Sjuhärad Cycle Trail – an adventure for the whole family
Cycle paths that are traffic free and ideal for children, beautiful countryside and a refreshing dip in a lake. A cycling holiday along the Sjuhärad Trail offers countless experiences, and has everything to make it a true family adventure.
The Sjuhärad Cycle Trail is completely traffic free for 120 of its 150 kilometres. The remaining 30 kilometres take you along quiet country roads and past old railway bridges and beautiful station buildings. There are even sections where you cycle above the treetops. It’s entirely up to you which section you choose to cycle along. There’s lots to do and discover for old and young alike.
Day 1: Ulricehamn – Torpa/Hofsnäs (29 km)
Begin your cycling adventure from Ulricehamn. If you don’t have a bike of your own, you can rent one at Bryggans Uthyrningcenter. While you are there, don’t miss the opportunity to see the beautiful cold-water bathing facility on Lake Åsunden. Built on piles, it extends impressively out into the lake. On the other side of the road is the tourist office if you are looking for tips on activities, events and places to see in and around Ulricehamn.
Photographer: Ekstrand Media
Your cycle journey begins along the former railway track, heading towards Skottek (which was previously the border between Sweden and Denmark). There you will find the Skotteksgården campsite, with child-friendly bathing, boat hire, a kiosk and a restaurant with a fabulous view across the lake.
Your journey then takes you via Marbäck to the beautiful natural landscape of the Korpeboberg deciduous forests. If you’re feeling peckish, stop off at the Vegby campsite with its small cafe. There’s also a pleasant playground for the children to run around, as well as mini golf and other fun activities.
The cycle trail takes you on through Månstad. From there you can make a short detour along a beautiful winding road to Hofsnäs Herrgård (6 km). The restaurant there has been accredited by the food producer organisation Smaka på Västsverige (A Taste of West Sweden), and has a range of excellent dishes, all made using locally sourced ingredients from farms in the Sjuhärad district, and presented together with an exquisite lakeside view. You can spend the night at Hofsnäs Herrgård, staying in Hofsnäs Lilla Sjöstuga, a cottage that comes complete with a sauna and a woodfired hot tub as a wonderfully relaxing reward after an a day’s cycling. If you have any energy left in your legs, there are excellent walking trails through the beautiful Torpa-Hofsnäs nature reserve. There is also a delightful bathing area with a sandy beach and jetties. After you have eaten, the large garden and playground at Hofsnäs are always popular with children.
Photographer: Jonas Ingman - M2B AB
From Hofsnäs, you continue cycling across the peninsula, eventually arriving at Torpa Stenhus (4 km), which is another place where you can stay overnight. Torpa Stenhus, dating back to the 15th century, is one of Sweden’s best-preserved manors and is well worth a visit. Allow your children to explore the castle dressed as a prince, princess or knight (a range of medieval clothes can be borrowed free of charge). There are lots of exciting things to see, including suits of armour and dungeons. Not to mention all the chilling stories about the castle’s ghosts!
Photographer: Jonas Ingman
Day 2 Torpa/Hofsnäs – Svenljunga (41 km)
Before setting off, make sure you purchase any fresh food and groceries you might need from the small store at Hofsnäs, or locally produced handicrafts from Hantverkarna på Torpa. Your first stop after setting off is Glasets Hus in Limmared (15 km). Glasets Hus has been created to commemorate the 300-year-old history of glassblowing in the area. Nowadays, all the Absolut Vodka bottles are produced in Limmared. You can see glassblowers at work, or you can try your hand at glassblowing yourself (must be booked in advance). If you are hungry, there is the Glasets Hus cafe, and excellent food is also on offer at the restaurant Limmareds Wärdshus. Other fun places to visit are Limmareds Säteri, with its farm shops filled with an abundance of local food from Sjuhärad. There is also a skate park and lots of second-hand shops in Limmared.
Photographer: Jonas Ingman
After Limmared, your cycle trip takes you alongside the railway track to Tranemo (6 km). On arrival, you can take your children over to the lake to see if they can spot cranes and the many other birds that are to be found there. Beside the lake there is an excellent bathing area and a large lay-by, complete with a beach volleyball court. If you wish, you can make a detour from the trail and cycle to Ambjörnarp, where you can try out a old pedal-powered rail inspection truck along the now disused railway line to Sjötofta. Don‘t forget to let them know in advance if you would like refreshments to take with you on your trip.
If you then continue your journey along the Sjuhärad Cycle Trail you will pass Uddebo, where you can take a break and exchange your bicycle for a canoe. In Uddebo, the Sjuhärad Cycle Trail divides into two. It is recommended that you choose the quieter, signposted section through Ulvshult. The gravel road is beautifully undulating, taking you past stunning picture postcard settings and idyllic farms. As you approach Svenljunga, you can sit back and enjoy the view with the wind blowing through your hair as it is mostly downhill. If you are interested in cars, you can visit Bynander’s Motor Museum, which is located directly beside the cycle path. It also has a cosy cafe if you feel like a coffee and something tasty to go with it.
Photographer: Roger Borgelid
On arrival in Svenljunga, you can enjoy a well-deserved ice cream beside the River Ätran after your adventure-filled day. If you are looking for something to soothe both body and soul, a visit to the Moga Fritid wellness centre could be just what you need, with a chance to swim and relax in the sauna.
If you choose to continue your cycling adventure, you can spend the night at the cosy and inviting guest house situated in the centre of the town.
Day 3 Svenljunga – Borås (38 km)
From Svenljunga all the way to Borås the route largely follows a former railway track. Known as Kindsbanan, it is one of the most short-lived railways in Sweden. Freight trains operated between Borås and Svenljunga from 1885-1902.
The first section of the track is bordered by a beautiful array of flowers, and you’ll spot lots of butterflies. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the wild strawberries that thrive along the trail. Patting a cow or a horse could very well be the high point of the day for the children, and along this stretch there are numerous meadows with cows and horses that are only too willing to say hello.
The trail passes through the small village of Sexdrega, and for those who are hungry there is a pizzeria. If you wish, you can buy provisions for a picnic at Larssons Livs. A little farther on, you will pass the centre of Lockryd, where you can also fill up those empty stomachs with an excellent selection of localy produced dishes at Köksträdgården.
The beautiful Lake Sandsjön, with an attractive bathing area if you want to cool down, is the perfect picnic stop on your journey. Part of the former railway line has a tightly packed gravel surface, and along certain sections you actually cycle above the treetops as the embankment is 15 metres high. Just before Borås, you pass Borås Golf Club, which has a cafe and restaurant. If anyone in the famil kiy feels in the mood for a game, the club operates a pay-and-play system. You can also swim, this time in Transåssjön. You can even try your hand at fishing for rainbow trout, or take a leisurely walk around the lake.
On arrival in Borås, there are lots of fun things to do for the whole family. You can watch a bear bathe at Borås Zoo, design your own garment at the Textile Museum, or allow the children to play to their heart’s content in the popular playground in the municipal park. There are lots of activities to choose from. Here you can choose to end your cycling adventure for this time or continue the 47 kilometres on the traffic free paths back to Ulricehamn.