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1. Troldeskoven

The gnarled beeches of Troldeskoven have become iconic for Rold Skov forest. Typically each of them have many stems. This peculiar sight is due to a combination of the origin of the beeches and their conditions for growth. The beeches in Troldeskoven are the oldest beeches in the forest and direct descendants of the first beeches, which started growing in Denmark in the early Middle Ages. The oldest trees are more than 300 years old and nearing their maximum age.

Together with other native Northern Jutland beeches, Rold Skov forest has beeches with a special characteristic compared with beeches further south. When they are cut down, new shoots emerge from the stub and root. In time, these develop into stems. These “røllebøge” may have up to 20-30 trunks; all belonging to the same tree. This has been exploited in Rold Skov forest for centuries, as the beeches could be “harvested” again and again without having to plant a new one. Troldeskoven was also used for grazing, and the constant gnawing away at the trees has helped form the gnarled “trolls”.

Sometimes the stems of the beeches grow into an “eye tree”. According to superstition, you can avoid rickets (vitamin-D deficiency) by climbing through an “eye tree”. In 1952, as children, Queen Margrethe and her sisters received “treatment” from an “eye tree” in Troldeskoven named the “Princess Tree”.

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2. Old-growth forest

In terms of age, the old-growth forest forms a counterpart to Troldeskoven. It encompasses old beeches of the type which found its way into Rold Skov forest during the Middle Ages. The oldest of the trees are around 300 years. In contrast to Troldeskoven, you will not find many multiple-stemmed beeches here. This is because of the original ownership. Troldeskoven was a common forest for the farmers in Rebild, and as such was coppiced, grazed and exploited as much as possible. The “old-growth forest” or Kyø Skov belonged to the Kyø manor house south-west of Sebbersund.

Today, the old-growth forest has been designated as untouched forest. In untouched forest, no trees are cut down and no new trees are planted. If a tree dies or falls, it will be left just where it is. In the emerging glade, new trees will grow up, creating a forest with a welter of many tree species of different sizes and ages. An authentic old-growth forest. The forest was named by renowned forest supervisor Jens Hvass, who wanted to use the old-growth forest for a boy-scout training exercise.

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3. Frueskoen (Lady’s slipper)/the Bjergeskoven forest

In Bjergeskoven forest, the terrain drops 85 metres from the highest point at the grave mounds of Svinehøje to the bottom of the Gravlevdalen valley just 1 kilometre away. The forest alternates from high firs to young deciduous forest and to ancient twisted and gnarled beech forest, characteristic of Bjergeskoven. The 2-300 year-old beeches surround the fencing with the pearl of the forest, the Lady's slipper orchid. Europe’s largest and rarest orchid survives in its protective “cage”, shielding it from illegal excavation. Visit the spot in the last week of May where everything is light green and the beautiful flowers of the Lady's slipper are blooming. If you get there before that, the Bjergeskoven forest is a good spot to look for Hepatica, and if you come later on, in July, then the fence of the Lady's slipper will also include another extremely rare resident; the red helleborine orchid.

The gnarled and often multiple-stemmed beeches of the Bjergeskoven forest reveal a story of miserable conditions for growth and ruthless exploitation. When the state took over the forest in payment of tax debt in 1826, there was hardly any forest - it had been cut down and depleted. The forest has since licked its wounds and now stands as a picturesque memorial and spectacular natural setting for a rich forest floor flora with calcicole plants.

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4. The forest garden of Jutland

More than 150 different species of trees and bushes from all over the northern hemisphere grow in the forest garden of Jutland. The first steps to establishing this amazing world forest were taken at the end of the 1800s, when the local forest supervisor, Hintz, experimented with other tree species than beech and common spruce. The forest garden has the most magnificent tree in Rold Skov forest; an American white fir (Abies grandis) from 1896. It measures more than 43 metres in height and encompasses more than 32 cubic metres of wood. You can find it by the westernmost path of the forest garden, where it vies for attention with stupendous Douglas firs from the same experiments.

In the 1940s, the renowned forest supervisor, Jens Hvass, was inspired to establish an actual forest garden. He planted many new species, and in 1970 he inaugurated the forest garden of Jutland as well as the first off-leash dog park in Denmark. The forest garden is fenced in so that dogs can run free on all 14 hectares as long as they are under control.

