Nature trails: Beechwood Forest Trail (“Bokskogsstigen”)
- Omberg and the ice age (“Omberg och istiden”)
- Trees, bushes and forests (“Träd, buskar och skog”)
Hiking trails: Ellen Key Trail (“Ellen Keys led”) - Älvarum Trail (“Älvarumsleden”) - Around Omberg/Östgöta Trail (“Omberg runt/Östgötaleden”)
Pilgrim trails: Marialeden - Klosterleden Alvastra-Vadstena
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Ombergsliden is the realm of orchids. They can be found everywhere: in the limestone bogs, on the pastures and in the spruce forests, and they adorn the landscape. There are also rare and exciting butterflies, mushrooms and snails. Lime, spring water and livestock are the main ingredients of this almost exotic nature. The hiking trail through the reserve offers an excellent start. There you will get to know the different types of nature, and on footbridges you can walk through the limestone moors on dry feet.
Beware! The nature reserve's hiking trail has the same orange colour markings as the Östgötaladen / Ombergsleden and has partly the same course.
See the pillared hall of the beechwood forest outside Ecopark Centre. This 650 m trail can easily accommodate wheelchairs, walking frames and prams.
Do you know what a glacifluvial channel, alluvial cone and a dead ice hole are? Signs at these and other unique finds tell the history of the ice age and its significance to today’s landscape in Omberg. The trail also takes you out to Vätterbranten and the view at Oxbåset and the former shoreline of the Baltic icelocked lake.
Learn to recognize our most common trees and bushes! On signs along the trail, you can also read about changes to the landscape and forests from the ice age to today. Which varieties of trees came here first and which came last? How can many “hot age” plants and animals thrive in Omberg today?
This hike offers a view for miles, beech forests that smell of wild garlic, scraggy shoreline forest and a blooming hayfield.
The path goes down toward Vättern on the boulder ridge from the Stocklycke parking lot. After about 200 meters, you will come to a hayfield – one of the most rich in species and most endangered types of nature in Sweden.
From Stocklycke hamn the path winds through a varied “shoreline forest”, past the Rödgavel grotto toward Bokskogen nature reserve. Just south of the nature reserve, Ellen Key built her tasteful house Strand in 1910, designing it as “a home for the soul”. Sverkersgården just after Strand is an old crypt church. The path passes Ombergs turisthotell and then takes a steep incline up to the highest point in Omberg, Hjässan, where views of Östgötaslätten, Tåkern and Vättern await. Around Hjässan you will find the ruins of Hjässaborgen, the largest of Omberg’s ancient castles.
The pond of Mörkahålkärret nature reserve harbor toads, frogs and other pond animals. Keep an eye out for grass snakes on the prowl for frogs! The last leg of the path goes through a beautiful beech forest.
On this hike, you can meet the diversity of the heights and the natural spruce forests, get a taste of Vättern and visit some gorgeous outlook points.
A few hundred meters after the start, the path enters a so-called glacifluvial channel– a remnant of the ice age. North of Pers sten you follow a bewitching and gorgeous stretch down toward Älvarums udde. You can catch glimpses of Vättern through the trees of the deciduous forest and behind awe-inspiring spruces. At Älvarums udde you can go down to the pebble beach for a dip or to catch some fish for dinner. Just north of Älvarums udde is Storpissan nature reserve. In the spring, the Storpissan Basin, which runs along the northern boundary of the nature reserve, builds a forceful stream straight out in Vättern.
Take a detour to the slope of Marberget, with its magnificent view of Vättern and the forests of Omberg. The return trip passes Borggården, the most well preserved of the mountain’s three ancient castles and the limestone marsh in Mörkahålkärrets nature reserve.
ca. 27 km
The crème de la crème of the mountain’s natural and cultural treasures lie along this hiking path. Västra väggar, Alvastra and Ellen Keys Strand are well known in Sweden and abroad, but along this path you will also find lesser known favorites, such as Bockakyrkogården and Renstadfällan. The route up to Storpissan nature reserve is described under “Älvarumsleden”. North of the mouth of Storpissan you will find an oak landscape that is reminiscent of the Djurgård epoch when the mountain was a royal hunting ground. Livestock graze here once again. The hike continues past the lime-rich Vitlerbäcken toward the outlook point Västra väggar. Here, you can peer down into the clear water of Vättern 100 meters from above. At Drottning Ommas borg you will find wall ruins from a 1500 year old castle. You will also get a view of the historical Borghamn with limestone quarry, port and Bockakyrkogården – the burial site of soldiers and prisoners from the "Kronoarbetskåren".
While hiking along eastern Omberg, you will soon meet Östgötaslätten. You will pass Ombergsliden nature reserve, which harbors some of Östergötland’s foremost orchid marshes, Renstadfällan’s natural pastureland that is rich in flowers and offers a view of Tåkern and the plains. At Höje Lilläng you pass unique pasture and hayfield environments. Stop for awhile and read about the nature conservation project going on here. At the southern slope of Omberg, you will meet extensive beech, ash and elm forests. Alvastra kloster is made up of the grand ruins of the medieval Cistercian monastery. The path from Ombergs turisthotell and back to the starting point Stocklycke is described – in the opposite direction – under ”Ellen Keys trail”.
The Ombergstrail is part of Svenska Turistföreningens Signaturetrail Omberg (Boxholm-Borghamn, 85 km). A signaturetrail is beautiful and contains spectacular nature experiences. The nature of the trail is characteristic for its part of the country. There are twelve signaturetrails in Sweden. Once you have hiked them all, you will receive a diploma.
[Texts are published with kind permission Sveaskog]
10,3 km / 15 km
The Marialeden is a shorter ca. 10,5 km long day hike that leads from Borghamn through the beautiful Omberg Ecopark and passes the Monastery of Mary's Daughters - Monastery of the Sacred Heart, Ombergsliden, Västra Väggar and Drottning Ommas Borg.
If you want to hike for an additional hour, follow the trail behind Svartsvall to Hälle källor and then walk along Norra Sjövägen to Västra väggar.
On Klosterleden from Alvastra Monastery to Vadstena you hike over the Omberg, the holy mountain of Östergötland. One admires the view over the Vättern, visits the Convent of the Holy Heart, hikes over the plain of Östergötland and finally reaches the pilgrimage destination, the abbey church in Vadstena. Accommodation is available at the STF Youth Hostels in Stocklycke and Vadstena, Borghamn's Youth Hostel and the Pilgrim Centre in Vadstena.
The entire Klosterleden, which stretches from Kolmården in the north and Alvastra in the south to Vadstena, received its name because it passes eleven monasteries with five different monastic traditions.
The Klosterleden begins at Alvastra Monastery. Via Hjässan and Stocklycke you get to Västra väggar. From there you can either take the path via Svartsvall, Ombersliden, past the Convent of the Sacred Heart to Borghamn or Rogslösa, or hike directly to Borghamn.