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Simon Grimstrup - local in the Danish Lake District

Five Running Routes for Your Holiday in the Danish Lake District

Photo: Tania Nørgaard

The list of possible routes around the Lake Highlands is endless, so it is hard to choose between the many wonderful outdoor options. I have suggested a number of marked-off routes that are well-suited for trail running, but they can just as well be used for hiking.

The idea of trail running is to get away from the pavements and the asphalt and get out in the landscape.

📝 By Simon Grimstrup
Lake District by locals

Simon Grimstrup - local in the Danish Lake District
Photo: Tania Nørgaard

Simon Grimstrup grew up in Ry, and today, he lives at Knøsgården out in the woodlands west of Himmelbjerget.
Meet Simon here →

Which route is the most beautiful?

Easy – it is the Velling Kalv-route. Here, you reach an incredible vantage point 119 m above sea level with a 180 degree view of Salten Ådal valley. You can easily combine the yellow 2.3 km hiking route with the route that leads around Snabe Igelsø lake towards the west and even further towards the east by Hundsø. The area is very rugged and has a beautiful old beech forest. The area near Bryrup holds great diversity in its scenery, and one of the most picturesque stretches along the iconic Hærvejen trail runs through the vast and open moorlands north-west of Vrads. Sepstrup Sande and Skærbæk Plantager are extremely scenic, as well.

Which route is the shortest?

You will have an undulating, short, and very nice hike to Sukkertoppen near Klostermølle. It holds all the best, that the Lake Highlands have to offer – the Gudenåen stream, a spectacular view, and technical descent for your bike ride. The lovely circle-route has been marked off starting from the parking space at Klostermølle. You can even choose to pop to Møgelkol, which you will find in the forest around Mossø lake.

Which route is the most challenging?

This will be the route from Ry to Silkeborg. You may want to use the full loop around the Silkeborg lakes. Make your logistic ends meet by hopping on a train or a boat. You also have the option of covering the full route in separate stages, as you will find several different kinds of accommodation along the way. This way, you get to explore the different forests.

Running in the Silkeborg Forests
Photo: VisitSilkeborg

Which route is the most extreme?

Bjergruten – the mountain route near Himmelbjerget is an extremely rugged and beautiful route. Mix up the route by popping off to Skriver Kol, from where you get the very best view of Himmelbjerget. There are plenty of possible variations to the route, just remember to use the map app so you can find your way back to the car. You may also want to use the ’Strava’ app to find the ‘nice hills’ along the way. The app also allows you to compare your results with local trail runners.

Which route is the most child-friendly?

This would be the route by Slåensø lake, which is a beautiful 3 km walk that everyone can join in on and with a great place to go swimming at as its ultimate goal. The water in Slåensø lake is extremely clear, since it comes from a spring. An up-hill visit to Kongestolen will get your pulse up and not least allow you to take in a stunning view towards Sindbjerg and Stoubjerg.

Views over the lake and forest at Slåensø Lake by Silkeborg
Photo: Maria Rømer, CurlyCamper

The extra route

The amazing possibilities are so many that I can hardly stop naming them. One of the places that I do not visit that often is Troldhøjen near Gjern, which you will find in a rolling landscape with lots of inviting trails not to mention nice parking facilities.

Tips for your day:

  1. Download a map app such as ‘Topo GPS, as it can be hard find your way in the vast woodlands.
  2. Get hold of the Danish Nature Agency’s leaflets on the area. In there, you will find a good paper map and an overview of the various routes along with useful information on the landscape and the cultural landmarks you pass.
  3. Bring water and energy supplies with you. The high number of vertical metres during a run in the Lake District results in a slower pace than in most other places in Denmark.
  4. Consider using public transport, which will allow you to run from point A to point B. Trains, boats, as well as bus lines are available.
  5. Work on your trail-running technique – it will give you a better flow once you hit the trails.

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