Here we’ve put together some genuinely amazing experiences on one and the same tour. A combination of gentle cycling, wonderful walks on national park paths, breath-taking views and, not least, a visit to the Water Sprite’s Bath! Add to this a nice coffee break or tasty lunch at Ålshult Handelsbod and the option to rent a cycle in Åshult from Rentbike.se. The tour Ålshult–Ulvö is 16 km there and back. If you would like to continue a little further, you can quickly get to Trollberget entrance to the national park, a total distance of 21 km there and back. About 11 km is on car-free roads and just over 5 km on small asphalt roads.
The cosy and friendly Ålshult Handelsbod is the start and end of the tour. It’s the perfect place to have a coffee before starting the tour and somewhere to sit and enjoy a pleasant lunch on your return. Or, start with lunch to give your legs some extra energy before you set off. Out of consideration, service is currently only being offered outside and the tables have been spaced well apart from each other.
It’s easy to rent a cycle for your tour from Rentbike, which can be found at Ålshults Handelsbod as well as other locations. For just 150 SEK per cycle/day, you can avoid having to bring your own cycle if you come by car! The cycles are nice and new; alternatively, e-cycles can be booked at a small additional cost for those who prefer. Children’s cycles or cycle carts for young children are also available to rent. You must pre-book your cycles to guarantee availability – phone Ålshult Handelsbod on +46 (0)459 795599.
Give the cycle a rest and take a walk along the short national park path. This is the start of the north loop at Toftåsa marsh, part of Åsnen National Park. The signposted route follows winding paths and occasional footbridges through marshes and beautiful pine forests. In the spring you may hear cranes and black grouse. An enjoyable 1.6 km walk that may require waterproof shoes if there has been heavy rain!
The Water Sprite’s Bath, the Christening Stone – the names vary! But it’s easy to imagine the water sprite taking a relaxing bath here between engagements in darker waters!
Here you pass a historic swing bridge. The bridge, which dates back to the second half of the 19th century, used to pivot and was manoeuvred manually to allow the steam boat traffic that was once a common sight in Åsnen to pass.
Ulvö is an old station community through which the railway once passed. Today it’s a cycleway, Banvallsleden, on which you’re travelling. A nice place to swim, rest and have a picnic. There’s also a basic toilet by the car park. If you feel that 16 km is about the right distance, you can turn back to Årshult from here. If you continue for approx. 2.6 km you’ll reach the Trollberget entrance to Åsnen National Park, offering different paths, shelters from the weather, a jetty and campfire sites.
Trollberget offers a wonderful mosaic of nature. The exposed primary rock with its cracks and crannies is said to hide the trolls’ treasure. The dragonflies hover over calm bays and the legends that surround the area are many. Wide, easy paths and narrow forest tracks awaken the inner child and wanderlust in most. Shelter from the weather, barbeque areas and toilets make for a comfortable visit!