Read more about the forest garden of Jutland and the individual trees

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5. Røverstuen

Røverstuen is an unusual geological phenomenon as well as the stage for myths about the “Robbers from Rold”. Røverstuen is a large circular sink hole, which is about 12 meters deep and 35 meters in diameter. Together with the adjacent sinkhole, Hestegraven, it makes up a unique attraction in Rold Skov forest.

A sinkhole usually emerges when rainwater mixed with humic acid seeps through cracks in the limestone and dissolves the rock to create a cavity which grows larger and larger over time. A sinkhole is formed when the surface layer finally collapses. The phenomenon is seen many places in Rold Skov forest on a small and large scale. The geological explanation for Røverstuen and Hestegraven is not quite that simple. The limestone is 50 metres below the surface, so perhaps there are other explanations, e.g. a depression around a fault line. The geology of Rold Skov forest is still a mystery on many points.

It is said that a gang of robbers once lived in the hole. At that time, the forest was denser and the sinkhole was a good hiding place close to the forest road, Roldvej, west of the hole. Back then, Roldvej was the country road through the forest from Rold to Skørping. The robbers would set tripwires across the road and into the hole where bells would alert them of travellers passing through. Then the robbers would jump up out of the hole and take all that they could.

6. Hestegraven

Hestegraven is a huge sinkhole not far from Røverstuen towards the east on Røvernes vej. The hole is the same calibre as Røverstuen. Hestegraven also has its own myth. It is said that once upon a time a bridal couple drove through this spot around midnight when, all of a sudden, the ground collapsed and the couple with their horse and carriage vanished without a trace. This story is also known from elsewhere and is known as a migratory legend. A more believable story is perhaps that Hestegraven was used to hide horses from the Germans when they arrived during the war in 1864 and that the place has since been called Hestegraven (horse pit).

Hestegraven has its own special atmosphere. Through old ditches, surface water from the adjacent bog, Lille Økssø, finds its way to Hestegraven from where it vanishes without a trace into the chasm. If you go into the pit, you can see the little stream vanishing into a crack with a hollow sound like a jet of water dropping into a well. Tread carefully, though - you are exploring at your own risk!

7. Skillingbro Kalkgrav

Tucked away between the former A10 main road (now Route 180) and the even older main road past Rold Storkro, is Skillingbro Kalkgrav (chalk pits). A path leads from a small car park to a limestone quarry which dates back a hundred years. Even earlier history can be uncovered if you rummage for fossils in the more than 60 million-year-old limestone strata from the early Tertiary period. The chalk quarry is a nice little natural area with a wealth of beautiful rare flowers which prefer the calcareous soil. The flowers and the conserved quiet oasis in the forest attracts many insects, including butterflies.

Chalk is visible on the steep slopes of the quarry. Bryozoa or moss animals are marine, colony-forming small animals, typically with an exoskeleton. The limestone is hard and rough in contrast to the white chalk and the individual bryozoa can be seen using an ordinary magnifying glass. Most of the fossils are small so a pocket knife is as useful as a hammer: Fragments of coral, sea lilies, mussels, brachiopods, etc. Fossilized sea urchins are coveted and you could make larger finds such as shark’s teeth too, although these are rare.

8. Stenrækken (row of rocks)

In the middle of the amazing cultural landscape of Nørreskoven forest, where more than 50 grave mounds are packed together in less than 1 km2, you will find the mysterious formation of rocks known as “Stenrækken”. It is located just off one of the routes sign-posted by the Danish Nature Agency and is indicated in booklets and on map boards. Stenrækken is 70 meters long, almost ruler-straight, and consists of 29 huge rocks laid out across an almost obliterated grave mound. Stenrækken has not been dated.

Stenrækken points accurately towards the place on the horizon where the sun goes down on midsummer night. Is this a coincidence? Could this formation of rocks be a giant phallic symbol (phallus worship was widespread in the fertility cult of the Bronze Age) or a primitive calendar? If you look in the opposite direction, you can see the sun rise above the formation of rocks on the shortest day of the year. There is plenty of food for the imagination, and there are plenty of reasons for taking an exciting hike around the many large Bronze Age grave mounds surrounding Stenrækken. Just 100 meters from Stenrækken is a perfect 10-meter-wide circle of around 100 rocks. Finally, there is a small circle of seven large rocks at the periphery of the forest further towards the west.

