Yesterday I finally had a day off from my job as a communicator at the municipal visitors center in Karlsborg. Hence – we headed for the national park of Tiveden for some hiking. I took my dad with me for an 8 km hilly hike to Stenkälla (The fountain under the rock), Vitsand (literally White Sand) and Junker Jägares sten (the rock of Junker Jägare).
The ice age left these huge polished rocks in the woods.
Arriving at Stenkälla.
Trying to grasp the size of the rocks that the ice would move around like pebbles. See me in the picture?
The fountain itself. See which the real rocks are and what is a reflection?
Some breathtaking views over lake Trehörningen.
And then Vitsand – a white sandy beach in the middle of the woods. And moreover, the water is red.
Can it be due to the high level of iron in the water?
I couldn’t stop playing with my new toy – a waterproof Nikon. The red color of the water is accurate. No filters or manipulating the saturation.
Then we ran out of drinking water and I didn’t quite feel like doing 2 km extra but I’m happy we did. The rock of Junker Jägare (Junker jägares sten) is one of the biggest rocks put out by the ice.
According to the legend Junker jägare was a young hunter from Norway, desperately in love with a young maid from Tiveden. But the father of the girl had promised her to a wealthy man. They decided to run away and managed to do so. But after a while they had to rest for the night and found the caves under this rock. The hunter walked off to find something to eat. In the meantime the maid’s father had noticed she was gone and demanded she would be brought back to him, dead or alive. While the hunter was still away, they found her under the rock but she refused to go back. Then, one of the men remembered the father had said he wanted her back dead or alive – and he killed her cutting her head off. When the hunter got back he found nothing but the place covered in blood. He realised what must have happened and fled back to Norway. He was never heard of again. But local people in Tiveden still say they sometimes see him wander by the rock searching for his maid and sometimes they can hear the beheaded maid whine over her hunter.
After this sad reading we headed back along the lake walking on the sun-warmed cliffs high above lake Trehörningen. This is by far my favourite hike in Tiveden. You just start at the visitors’ parking and follow the signs to Stenkälla (1 km). From there, follow the signs to Vitsand (2 km-ish). Then follow the map to Junker Jägare (maybe 1 km but we didn’t follow any map and got a bit lost). Then walk back to the beach and follow the signs to the main parking (3,1 km).
We saw families with really young kids doing the hike to Stenkälla, so I would recommend the trail to anyone of any age, as long as you have good knees. All the ups and downs are quite challenging but even if you’re a little out of shape, you might not even notice you get tired because there are constantly so many beautiful things to look at.
Also: The tourist information in Karlsborg provides free trail maps for the Stenkälla trail and overviews of the National Park of Tiveden. Come by and maybe we’ll meet there!
(All pictures where I appear were taken by Bo Hermansson and all other by Åsa Maria Hermansson.)