The Billingen Trail
The Billingen Trail is an approximately 57 kilometre long hiking trail that takes you right round Billingen plateau mountain. It skirts along the flank, where there are fantastic views, then continues down onto the plain through fields and forests, and along the flower rich chalk plateau in Berg.
Length: approx. 57 km
Timing: 3-4 days
Terrain: Hilly walking with some steeper parts. Narrow forest paths, across fields and some shorter stretches on asphalt roads.
Lots to discover
There’s lots to see and discover on the Billingen Trail. It takes you past lovely sights like the impressive diabase pillars at the Ryds caves, the beautiful Silverfallet waterfall and the rolling countryside in Vallebygden where masses of wild cherry trees blossom in spring. Visit Varnhem Abbey while you’re there and have a dip in one of the small lakes near the trail.
Photographer: Peter Nilsson
Suitable for both longer and shorter walks
The Billingen trail is divided into 8 one day or half day’s marches. There is an information sign at each starting point, and all of the starting points lie close to a parking lot or bus stop.
- Section 1 Billingen’s recreatinal area – Ryds caves – Stora Liden Rånna 7,5 km
- Section 2 Stora Liden Rånna – Högsböla meadows 8,5 km
- Section 3 Högsböla meadows – Silverfallet waterfall 3,5 km
- Section 4 Silverfallet waterfall – Lycke Lilla Höjen 5 km
- Section 5 Lycke Lilla Höjen – Öglunda 6 km
- Section 6 Öglunda – Höjentorp 6,5 km
- Section 7 Höjentorp – Varnhem 7 km
- Section 8 Varnhem – Billingen’s recreational area 13 km
The varied terrain along the Billingen Trail takes you through magical forests, under beautiful leafy treetops and across open grazing land. The trail goes both up and down Billingen’s fells and offers hilly walking. There are several adjoining paths in the area which can be walked in a day if you don’t want to walk the whole of the trail. Walking maps can be downloaded here or find a map with sightseeing tips below. Printed maps to take along can be purchased from Skövde Turistcenter and the Tourist Information Centre in Skara.
The Billingen Trail starts at Billingen’s recreational area and heads north along the edge of Billingen and up to the parish of Berg. From there it goes south to Lycke Lilla Höjen nature reserve and the historical village Varnhem. The trail often crosses fields with grazing animals, so keep a good eye on your dog. Benches and tables have been placed at several viewpoints.
Photographer: Mårten Bergkvist
As evening falls and it gets too dark to walk longer all walkers need somewhere to rest their legs and re-charge their batteries. There are several choices of hotels and B&B’s to stay in along the Billingen Trail. Some are right next to the trail and others a short detour of a couple of kilometres. Accommodation near the trail is listed below:
The Right of Public Access
In Sweden we all have right of public access which means that we have the right to be out and stay in the countryside. Being able to go out walking, wild camping or picking berries in the woods are examples of what the right of public access covers. It’s an age old custom that should be used with care. When we’re out in the countryside we don’t just have rights, we also have responsibilities. This involves being responsible for nature and animals and being respectful towards landowners and other visitors. You must not disturb or destroy. In nature reserves you are usually not allowed to pick flowers and can only make fires in permitted areas. Remember to also close gates behind you if the trail you are walking goes through a field. Read more about the Right of Public Access here.
Photographer: Tobias Andersson
Tips before you go
Beginner or experienced hiker? Whatever your level it can be useful to have a little checklist of helpful things to think about before you set off.
- The right clothes are essential. Cotton is less breathable than wool so choose woollen layers that are both breathable and provide insulation.
- Don’t walk in new boots. Blisters will spoil any hiking experience. Make sure you’ve worn them in before you set off on your hike.
- Choose a rucksack with a waist strap. It makes walking more comfortable on your back by distributing the load and is useful whether you’re carrying a picnic bag or several days’ worth of gear.
- Look after yourself. Take a first aid kit, some extra food and extra layers. If you are walking solo you should let someone else know where you plan to walk in case something unforeseen happens while you are out.
- Take extra socks with you and change them often. Damp feet increase the risk of getting blisters!
Photographer: Mårten Bergkvist
Fact about the trail
Approx. 57 kilometres. The trail is a circular walk that is easiest when done in day stages.
3-4 days if you decide to walk the whole trail.
Orange marks with a black “B”. Follow those marks the whole way round so you know you are on the right track.
Level of difficulty:
Moderate. Hilly walking with some steeper parts. The terrain varies between narrow forest paths, grazing land and some shorter sections on asphalt roads.
Start and end:
The Billingen Trail starts at Billingen’s recreational area and heads north along the eastern steeps of Billingen with a lovely view over Skövde and its surroundings, before turning west around the other side of the outcrop. Of course you can use the map to find and alternative starting point, for example one of the 8 starting points along the trail. It is a circular walk you can join wherever it suits you best.