If we place the rocks of Nørreskoven in the Bronze Age, they could be the setting for the sun worship which characterised religious life in the Bronze Age. The chariot of the sun, jewelry, as well as other figures, rock carvings and cup-shaped marks in the rocks of the time bear witness to the significance of the sun.

9. Stone chamber

The stone chamber is the best-conserved dolmen of the few left in the forest. It dates back to the beginning of the Neolithic period. When Danes became farmers, funeral rites with huge stone graves such as dolmen and passage graves became common in Denmark. The dolmen period began about 3,900 BC. In the following 600 years, about 30,000 stone burial chambers (dolmen) were erected in Denmark, i.e. about 50 each year. Only about 6,500 of these dolmen have been preserved. The dolmen were replaced in the next 500 years by even more impressive passage graves, of which 500 have been preserved. Transporting very heavy rocks was a part of life for farmers in the Stone Age. A dolmen consists of a number of upright megaliths supporting one or more capstones. The stone chamber in Rold Skov forest represents a “classical” dolmen form, which has almost become an icon for Danish prehistoric monuments.

10. Ønskesten (wishing stone)

The Ønskesten is the capstone of a dolmen from the Neolithic period. The five huge megaliths of the Ønskesten are partly buried by soil and piled up boulders. The name is from the early 1900s, when the fear of tuberculosis was at its highest. The adjacent Skørping sanatorium could not help much to remedy the disease, other than to offer rest, plenty of fresh air and walks in the countryside. It became customary for patients not confined to bed to flock to the rock and throw a coin under the rock and wish for a speedy recovery. This custom could be linked with the fact that, for much of the 1800s, dolmen were perceived as sacrificial stones or sacred alters and not as burial sites.

11. Kovads Bæk stream

Kovads Bæk is the outflow for a large number of small springs in Stendalen which run through Rebild Bakker (National park). Scores of small streams a few centimetre wide flow together and gradually form the Kovads Bæk stream (also known as “Kovrsbæk”), which every second sends 80-85 litres of pure spring water into the larger Lindenborg Å stream. Kovads Bæk is on the most important spawning grounds for sea trout in the system of streams. The fish can be spotted spawning around Christmas time and particularly in dark weather - listen for heavy splashing. The road bridge is a good place to see this. The stream has a permanent population of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), introduced for fish farming from North America at the end of the 1800s. Kovads Bæk is one of the few places in Denmark where the brook trout breeds. The clean fresh water and the gravelly and rocky bottom of the watercourse is home to an abundant fauna of aquatic animals, with many rare species.

12. Lille Blåkilde

The limestone subsurface is close to the surface in Himmerland. The limestone strata are full of thin cracks which means that rainwater quickly seeps into the groundwater lying in the network of cracks. Through the cracks, the groundwater can move rapidly along the limestone, faster than through water-bearing strata such as sand and gravel. In places where an Ice Age valley such as Gravlevdalen has cut into the limestone strata, the groundwater seeps out as springs in the side of the valley. The rapid horizontal flow of the water in the limestone is the secret behind the good supply of water from the springs in Rold Skov forest - they are among the largest springs in Northern Europe. At Lille Blåkilde you can see the spring flowing out from a large crack in the limestone. The spring is called “strømkilde”. Every second, Lille Blåkilde sends around 90 litres of clear, cool water into the Lindenborg Å stream. The water is 7-8 degrees centigrade, corresponding to the average temperature here.

13. Ravnkilde

Every second, 85 litres of water pass the centuries-old ford across the Lindenborg Å stream. The spring water is 7-8 degrees centigrade all year round. In clear frosty days the spring “boils” (steams) and you can see green plants in the snow. Ravnkilde is an example of a “march spring” with small streams flowing together from the swampy source of the spring to the brook.

