune stone from around the year 900. There are many wheel ruts over the ship, showing the course of the Hærvej over the years.

Bække

In Bække, there are shopping facilities as well as tourist information during the summer months at the old bus station, which also has an exhibition on the Hærvej. 
The Hærvej takes you past the 400 year old Bække Kro, by Royal Privilege. In front of the town’s 800 year old church is another rune stone, found in the ditch around the churchyard in 1807. The stone dates from around 925 AD, but its original location is unknown. 
A little south of Asbo is Mannehøj, the remnants of a grave mound from the older Bronze Age. Previously, rows of grave mounds marked the ancient wandering from Bække via Asbo to Læborg.

Hundsbæk Plantation

A small detour to the west of the route just before Læborg, leads you into Hundsbæk plantation where you for instance can walk up to one of the highest points in the road "Mrs. Mette bjerg" The history about the hill says that the young Mrs. Mette was married to a nobleman and was in love with a young lad, and secretly met him on top of the hill. The affair resulted in a child and in her desperation to hide the affair to her husband, killed Mrs. Mette the child and buried it on the hill. 

Rune stone at Lærborg Church

Just north of the 800 year old Læborg Church, is a restored rune stone, with a text describing Queen Thyra, a name which is also repeated on the stone in Bække. 

Just before Vejen, there is a grave mound slightly east of the bicycle route. The mound marks the halfway point between Viborg and Slesvig, and was known in the time of Christian IV as the Halfway Height. 

Vejen has plenty of opportunity for shopping, and to get more information about the region’s attractions and activities at the local tourist office. 

Church in Vejen

The church in Vejen was built in the romantic style in 1896, but the remains of the original Middle Ages church can still be seen in the churchyard. The Hærvej passes under the railway line, which from 1874 meant that Vejen was considered a large town. 

Vejen Kunstmuseum

Vejen Kunstmuseum (Art Gallery) contains mostly sculptures, ceramics and paintings associated with the local sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen, as well as a special collection from around the 1900’s, and some works relating to the Hærvej. The museum is free of charge.

vejen jelsCycling Stage 13 - Vejen - Jels

Map no. 8-9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

This stage offers the beautiful scenery around Kongeå River valley and the lakes at Jels. You cross the Kongeå at Frihedsbroen - the Freedom Bridge, and there are many good stories from the time when the river marked the border between Denmark and Germany. Part of the area is a nature conservation site and it is definitely worth taking a break here to enjoy the countryside.

Askov

From Vejen the Hærvej goes westward to Askov, which is best known for its traditional high school, founded in 1865, where you are welcome to walk in the park and take in the atmosphere. 
The church in Askov was built in 1900, designed by the architect Rold Schrøder, who drew inspiration from early Christianity, which gives the building an unusual subdued light.

Skibelund Krat

From Askov, the route turns south to Skibelund Krat, where there is a memorial to many of the people who fought for the rights of South Jutland in the period 1864 - 1920. It has been used as a constitution day meeting place for over a hundred years. 

Frihedsbroen

One a few km further on is the Freedom Bridge and Kongeå River. 
The bridge got its name during the period 1864 - 1920 when the river was the border between Denmark and Germany. At that time, the bridge was wooden and the German gendarmes had a sentry box on the south side. Many South Jutlandic people escaped to Denmark across the bridge, while others fought bitterly for their nation’s rights and identity. 

Kongeåen

Kongeå River is a unique nature and cultural landscape. The route takes you directly south towards Københoved, but you are warmly encouraged to take a diversion into the countryside, along the Kongeå, towards the east. Between Gredstedbro and Knagemøllen, the river is a protected area. 

A few kilometers towards the east, on the north bank of the river, is a fortification with the remains of the royal Skodborghus castle. Nowadays, the building is bisected by the highway and has had a thatched building attached to it, which was the local customs house until 1920. 

South of the Kongeå, the bicycle route passes by a number of well preserved grave mounds from the early Bronze Age.

The bicycle route follows west around Skodborg, through the small villages Københoved and Skrave. 

If you’re running low on provisions, then make a quick trip to Skodborg for shopping, only a few kilometers away. 

Jels

Jels also has shopping facilities, and the route crosses Jels River which is formed in the Jels Lakes. The town is well known for its windmill from 1859, which was used until 1971 and has since been restored and opened to the public. There is a tourist information office in the mill as well. Another of the town’s landmarks stands in bronze on the banks of the Nedersø Lake - the Jels girl statue. There is also a lido with recreational area and open-air theatre. The Orion Planetarium is located nearby. 

jels vojensCycling Stage 14 - Jels - Vojens

Map no. 9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The road from Jels, goes through some beautiful scenery, before it reaches Vojens. This stage is well suited for those with children, as Vojens has lots of entertaining things to do for all the family.

Stursbøl Plantation

From Jels, the bicycle route follows woodland trails through Stursbøl Plantation. As the woods are on the top of the ridge, with few streams to cross, it is likely that this route has been used by travellers for thousands of years. The link to ancient times can clearly be seen by the 70 Bronze Age grave mounds which lie close to the Hærvej track. South of the woodland lies the old Hærvej inn in Stursbøl, which is today known as Café Ellegård. 

