Hiking in Linköping – Linköping’s most popular hiking trails
There are many trails to hike in Linköping. For example, we have Östgöta trail, which in total is a hiking distance of 1400 km, and offers a guaranteed diversity of natural and cultural experiences. For an overview of the stretches visitors and Linköping residents hold most dear, we have put together some of the most sought-after trails we have in the municipality.
Hike the Östgöta trail
You need not be a regular hiker to walk the Östgöta trail. The most important things are, a pair of really comfortable shoes, liquids and a packed lunch. Several of the stages have good accessibility for the mobility-impaired. And it is easy to get to the different exit points and terminals with public transportation – if you don’t have a lift that is.
Within Linköping municipality, we have 115 km of Östgöta hiking trails which offer varied countryside; the plain, the canals, the fantastic oak landscape, the pastures and the undulating forest tracts as you come south. There is much to see and learn on the hikes – both about nature and older 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 little towns and villages with changing landscapes and a rich cultural life along your journey. Hiking here is a year-round activity – but if you want to experience the beautiful lake life with leisure craft and cruise boats navigating the locks, then summer is the time. 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 Berg-Borensberg. The trail follows a vehicle-free dirt road along the Göta Canal. This is a stretch that is easy to walk. An amazing avenue of trees lines the road through an inviting and beautiful landscape rich in fine natural milieus and heritage. In summer sheep, horses and cattle graze in the pastures along the way. Do not miss the perfect stop for stocking up with treats, namely Cloetta’s Chocolate Boutique in Lungsbro! Why not extend your visit and stay overnight, there are hostels in both Ljungsbro or Berg.
Hike along the Kinda Canal
If you choose to hike the Kinda Canal you will, in addition to diverse countryside, pass several locks with various level differences, where you can view the spectacle of boats navigating up and down. Depending on which direction you choose to travel, Nykvarn lock is the first or the last.
You will pass several places worth a stop – amongst which is Tannefors locks. Here there are three lock basins with a level difference of 10.5 meters, which is the nearest lock stop to Linköping city. Do not miss a break at the popular Tannefors Café where in summer you can linger and eat a seafood buffet – mmm!
If you have your own packed lunch with you we warmly recommend a picnic stop at Hovetorp locks which are surrounded by oak landscape, and have the canal’s greatest level difference of 15.8 meters in four basins. After all – check out the pictures taken at these locks – who would not want to hike beside this mirror-like water and through this tranquil countryside? While in the neighbourhood, do not miss the opportunity to go Rängen Runt – a trail which lies by the Kinda Canal area! As well as striking nature the trail passes delights such as Stafsäte Gårdsglass Ice-cream farm, inspiring Bjärka-Säby Castle (which also offers retreats) and lake-side Vårdnäs Stiftsgård diocese with accommodation options.
Pilgrimage along the Birgitta Trail
The Birgitta Trail is a pilgrims’ path that links together parts of Saint Birgitta’s life, then and now. The sainted Birgitta was designated 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 Birgitta 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 reflexion 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 Birgitta trail there are many places to stop and rest, hostels, pensions, hotels and also plenty of food shops and restaurants.
When you come to Vadstena you have reached your destination and will be welcomed with an advent prayer if you give the Pilgrim Centre advanced notice of your arrival. You will also then get a Pilgrim Certificate which shows that you have walked the Birgitta Trail. You can finish your walk in the Abbey Church, at Birgitta’s reliquary or in Saint Birgitta’s church in the Sisters of Birgitta Monastery Pax Mariae.
Along the Birgitta trail you can also walk or cycle on easily navigated roads and take a canal boat between Vreta Abbey/Berg and Borensberg on the Göta Canal. The trail is not marked in the terrain. You have to follow the map and directions 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. Contact Östgötatrafiken or on 0771-21 10 10.