Ravnkilde has an abundance of small animals (more than 200 different species), and the year-round constant water temperatures provide good living conditions for animals usually found in colder or warmer climates of Europe. The animals immigrated to Denmark in the cold and warm periods of the post Ice Age, and today they survive due to the low summer temperatures or high winter temperatures of the spring water.

14. Egholm

Just north of Rold Skov forest, heading towards the Lindenborg Å stream, you will find the castle mound of Egholm Slot. The construction is contemporary with other castles, all dating back to the troubled times of the 1300s. In the beginning of the 1300s, large parts of Denmark were pledged to Danish and Holstein noblemen. When Christopher II died in 1332, Denmark was without a king for eight years, trouble was luring everywhere and conflicts flared up in many places. Noblemen with security in Danish soil had good grounds for keeping themselves safe behind moats and walls.

Egholm Slot had a predecessor in the area 200 meters south of the castle mound, where remnants of a reinforced tower built in wood from circa 1334 have been excavated. However, work on building the Egholm slot castle mound was commenced soon after, with a moat, two castles and brick buildings. In 1374, the new King Waldemar Atterdag purchased the Egholm property, possibly by ordering the sale. The current Queen Margrethe II inherited the Egholm property and donated it to Aalborg Kloster (monastery) so that it would not be demolished. The castle is open to the general public.

Read more about the Egholm castle ruins

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15. House of Lars Kjær

At the foot of Rebild Bakker is a small whitewashed house. This is the house of the former, infamous Rold Skov poacher, Lars Kjær, and his wife, the fortune teller, Marie. The house is a characteristic smallholding from Himmerland with stables on the west-end of the house. Lars Kjær was a farmer’s son from Rebild and he made his living as a day-labourer on the farms in the area. He supplemented his income by poaching. However, he was not as big a lawbreaker as posterity would have it. His hunting in Rebild Bakker was tolerated as he was a resident of the town. However, once he crossed the boundary of the forest, he was hunting illegally. The boundary was at Kovads Bæk and Lars set up his hiding places on the “legal” side of the stream. When red deer came to drink he would shoot his prey and then scramble to pull it to the safe side of the stream. He was never caught in the act.

Lars Kjær was well-reputed and respected in the area. He died in 1946 when he was 90 years-old. Lars Kjær’s house is now a museum and memorial. The museum opens by agreement. Please contact Rold Storkro on telephone: +45 98 37 51 00.

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16. The museum of musicians, hunting and forestry

For more than 50 years this charming little museum has recounted about life in and around Rold Skov forest, focusing on hunting and forestry and not least on the musical folk culture of the area. There is an exhibition of instruments, folk dancing costumes etc. and every Sunday, all-year-round, Rebild Spillemandslaug play traditional dances. Everyone is welcome to come and dance well-known, simple dances, learn new dances, or to just listen and enjoy genuine Himmerland folk music. The museum also has family dancing and song games for children and their grandparents on the first Sunday in the month. Bringing history alive is a focal point for the museum, which among other things has fostered the wool guild, charcoal burner guild, scythe guild and the sawmill guild.

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17. The museum of Blokhus

This museum has been here since 1934 (rebuilt after a fire in 1994) and is run by Rebildselskabet, a Danish-American friendship association behind the establishment of the Rebild Bakker. The blockhouse is a museum about Danish emigration, telling the story of how Danes emigrated to the USA. In the last half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century, 300,000 Danes left their home country to seek their fortune in the USA. Native Americans, their fate and life in the Wild West, are also displayed in the blockhouse.

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18. Gryden

Gryden is the name of the natural amphiteatre which forms the framework for the annual Rebild festival on 4 July. At the bottom of Gryden is a stage, and thousands of spectators take their seat in nature’s own auditorium - the heathery hills. Gryden is the top part of the many erosion valleys cutting through the moraine land surrounding Rebild and forming the “fake” Rebild Bakker. The two large flagpoles at Gryden have become iconic for Rebild Bakker and they are on the motorway signs to the national park.

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19. The memorial stone of Niels Erik Vangsted

The memorial stone is to the Second World War resistance fighter, Niels Erik Vangsted, who was killed at the forest ranger’s Hollandshus in August 1943 following a dramatic car chase through Skørping. A friend of Vangsted was also captured and executed the next day. Eight resistance fighters escaped. Information boards tell more about this dramatic event which started an uproar all over Denmark, leading to the end of the Danish policy of collaboration with the occupying Germans.

