You are constantly surrounded by history in the fertile landscape on and around Kinnekulle, making it perfect for walkers with an interest in the past. The scenic, sometimes hilly 48 kilometre-long Kinnekulle Path takes you on a journey deep into the fascinating natural and cultural heritage of Sweden.
Scenic plateau with views of lake Vanern
Kinnekulle Path has 48 kilometres of varied landscapes with lush deciduous woods, pastures filled with flowers, spellbound old spruce forests and lovely smooth rocks for coffee breaks and cooling dips. The path meanders up to a 300 metre high plateau, Kinnekulle. A short detour to the outlook tower on Högkullen is highly recommended, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view toward Läckö Castle and lake Vanern on a clear day. In the early spring the rapids at Martorpsfallet crash over the limestone formations and during the early summer the Munkängarna nature reserve is like a fairy-tale world, the ground covered by white flowers of wild garlic.
Stroll among manor houses and rock carvings
It is a countryside rich in cultural traditions, its rock carvings, burial sites and cultivated land telling the stories of thousands of years of inhabitants. There are many old manor houses and churches here. A small detour from the path takes you to Husaby church, first built in the 11th century. Flyhov's rock carvings are a little further away - over 450 figures on about ten rocks. This is Västergötland's largest collection of rock carvings from the Bronze Age.
There are many traces of the early use of limestone, which is particularly abundant around Kinnekulle. Many shades of colour can be seen in the rock at the old limestone quarry and down by Råbäck harbour the path follows the old lime lane, used during the late 19th century to transport lime down to the waiting ships. The remnants from the mines and lime-burning are seen higher up on the hill, and down in the harbour there is a museum where you can step back into the glory days of the stone-works.
Accommodation and food
There are many attractive cafés, restaurants and accommodation to choose between along the path. Don't miss Hellekis Säteri, a manor dating back to the Middle Ages. The beautiful light yellow house is private, but the grounds, the café and the restaurant are open and very popular with hungry walkers. Falkängen is a handicraft village in a scenic old works village, about two kilometres from the path. There are twelve charming boutiques filled with arts and crafts along the historic high street of Falkängen. Stop for a coffee and cake in Falkängen's coffee shop and stay overnight in the picturesque hostel in the village. The Kinnekullegården restaurant is right next to the path on the top of Kinnekulle hill, with huge views of the surrounding countryside. From this point you can join three short circular paths in the area of Högkullen.
Fact about the trail
The entire Kinnekulle Path is 48 kilometres long and can be divided over three days. If you are looking for shorter day-walks, there are three loops of about two to five kilometres long on Högkullen. There is another nice loop about 5 kilometres long by Martorpsfallet, and one of about 6½ kilometres by Munkängarna.
Photographer: Monika Manowska
The whole path is well suited for a 3-day walk, but of course this is very individual and depends on how many other excursions you wish to make.
Kinnekulle Path is marked in orange. You can find a map showing the path in a scale of 1:40,000 at the tourist office in Lidköping and at Infopoints. This can be combined with topographic maps from Lantmäteriet: 9D SV Mariestad and 8D NV Skara.
Level of difficulty:
The path is classified as medium. Some parts are hilly and you walk mostly on natural paths; there are some small forest roads and short sections of the path are on slightly larger roads.
Start and end:
It is possible to start walking at several points along the path, depending on whether you arrive by car or train. The Kinnekulle railway line runs along the west side of the path, which makes it easy to adapt the walk in terms of distance. The Blomberg and Råbäck stations are right next to the path, and Trolmen station is only a couple of hundred metres away from it. The village of Hällekis is about two kilometres from the path and has a train station and good parking facilities.
Photographer: JESPER ANHEDE
How to get here:
Kinnekulle Path is inland in West Sweden near the south-east banks of lake Vänern in Götene municipality, about 150 kilometres from Gothenburg. If you come here by train, there are direct connections on the Kinnekulle train from Gothenburg or Örebro, which are the terminals. There are several direct trains, but in some cases you may have to change in Herrljunga when coming from Gothenburg. It is an easy and comfortable journey from Gothenburg to Kinnekulle in about two hours.
The Kinnekulle railway line takes you straight into the heart of the beautiful scenery of this area. You can get off at one of the stations in Forshem, Hällekis, Råbäck, Blomberg, Trolmen and Källby. Västtrafik has more details about the train times. If you are coming from Stockholm, there is a direct bus service (Skaraborgaren) to Lidköping that takes about 5 hours. From Lidköping you can then take the train to Kinnekulle in about half an hour.
Photographer: Viggo Lundberg
You can find a digital map on Google maps and if you want a paper map these are available at the tourist office in Lidköping and at Infopoints in Götene municipality.