Wilderness hike in northeast Skåne

Är du ute efter vandring i avskildhet är det nordöstra Skåne du ska bege dig mot. Photo: Jenny Brandt

Wander through northeast Skåne’s deep forests, catching glimpses of glistening waters through the trees. Soak in the silence and tranquility as you wander far from civilisation. Pause by a lake. Listen to the birds.

Where? Osby-Verum-Vittsjö. Length: 34 km Difficulty: Moderate

This hike follows Skåneleden Trail’s sub-trail SL1, the Kust-kustleden Trail, through the heavily forested landscape of northeast Skåne.

After the train drops you at Osby Station, head west. Pass through the little town of Osby, where a wooden toy manufacturing industry has long been the lifeblood of the community, and continue out into the wilderness. Bogs and boonies await you, as well as hills and dales where you wander under a protective canopy of treetops.

As you approach Hörlinge you emerge from the dark forest to see the sky and meadows, the grasses moving in unison like waves at the slightest breeze. This place vibrates with life. Take in the details from the outdoor museum and the viewing tower which includes an exhibition with information about the unique natural and cultural values of the area. These meadows are part of an extensive delta landscape that attracts large numbers of migrating and breeding birds. The trumpeting of cranes and various other feathered night chirpers can transform spring nights into an unforgettable experience. Follow the Skåneleden Trail’s orange markers carefully so that you do not end up on the local Vieåleden Trail.

If nature’s all-encompassing presence has not yet taken over your mind, body and soul, then the next stretch of trail through the long valley in the parish of Verum certainly will. You can almost feel the view in your solar plexus. This is a good place to take a break - here on the slope leading down to Vieån River.

West of Verum, your footsteps carry you along a zig-zag path through a system of kettle lakes and ponds. Here and there throughout the forest and along the trail, you pass the occasional tree which has managed to attain incredible proportions. Continue through the Gundrastorp area, past the fairest of pastures that preserve the feeling of an older style of small-scale farming, typical of the northern landscape of Skåne. Rest for a while at the old, sun-bleached mill. The sound of the river water rushing by is always there in the background. Poke around in the old mill’s nooks and crannies. There are still some odd bits of tools and gears lying about. You can’t help but wonder who lived here, and worked here, and died here, and what stories they would tell you if they could.

Next, you work your way up and down the steep hills of Ubbalt. These forests have a high natural value. The beech woodland is both impressive and popular for visitors. Follow the pathway down to the beach keeping an eye out for iron ore. A large part of the area's history is written in these tiny iron clumps. In medieval times, iron ore was scraped up from the bottoms of lakes in this area, and defensive fortresses were built along Vittsjön Lake and Skeingesjön Lake.

The end point of your journey is Vittsjö, known for its spas and rest homes during the 1800s. The air and surroundings were considered health-giving. Perhaps you agree that they still are. Vittsjö is a long, narrow village with water almost everywhere you look, and the old hotels from the spa days are scattered throughout the village. Your journey ends here. Make your way home from the train station in Vittsjö. Hopefully, you have absorbed enough of nature’s tranquility to last you a long, long time.