20. Teglgårds Mølle (mill)

The mill itself is no longer to be seen, but the cosy buildings still tell the story of when Rebild farmers struggled over the steep slopes and found their way through the Bjergeskoven forest to the mill in the river valley. The mill dates back to the 15th century. The mill was characteristic of water mills in the large river valleys where the river was too big to dam up. The mills were run by springs along the steep slopes of the river valley. The spring and the mill pond can still be seen behind Teglgårds Mølle. There are similar spring mills in the Gravlev valley at Egholm, Gravlev, Egebæk, Tingbæk and Kovadsbæk.

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21. Store Økssø

Store Økssø is the second-largest lake in Rold Skov forest covering 33 hectares and with a maximum depth of eight metres. Store Økssø is surrounded by forest and a former raised bog which has been recreated through a nature restoration project. The water is very clean, but the lake is nutrient-poor and alkaline so the water is coloured brown by dissolved humus from the bog. The lake has a large fish population, mostly perch, and fishing is allowed. The lake attracts many birds. In the migration period, you can see flocks of common goldeneyes. The walk around the beautiful lake has always been one of the most popular in the forest. Just one year after the opening of the Jutland trunk railway line in 1869, the station in Skørping was supplemented by a small platform near the lake at Mosskov so that the citizens of Aalborg and Hobro could take a Sunday trip by train to the beautiful forest lake. The railway also provided a way to transport timber from the forest. The small restaurant, the Mosskovpavillionen was opened for these tourists. The restaurant is still here.

22. Den Narre Kjald and other wells

Den Narre Kjald (or “kjål”) means the northern spring or well. The well is believed to be 600-700 hundred years old. It is funnel-shaped and built using triangular rocks with the sharp end pointing downwards so that it would have been possible to walk down to the water level of the well. The well was still in use as late as 1900 by the residents of Sdr. Lejehus at Skovhaven, which currently houses the nature school.

Similar old rock wells are found at other places in the forest. They have been called medieval wells, but they have not been dated. At the east side of the Slettingen range of slopes in the Nældedalen valley is a well built of rocks. The well was presumably built over a natural spring and it may have been the nearest water supply for the now disappeared forester’s house at Slettingen about 250m away. There are signs showing where to find the well. Similarly, there is a well west of the Grøndalen valley camp-fire site. East of the camp-fire site, you can still see the mounds showing the site of a house.

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23. The Buderup Ødekirke church

The church received its name (deserted church) in 1907, when it ceased to function as a parish church. The urban community of Støvring was growing rapidly further to the north west around the new station, and it needed a bigger church and cemetery. The church is a Romanesque medieval church from the 12th or 13th century with a late medieval tower and a 16th century chapel. The church was closely linked with, and probably owned by, the Buderupholm manor house. The church has a beautiful solitary location near the edge of the river valley. In the summer half-year the church is used for art exhibitions etc.

24. Jætternes Baghave

Jætternes Baghave (garden of the giants) is the name of more than 100-year-old Douglas fir and Sitka spruce trees which are conserved as monumental natural sculptures. The atmosphere of the place resembles the large Nordic coniferous forests -which explains the name. The vegetation includes some of the highest trees of the forest surrounded by an extremely healthy growth of self-sown trees, particularly Douglas fir - the children of the old giants.

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25. The Stabelpladsen trading post and the Hvass Sø lake

Stabelpladsen is an activity area with camp-fire site, playground and an off-leash dog park established at the forest’s old trading post immediately north of the town of Arden. This place is suitable for wheelchair users and the disabled. There is a carpark for people wishing to go for a walk in the Hesselholt Skov forest. About 300 meters north of Stabelpladsen is the beautiful Hvass lake, surrounded by many different tree species. Signs with information about the various trees have been set up. By Hvass Sø lake is a natural base with an undercover campfire site and equipment storage for schools and institutions.

