12A Lärkesholm - Grytåsa
Degree of difficulty
Small roads, paths, boardwalks carry you through rolling farmlands and past clear lakes. Lush woods reminiscent of rainforest, the deep ravine of the Pinnån River Nature Reserve, and an ancient, unique, grazed woodland, where humans have lived and died since the Stone Age are all waiting for you.
Follow paths alongside clear lakes through the Lärkesholm Recreation Area and then a ridge through a lush beech forest. Moisture-loving plants, such as yellow archangel and alternate-leaved golden saxifrage, grow in the damper areas. You cross under the E4 highway and close to urban areas and a service station at Skåneporten, but soon you find yourself back in the countryside, and following along the shore of Lake Hjelmsjön where you can fish or – if it’s warm – take a dip.
As you wander through the Pinnån River Nature Reserve, the water sometimes rushes just inches from your feet, and other times it’s far away as you walk the ridge high above it. The Pinnån River meanders through a long ravine – a rift valley in the bedrock – and near the centre of the nature reserve the lush deciduous forest becomes almost rain forest-like. Two endangered species of beetles - Brychius elevatus and Riolus cupreus – thrive in this environment and so do several rare plants, such as the metre-high royal fern, great butterfly orchid and the bramble species endemic to the area, Rubus nessensis ssp. Scissoides. Take the time to examine any dead wood you see lying on the forest floor. You can find many types of exciting fungus growing here, including the flat, fleshy irregularly-shaped orange-brown fungus Hypocreopsis lichenoides, known as “troll’s hand” in Swedish.
Continue along a cycling trail through this lush landscape to the top of the hill of Lyckstaberg where you have a view out over the valley, then on towards the centre of the little town of Örkelljunga, and past Örkelljunga’s medieval church and Prästsjön Lake.
Your footsteps follow small roads south to the Grytåsa Recreation Area, along a crested ridge where you can see out over Lake Flinkasjö, which is becoming overgrown. Just past the crossroads, is one of the rare grazed woodlands called Möllers Skog Forest. If you are here from May to September, you will share this beautiful woodland with the grazers that make it unique. A winding path leads you over smaller eskers and along the edge of Flinkabäcken Creek.
Just south of Lärkesholmssjön Lake there is a well-preserved farming landscape unique in Skåne. Here you can explore the hundreds of clearance cairns, long, narrow small fields and terraces where agriculture has been practised for centuries.
At the mouth of the River Pinnån on Hjälmsjön, the remains of a Stone Age settlement have been discovered. The surrounding area has been used for hay and grazing ever since, and the pasture you walk through is a remnant from many by-gone eras. You pass the remains of old mills with ponds, close to an old iron works. Flint tools and other artefacts have been excavated from the hill of Lyckstaberg where the medieval fortress of Örkelljunga, burned to the ground in 1316, is thought to have stood.
On the outskirts of the Vången residential area, are the Örkelljunga defensive earthworks. These were created at the order of Field Marshall Gustaf Otto Stenbock in 1657, while waiting for reinforcements. Just to the west you can explore the remains of other fortifications.
- 15-26 km
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