Afterwards, the route leads around the edges of Oksenvad Heath, and down to Slevad Bridge. There are clear tracks, showing that the crossing at Slevad and Oksenvad has been used for many years.

There is a signpost towards an Iron Age grave mound, which has been excavated and opened to the public, so visitors can see the double stone ring construction.

Vojens

Vojens has plenty of opportunities for shopping and to get the latest information on the region’s attractions and activities from the local tourist office. The town is known amongst other things for its speedway track, built by Ole Olsen, Denmark’s first speedway world champion. Vojens also has an excellent go-kart track, and skating rink, sports hall, swimming pool and leisure centre. In other words, there are plenty of fun things to do in Vojens before continuing along the Hærvej.

The Skrydstrup girl

If you pedal a little southwest of the bicycle route, you can find Denmark’s second oldest Bronze Age site, which was found during an excavation in 1993. The house may have been the home of the Skrydstrup girl. Southwest of Vojens, towards Over Jerstal is the grave mound where the Skrydstrup girl was found in 1935.

The grave contained the body of a girl of about 19 years of age, who was buried during the early Bronze Age, around 1300 BC. The find is exhibited in the National Museum in Copenhagen, but Haderslev Museum contains a replica of the Skrydstrup girl’s clothes. 

vojens roedekro nyCycling Stage 15 - Vojens - Rødekro

Map no. 9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

There are a number of cultural treasures on the stretch of the Hærvej between Vojens and Rødekro. You will cross the first of the Hærvej’s characteristic bridges, Immervad Bro. On your journey, you can also see the Hærulf Stone and a little south of Hovslund Stationsby, there is the old Damgård Mill from 1867.

The grave mounds around Vedsted Lakes

A few kilometers south of the Skrydstrup girl’s grave mound, following the main road between Vojens and Over Jerstal, there is a group of grave mounds slightly west of the road, which are open to the public. The mounds originate from the middle Bronze Age, around 3000 BC. On your return from the grave mounds to the bicycle route, you can see a number of very well preserved graves around the lakes at Vedsted, amongst others one northeast of Vedsted Church.
Fresh provisions can be bought in Vedsted for the journey, or you take the path around Vedsted Lake, where in the southeast end, there is a swimming and recreational area.

The next stage south to Hovlund Stationsby, has a lot of attractions worth stopping and seeing, within a short distance from each other.

The Long Barrows at Holmshus

Holmshus is located not far south of Vedsted, and is home to one of Jutland’s most impressive Stone Age graves, the Long Barrows. They consist amongst others, of two parallel barrows, each over 100 m long. There is access to the large passage grave - remember to bring a torch. Above, the main chamber is covered by a 7 ton solid stone, which must have been an extraordinary construction achievement when it was built around 3200 BC. 

The Hærvej route continues along the edge of the peat bog conservation area in Abkær Mose and Stengelmose. Near the main road between the marshes, about 0,5 km west of the bicycle route is a bird watching tower, which has an excellent view over the whole area.

Immervad bro

Afterwards, the journey continues towards the Immervad River, which runs westward, where it runs into Gels River, which in turn becomes Ribe River. You can see the characteristic Immervad Bridge, which was the main crossing point since 1776. 

The bridge is built of cut stone, and was presumably originally wooden, although the name Immervad suggests that this was a ford before the bridges were built. Fords and bridges have always been meeting places for travellers, and this is no exception. Immervad Kro, was once well known for its peas and bacon, but has since closed, although the rest stop remains.

Hærulfstenen

Immediately outside Hovslund Stationsby is a remarkable rune stone at the side of the road. The inscription is not long - only the name Hærulf or “Hairulfr” as it was written in the 900’s. The stone was moved to Berlin as spoils of war in 1864 and was first returned in 1952, where it now stands in its original place. 

In the same location, slightly east of the road is a Bronze Age mound - Strangelshøj, with a 2 m high standing stone close by. A legend says that the stone turns around when it smells bread! There is access to the mound and stone from the rest stop on the road

Damgaard Mølle

You can stock up on food and drink in Hovlund Stationsby. Around 1 km west of the Hærvej, south of Hovslund Stationsby, is Damgaard Mill, which dates from 1867 and has been beautifully restored. Previously used as a buckwheat mill, the working parts are still intact and it is considered to be the best preserved in Denmark. There is access to the mill from the main road under the railway, or via Hovslund Stationsby (Open 1st April - 1st November 10-17).

Vendersvold

Further along, the route passes through Øster Løgum, where a few kilometers south of which is a fortification dating back to the late 200’s, the Vendersvold. The site was originally around 3 km long, of which 500 m can still be seen today. From the Hærvej, there is access from the rest stop on Andholmvej. 1700 years after the fortification was finished, a second defensive system was built on the same site. On the western side, there is a well preserved cannon battery, the Andholm battery.

Rødekro

The Hærvej goes straight past the old inn in Rødekro and on through the main road in the town. Normally inns are named after the town where they are located, but Rødekro is an exception as the town inherited its name from the inn in 1642. There are good shopping facilities in Rødekro. 