26. Lindenborg Å stream

The stream rises from a spring in the valley near the village of Nysum, south of Rold Skov forest. The same fount spring is also the source of the Simested Å stream which flows towards the south. The Lindenborg Å stream is 47 kilometers long. The stream and its surroundings (about 1000 hectares) are conserved through Rold Skov forest and further on through the Gravlevdalen valley. The course of the stream through the forest from Rold to Haverslevvejen and to Røde Mølle is completely unregulated and it meanders through an old-growth forest of ash, common alder, willow, etc. Further downstream, the stream passes the previously drained Gravlev Sø lake, which has now been restored and is fed by the Gravlev Kilde spring. In the Gravlevdalen valley, the stream was previously regulated, but the Danish Nature Agency has restored the stream to its previous course. Along the way, the Lindenborg Å stream receives water from nearly all the famous Himmerland springs. The stream is well-known for its clean water and its abundant fauna of small animals.

Read more about nature restoration in the Gravlevdalen valley

27. Gravlev Kilde

There is a spring at the foot of the church hill in Gravlev. Today, this spring is a large, beautiful spring; crystal-clear with water pulsing up from the bottom even though the spring was originally created by excavation for road-building material. The Gravlev spring has lived a rough-and-tumble life. This may be why the church was built at this exact location in the 12th century. Springs were often holy places in prehistoric Denmark, which means that there may have been a heathen temple to the Nordic Gods here. The church may have conveniently replaced the pagan temple; in any case, many churches are located remarkably close to a spring. In medieval times, the spring functioned as a holy spring. In 1938, the main road was built on top of the spring and its rise was pushed towards the east. The spring fed a fish farm for half a century. The beautiful “natural” field below the basin and the meandering spring brook are the result of a nature restoration project carried out by the Danish Nature Agency in 1995. The spring water runs unobstructed and is enjoyed by many rare small animals, trout, kingfishers and dippers. Every second 100-150 litres of water flows into the Gravlev Sø lake, making the spring one the largest in Denmark.

28. Gravlev Sø lake

The Gravlev Sø lake (about 65 hectares) has been here since the Ice Age as a bulge on the Lindenborg Å stream. At the end of the 1800s the lake was drained and the stream was led around it in the hope that the muddy bottom of the lake could be converted into waving fields of corn. However, the area was too humid and the soil subsided. Despite persistent drainage and pumping, the great agricultural project never happened. In the 1990s the owners gave up pumping away the water and the lake remerged. A new conservation listing of the Gravlevdalen valley and purchase by the state created the basis for a nature restoration project which has secured the lake and its surroundings as a unique wetland. The stream still flows around the lake, but the Gravlev spring ensures that the lake is ice-free for geese and ducks in the winter.

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29. The Lille Økssø lake

The Lille Økssø lake is one of the forest’s many raised bogs but, as the name suggests, it used to be a lake. It is only possible to glimpse the thin water table from the middle of the bog. Originally, this was a brown-watered alkaline lake, like Mossø and Store Økssø. Gradually, a bog of sphagnum moss migrated out from the lakeside and covered the water table. The lake became a fen inhabiting with very few species. Very slowly the fen has evolved into a raised bog. Layer upon layer of sphagnum moss and other plant residue ensure the growth of moor peat, and now that the plants are only watered by rainwater, the bog has become a true raised bog. The Lille Økssø lake can be viewed from the lookout tower. The forest around the bog is home to red deer.

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30. The Mossø lake

The forest lake of Mossø is near St. Økssø which you pass to reach Mossø and the Mosskovpavillionen. The lake is of the same type as St. Økssø; a clean, nutrient-poor and alkaline, brown-watered lake. The lake is just 5 hectares in area, but certainly worth the visit. Surrounded by pine forest, it resembles a Swedish forest lake. At one end there is a bog section with birch and sphagnum moss creeping into the lake. Here there are different peat mosses, cranberries, club moss and the rare Swedish dogwood.

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31. The Dragmosen bog

The Dragmosen bog is probably the most accessible raised bog in Denmark. It is located near the Møldrupvej road a few hundred meters south of Skørping, and is surrounded by forest roads. The bog is of the same type as Lille Økssø; an acidic fen which has evolved into a raised bog. One of the particularly noticeable plants of the raised bog is the cotton grass, when in June it turns the bog into a waving sea of white cotton puffs. Later, in September, the bog is turned light purple by the magnificent flowering heather.

