Pilgrim Trail Dalsland
Experience a Sweden in miniature and become one with Dalsland nature! Pilgrimsleden (Pilgrim trail) is a beautiful hiking trail that begins in Vänersborg and goes via Holm's church in Mellerud to Edsleskog's church in Åmål municipality. You can wander over 100 kilometers!
A beautiful hike that begins in Vänersborg, goes via Holm’s church in Mellerud towards Edsleskog’s church in Åmåls municipality and finally via a new unmarked part, towards Svanskog. It is a walk of over 100 km. The original distance between Holm and Edsleskog is defined as medium difficulty.
Pilgrimage in Sweden continued for about 500 years, from the year 1050 to the year 1550. They were banned by King Gustav Vasa in 1527, but continued for a few decades. Many pilgrims came from Västergötland to Sunnanå, from where they continued north to the final goal of Nidaros (Trondheim, Norway) via Edsleskog.
Stretch Vänersborg – Åsebro
The trail is a continuation of Lödöseleden, which ends in Vänersborg. It goes across the Dalbo plain, mostly along low-traffic roads. This means that this stretch is really easy.
Pilgrimsleden starts just north of Dalbobron, which connects Västergötland with Dalsland. Follow the pilgrim signs north along the western side of lake Vänern and you will pass Ursand camping. Here is a small grocery shop and cafe, you can also set camp here. The trail continues north and takes you through two summer house areas, Stigsberget and Bäsingebol. Just north of these, the trail joins the old country road as it follows. Eventually, you will reach Sikhalls Camping, where you can camp, cook and buy some groceries. Continue through over the plain and pass the beautiful Gestad church, and the ruin of the old Gestad church. Continue across the plain and you reach Mellerud municipality just before Bolstad church.
The hiker passes Timmerviks, Gestads and Bolstads churches. The hiking trail is right beside lake Vänern in some places, where you can admire this great, mild lake.
Stretch Åsebro – Holm – Upperud
After about 25 km on the “new”, easily-traveled part, passing Grinstad’s and Järn’s churches, both dating back to the 13th century, you arrive at Holm’s church. Even it is from the 13th century. Here the trail started before it was extended. Then it measured 56 km.
You walk on the road over Dalboslätten. In the small society of Åsebro there is a pilgrim hostel on the left. A few kilometers later you pass the Grinstad church with the leaning tower (!) and Grinstad lanthandel where you can resupply. Another hour’s further hike later you will see Holm’s church dedicated to St. Olof. The trail continues north and passes Linderud’s farm, crosses the busy E45, and further north through, for example, Svankila Nature Reserve. Just over a mile north of Holm’s church you can pause at the Upperud 9:9 hiking center, where there is a cafe, lodging and information about the trail. As you continue your hike on the trail, cross the Dalsland canal at Upperud’s locks. From there the trail goes straight north to the woodland. The hiker will struggle on this upside down a long way to get his reward when standing on Skalåsknatten and looking out over lakes and blushing forests. Then it goes downwards again and you pass the Livarebo lakes that glide secretly between the pines. Then you will soon arrive in Bengtsfors municipality.
The walk continues between big water with names taken directly from the fairy tale – Flat (Flat) and Deep (Djup). In the end you reach the small village of Högelund, which lies quite lonely.
Åmåls municipality towards Edsleskog
From Högelund, the trail continues in a wild and hilly landscape, where one walks with difficulty down into the Ulvahål and up again on the other side. Forest lakes and long ridges characterize the landscape. You pass another high-lying village – Värnebo. Old house ruins are found in the woods, and you pass several on the trail. The goal of our walk is Edsleskog. What a joy when we reach the hights and look out over the climes and see lake Edslan’s blue mirror far below. The trail takes us down to the village and the lake. We continue a bit east and reach the goal – once upon a time Dalsland Cathedral, now a ruin but powerful still – in the church town of Edsleskog.
Towards Ömmelns station
(the not yet marked distance)
It takes you past the pastoral house in Edsleskog and Dalsland’s highest mountain, Baljåsen (301 m). Feel free to stay at the beautiful village of Petersborg on your right hand side. Furthermore, you will travel north along the small roadways and the dressin track. You end up reaching the end point of pilgrimage in Dalsland at Ömmelns station. And now you are already in Säffle municipality, in Värmland.
To come back after the walk:
In Edsleskog, the Pilgrim trail joins another trail, Storspåret, which runs between Edsleskog and Åmål. It is about 20 km. From Åmål, buses and trains leave towards Mellerud and Vänersborg. From Edsleskog there are also buses going to Bengtsfors / Ed and Åmål. Visit the page www.vasttrafik.se for routes and timetables.
Map sheets to download
Map of the entire trail (June 10, 2019)