Slightly south of Rødekro near Rise Church is a way marker from the time of Christian VII, with the inscription “Weg nach Flensburg und Sleswich”. The romantic period church with distinctive wall studs in the tower, contains well preserved inventory from the Middle Ages. 

roedekro kliplevCycling Stage 16 - Rødekro - Kliplev

Map no. 9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

This stage will take you back in time, to Urnehoved Mindepark, where the stones narrate the story of some of the dramatic events which have unfolded in this region. You can also see the most beautiful bridge on the route, Povls Bro and the oldest wooden building in Denmark, the church tower of Kliplev Church.

Rødekro

The Hærvej bicycle route leaves Rødekro towards the south, on the western side of Aabenraa. If you have strong legs, you can cycle over to this very charming South Jutland town, which is one of the larger towns along the way. This diversion is 12 km long, but it is only downhill one way! 

When you have passed Aabenraa, the route takes a southwest turn. 

Northeast of Hjordkær, a short distance away from the bicycle route, a grave has been excavated, which has been used by both Stone Age and Bronze Age people.

The reconstructed Stone Age grave is built around a stone wheel, which was the symbol of the sun god.

Urnehoved Mindepark

South of Hjordkær, around 10 km of the Hærvej is conservation area. The stretch is gravelled, although motor vehicles are permitted. At Urnehoved Mindepark, there is a rest stop, which is widely considered to have been the regional assembly. Ever region had its assembly during the Middle Ages, and for South Jutland, it was at Urnehoved, where it was used until 1523. A number of memorial stones have been erected in the grove which was planted from 1946 - 1948, which tell the story of many of the dramatic events which have happened at Urnehoved.

Povls bro

After the protected Military Road route has passed by Årtoft Plantation, you will cross Bjerndrup River on the Hærvej’s most beautiful bridge - Povls bro. The single arched bridge, built in 1744 is an ideal place to take a break and admire the construction. The stone are built in a keystone arch, holding each other under pressure and in position.  

Kliplev Kirke

The route leads now towards Kliplev, which was an important pilgrimage during the Middle Ages, on account of St. Hjælper. A crucifix in Kliplev Church was viewed to be a picture of the saint, even though it was probably a picture of Christ. The crucifix has since disappeared, but Kliplev Church is still unique as the free standing clock tower is the oldest preserved wooden building in Denmark, dating from 1300.

Kliplev offers plenty of shopping for the next stage of your journey.

kliplev padborgCycling Stage 17 - Kliplev - Padborg

Map no. 9 in "På Hærvejen - Guide for Ramblers and Cyclists."

The route from Kliplev to Padborg is a very historical part of the Hærvej. You will see the last of the Hærvej’s old bridges at Gejlå, from 1818. If you enjoy museums, then you will enjoy this part of the route as Frøslev Camp contains a number of different museums to suit every taste.

Gejlå Bridge

From Kliplev, the journey goes south past Kliplev Søndermark and Vilsbæk Mark down to the Gejlå River. Just in front of Bommerlund Plantation is Gejlå Bridge, which consists of two stone arches, and was built in 1818. The stones are mortared together, unlike the older Povls Bro (see section Rødekro - Kliplev). A ford was once located here across the river and the flat stones can still be seen under the bridge.

Bommerlund Plantage

200 m south of the bridge was an inn, Bommerlund Kro, although only a marker stone remains today. After this, you continue along the Hærvej through Bommerlund Plantation, where there are a number of stones with inscriptions. They are not rune stones!

Slightly south of Gejlå is the old shire border, and a marker stone can still be seen on the old road for Vis Herred (Wies 1778). Opposite is a way marker, showing the direction to Løgumkloster. 

The other stones in the plantation are road duty stones, which date from between 1770 and 1900, and are still in their original locations. In past centuries, road maintenance was the responsibility of farmers, who often lived a long way from the section of the road for which they were responsible. The stones showed which part of the road, each individual farm was required to keep in good order.

Frøslev Camp

When you come out of Bommerlund Plantation, the route turns west past Vejbæk, and then south again to Fårhus. Immediately afterwards, the bicycle route passes through the eastern part of Frøslev Plantation, where Frøslev Camp is located. Originally built in 1944 by the Germans, as a prison camp for Danish resistance people, the camp is one of the most well preserved in western Europe. 

Apart from Frøslev Camp Museum, a watch tower and prison barrack have been reconstructed, and there are a number of other exhibitions, including Civil Protection, Home Guard, Danish Nature Agency, UN Museum and the permanent exhibition of Amnesty International.

The area used to be a large, desolate sand and heath land, known as Frøslev Sand. It was reforested between 1883 and 1900 and has today become Frøslev Plantation. Reparations from the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 - 1871 are said to have paid for the planting. It is still possible to discover sand dunes in the plantation and there are many moist hollows, known as “klimper”. South of Frøslev Camp, a tree collection or arboretum was planted in Kådnermose in 1994. 

Padborg

Follow the bicycle route out of Frøslev Plantation and in to the border town of Padborg, where you can take a break. 

If you have planned to continue your journey over the border along the Ox Road (Oksevejen), you can stock up on provisions in Padborg.

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