13 A Skrylleslingan
Degree of difficulty
Adventure hiking at its best: ridges to climb, splendid views, an old stone quarry for swimming, an ancient troll forest of rare beech tree mutations, outdoor exercise facilities, a restaurant, pagan Viking rune stones incorporated into a Medieval church. Surely there’s something for everyone here!
From the pastures of Skryllegården Nature and Recreation Area at the top of the Romeleåsen Ridge east of Lund you can enjoy splendid views over Vombsänkan, a flatland with shallow lakes, extensive reed beds and woodlands. You can also enjoy the many small plants: silver grey pasque flower in the spring and later, leopard's bane and dwarf everlasting. In the wetter areas, you see mountain everlasting, common milkwort and several species of orchid. Many of the areas you pass through are nature reserves.
The forests of Prästaskogen and Gryteskog are a small remnant of the vast oak and beech forests which once thrived here. In the latter, you find Trollskogen, or “Troll Forest”, a stand of rare, mutated twisted beeches (also called dwarf beeches). There are less than 1,500 older specimens in Europe and this stand is likely the largest. Twisted beeches are true to their name: they’re wide-spreading with twisted and contorted trunks and gnarled branches that reach for you as you pass.
On a hot, sunny summer day, the old stone quarry at Knivsåsen Ridge is an especially seductive place. Why not take off your hiking boots and hop in? You don’t have to be a dare-devil cliff diver to enjoy the water. There is also a small sandy beach where getting in and out is easy. The quarry walls tell a 570-million-year-old tale of when Skåne was in the southern hemisphere and covered by sea. The water left soft ripple marks on the sandy seabed which turned into sandstone as the millennia passed. You can see the wave marks in the quarry walls. The dark stripes in the bright bedrock are the result of magma pushing up through cracks and then cooling into the diabase that you see.
At Skryllegården there is a visitor centre and restaurant, and the trail runs through a well-used recreation area with exercise facilities.
Skrölleskogen, or just Skrylle, was a vast forest of beech and oak up until the 1600s. The need for firewood, timber and grazing area for livestock left the forests ravaged and by 1799, there was nothing left but some heather pastures for grazing and the odd planted enclosure. The forests of Prästaskog and Gryteskog are all that remains of the original forest. At the end of the 1600s, the need to replenish the forests was understood, and tree enclosures were planted to ensure regeneration. The beech woodland at Knivsåsen is the result of this early sustainability wave.
West of Knivsåsen you can see deep furrows in the pasture, scars from the many, many feet, hooves and wagon wheels that passed this way.
Dalby Church, built around 1060, is the oldest preserved stone church in Scandinavia. It’s a bit off the track but well worth the visit. The church at Torna-Hällestad is also worth visiting. Don’t miss the three Hällestad rune stones incorporated into the church walls. These stone slabs were raised during the Viking period, between 900 and 1000 CE, and commemorate the bravery of Toke and Arre. Whoever made the decision to incorporate these markers from the old pagan days into a place of Christian worship must have been quite open-minded!
Along the section
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