10 Hörby Ringsjöstrand - Rövarekulan
Degree of difficulty
Follow the northern shore of the second largest lake in Skåne, before heading south to the Pinedalen Valley. Stone Age humans, giants, a king and many a thief have all roamed this same area.
The first part of the trail leads you along the northern shore of Eastern Ringsjön Lake on an old railway embankment. The water level has varied greatly through the ages but is currently controlled, and there is a headland separating the eastern and western parts. Migratory cranes rest in Ringsjön on their way to the northern parts of Sweden in March.
After a few kilometres, you leave the lake behind as you make your way south toward the 300- to 400-metre wide Pinedalen Valley. A river of glacial meltwater carved out the valley and during later periods, it was likely populated with pine forest, hence its name. But today most of the valley bottom is farmed and the slopes are home to beech woodlands with a rich variety of flora and fauna.
Once you’ve passed the E22 highway, you come to the narrow, lush Rövarekulan Valley, a nature reserve. This valley is full of life! Nightingales, warblers, grey wagtails and kingfishers are just a few of the birds who nest here. There are mussels and trout in the river, and there can be a lot of toads playing along the riverbanks in spring. Of course, toads need to eat and there are plenty of insects here for them to feed on. The vegetation is rich too and includes the wild garlic that sells for a small fortune in the grocery stores and best restaurants. The camp site at Rövarekulan is itself a first-class nature experience, especially in spring. Pitch your tent and hide out here just like the highway robbers of long ago.
Legend has it that Ringsjön Lake was created by a giant named Finn. He was trying to earn some extra money by filling in a river. He took the dirt he needed in great handfuls from the area where Ringsjön is today, but perhaps he was right-handed, as he took bigger handfuls with his right hand than he did with his left. That’s why the two parts of the lake are uneven. Finnhult, alongside the Skåneleden Trail, is said to be where he sat to rest from his labours.
Human beings have lived and died in the area around Ringsjön Lake for thousands of years. In the Pinedalen Valley you will see a simple memorial stone which marks the site where a spectacular collection of Bronze Age artefacts was found. Most of them showed no sign of usage and one can only wonder who buried them. And why.
Pinedalen Valley has a colourful history. During the 1400s, a moot – a place where local people met to settle their differences – called Birke Ting was established here. In the 1600s, Kungsvägen, or the “King’s Highway”, passed this way and carriages were robbed from time to time. The thieves escaped with their plundered goods to Rövarekulan – literally “Thieves’ Hideout”. Near Gudmuntorp you can stop at Kungskällan – “The King’s Spring” so named after King Carl XIV Johan quenched his thirst here in the 1800s. And according to oral tradition, King Gustav III also drank here sometime during his reign in the late 1700s.
Much later, poor crofters were allowed to graze their animals in this inaccessible valley. Rest at the Rövarekulan campsite and ponder the many human (and giant) dramas that have played out here.
Along the section
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