Hiking in Linköping – Linköping’s most popular hiking trails
There are many trails to hike in Linköping, for example Östgötaleden. The Östgöta trail offers a total of 1400 km hiking and a guaranteed diversity of natural and cultural experiences.To get a better view over the routes and trails that both visitors and locals love the most, we have put together a list of the most popular trails in the municipality.
There is no need to be a skilled hiker to walk the Östgöta trail. The most important things are comfortable shoes, a packed lunch and some water. Several of the stages have good accessibility for the mobility-impaired and it is often easy to get to the different stretches by public transport.
Within Linköping municipality, the Östgöta trail offers 115 km of varied countryside; plains, canals, fantastic oak landscape, pastures and undulating forests. There is much to see and learn on the hikes – both about nature and culture.
Hike along the Göta Canal
Discovering the Göta Canal can of course be done by boat – but it is just as good on foot. You will pass by idyllic small towns and villages with changing landscapes and rich cultural life along the way. Hiking here is a year-round activity – but summertime is the best time to visit if you want to experience all the boats and see them navigating the locks. You can also book package trips on the Göta Canal’s own website. Then you can combine accommodation, meals and hiking in one. Luxury!
A perfect day’s hiking in the close vicinity of Linköping, is the 21 km stretch between Berg and Borensberg. The trail follows a vehicle-free road along the Göta Canal and is easy to walk. An amazing avenue of trees lines the road through landscape rich in beautiful nature and heritage. In summer, sheep, horses and cattle graze in the pastures along the way. For a tasty treat on your hike, pop in to Cloetta’s chocolate shop in Ljungsbro! Why not extend your visit and stay overnight, there are hostels both in Berg and Ljungsbro.
Hike along the Kinda Canal
The Kinda Canal area is an excellent place to hike to experience lush nature, diverse countryside and to see boats navigating through the locks.
You will pass many places worth stopping at during your hike. Depending on which direction you choose to go, Nykvarn lock is the first or the last lock along the canal. Going south from Linköping city you will pass Tannefors locks; here there are three lock basins with a water level difference of 10.5 meters. This is also the perfect place for a break at the popular Tannefors Café where in summer you can linger and eat a seafood buffet – mmm!
Having hiked further south, a great place for a picnic is at Hovetorp locks. This place is surrounded by oak landscape and has the canal’s greatest water level difference of 15.8 meters, in four basins. Just check out pictures taken at these locks – who would not want to hike along these mirror-like waters midst tranquil countryside? While in the area, a big must is hiking the trail around the lake Stora Rängen: “Rängen Runt”. As well as striking nature, the trail passes delights such as Stafsäter Gårdsglass (farm-made ice-cream), inspiring Bjärka-Säby Castle (which also offers retreats) and lake-side Vårdnäs Stiftsgård (offering both food and accommodation). By public transport, you can reach the eastern side of lake Stora Rängen by taking bus 566 or 540 towards Brokind. For more information on public transport, see Östgötatrafiken.
Pilgrimage along the Birgitta Trail
The St. Bridget´s Trail is a pilgrims’ path that links together parts of St. Bridget´s life, then and now. The sainted Bridget was chosen as one of Europe’s three female patron saints, the others being Edith Stein and Katarina of Sienna.
You can start your walk at Linköping Cathedral or anywhere else you choose along the St. Bridget´s Trail. If you start at the Cathedral in Linköping, you will have four days and an 81 km hike in front of you with new experiences and impressions – but above all the possibility of reflection and serenity. Östergötland’s open landscape offers fertile plains, lakes, Göta Canal, many abbeys and churches. In Linköping Cathedral, you can be sent off with a pilgrim’s blessing if you partake in an ordinary church service and talk to the priest before the mass. Along the St. Bridget´s Trail there are many places to stop and rest, hostels, B&Bs, hotels and also plenty of grocery stores and restaurants.
When you come to Vadstena you have reached your final destination and will be welcomed with a prayer if you give the Pilgrim Centre advanced notice of your arrival. You will also get a Pilgrim Certificate which shows that you have walked the St. Bridget´s Trail. You can finish your walk in the Abbey Church, at St. Bridget´s reliquary or in St. Bridget´s church in the Sisters of Birgittas Monastery Pax Mariae.
Along the St. Bridget´s Trail you can also walk or cycle on easily navigated roads and take a canal boat between Vreta Kloster/Berg and Borensberg on the Göta Canal. The trail is not marked in the terrain. You have to follow the map and the directions that are available for downloading. There are also meditations and tips for accommodation along the way. You can access the trail by public transport from many places. See Östgötatrafiken or call +46 (0)771-21 10 10.