32. The Havemosen bog

The Havemosen bog is a remnant of a raised bog bordering up to St. Økssø near the restored St. Økssø bog. In contrast to the St. Økssø bog, the Havemosen bog is deeply scarred peat-digging and the remains of old graves. There have also been attempts to restore the Havemosen bog to a raised bog. As the St. Økssø lake drains through the Havemosen bog, it has been easy to raise the water level in the bog to motivate new growth of sphagnum moss. The bog has been cleared of trees, and especially birch has been kept low by goats grazing the area. You will pass the Havemosen bog when you walk around the St. Økssø lake.

33. The Egebæk Kilde spring

The Egebæk Kilde spring produces 70-80 litres of spring water per second. The spring has risen from the limestone hill west of Hvolbjerg since the Ice Age. In the 1800s, a water mill was erected by the fast-flowing spring and it was dammed up for a mill pond. In the early 20th century, the mill was equipped with a turbine which supplied Gravlev and Oplev with electricity for a while. Later, the Egebæk fish farm was established. The fresh, clean spring water was perfect for fish farming. In 1997, the fish farm was purchased by the state and closed down, the dams were flattened and the brook was recreated with a meandering course. In 2009, the brook’s course into the new Lindenborg Å stream was extended. The Egebæk spring brook has a good, natural population of trout and many breeding grounds. The trout fry attract kingfishers.

34. The Skillingbro Kilde spring

The springs on the west side of the Gravlevdalen valley have all been used for fish farming. At Thingbæk and Skillingbro a large part of the spring water is still being used for fish production, though on a smaller scale. The original appearance of the Skillingbro Kilde spring is unknown, but it may have been strong enough to encourage people to lay pipes in the ground and cause the spring to form. The present-day Skillingbro Kilde spring spouts out of an iron pipe in a pond just behind the Skillingbro Nature Centre. Much of the water is used by the fish farm, the remaining water flows into a restored brook flowing into the Lindenborg Å stream. The Nature Centre is used by the schools in the municipality, as well as for meetings and courses.

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35. Forstrådens Gran and the firs at Mosskovgård

East of the Møldrupvej road across from the driveway to Mosskovgård, a little distance into the forest, there is a giant Douglas fir called “Forstrådens Gran”. This used to be considered the highest tree in the forest, although it is actually matched by other the trees, for example those in Jætternes Baghave (garden of the giants). The tree was planted in 1887 by forest supervisor Hintz to commemorate his predecessor, the renowned H.J. Hansen who was forest supervisor in the district for 48 years. Beneath the tree rests the forest supervisor’s beloved Iceland pony which stayed on at the forest supervisor manor house after his master died. Hintz is also responsible for planting a small group of large Douglas fir near the car park on the driveway to the Himmerland Nature Agency. These trees were planted as seeds in 1849 and are thus the oldest Douglas firs in Denmark.

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36. Svinehøjene

The Svinehøjene are two large grave mounds in the Bjergeskoven forest. It is hard to see for the forest, but the mounds are at the highest point in the Bjergeskoven forest. When they were built around 3000 years ago they would have been visible from afar. The location and their size (2 to 2½ meters high) indicates that they were built in the Bronze Age. The mounds have not been dug up so dating cannot be made accurately. The Rod Skov forest at that time was a light oak forest and the area around the buildings in the forest, was very open and used for grazing. The northern part of Rold Skov forest includes a very large number of Bronze Age burial mounds, but the location of the farmers’ homes and their fields relative to these burial sites remains one of the forest’s secrets. The name Svinehøje (pig mound) is from a time when pigs pastured in the forest.

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37. The Thingbæk limestone mines

The limestone mine is one of Denmark’s most distinctive attractions. Here a look into the subsurface of Himmerland can be combined with close encounters with bats, exciting cultural history and cultural experiences. The mine has been open to the general public since 1935. The mine also has exhibits by Anders Bundgaard and Carl Johann Bonnesen; two of Denmark’s most significant sculptors. Both were born in the 1860s and died just before the Second World War. The mine is also used for concerts, Christmas events, etc.

Read more about the Thingbæk limestone mines