3 Vedema - Hässleholm
Degree of difficulty
Ancient forces – the colliding of tectonic plates, and glaciers releasing massive quantities of water – shaped this section of trail in central north Skåne. The area is magically peaceful today but trolls once lived in the many rocky nooks and crannies.
The Vedema Recreation Area rests on a horst – Hörjaåsen Ridge. This horst, was forced up to a height of about 50 metres higher than the surrounding area when the European plate collided with the African plate millions of years ago. The northern section of this trail is scattered with boulders, all of which are geologically sensational. Some are from a time when Skåne was located at the equator and covered in rainforest. Others were transported here more recently at the end of the last ice age. As glaciers melted, enormous quantities of water moved and deposited everything from huge boulders to stone dust ultimately creating the Vedemaåsen Ridge, an esker several kilometres long.
Barsjön Lake, known for its fishing, was formed from a piece of stagnant ice which melted thousands of years ago. The Rökeån River meanders at the bottom of the valley often changing its course. This area provides many different eco habitats, and flora and fauna abound in the river, on the wetlands, and along the steep valley slopes.
As you move south, the countryside becomes more open and you come to Finasjön Lake. At the Hovdala Recreation Area there are valuable, ancient trees, some more than 400 years old. Some are protected, even one old dying beech tree. The decaying process itself is highly valuable as it draws a multitude of fungi. Beetles and other insects make their home in the rotted wood, which in turn draws birds and bats.
Along the northeastern shore of Finjasjön Lake, unmistakeable signs of human habitation – stone tools, burned bone, and fire-cracked rock – have been discovered, possibly dating as far back as 14,000 years ago. Remains have also been found from the Bronze and Iron ages, and of course from Medieval times as well.
In Swedish folklore, trolls occupied the steep cliff known as Vedema Hall. There is a legend of a troll kidnapping a little girl. In some versions, she gets free. In others, she does not. But fear of trolls did not stop people from settling here. The Rökeån River drove several water mills and by the bridge there are the remains of a mill, and a loom where rough, tough woollen cloth was spun.
At the sandy hills of Jontustorp, you come to the milestone which once marked the old highway. You can pause here, exactly as Carl Linneus, the father of modern taxonomy, did in 1749. And as you cross the Almaån River, consider its strategic importance. The Mölleröd fortress surrounded by a moat was built here in the 1580s, and the already poor farmers in the surrounding area had to provide the occupying soldiers, sometimes Swedish, sometimes Danish, with food to the point of complete ruination. The fortress was partially destroyed by fire in 1678 by Danes.
At the end of your journey is the estate of Hässleholmsgården, originally from the 1500s, but the current building was built in the early 1800s. Choose between the campsite and the hostel, or visit the town of Hässleholm for a pizza and perhaps the luxury of a hotel bed.
Along the section
There are no known issues on this track segment.
Highlights along the section
Are you looking for a place to stay or a cozy cafe during your hike? Here are some of the sights and places to visit along the section.
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