A picture of some hiking signs in Säby Västerskog

MINIGUIDE: Hiking trails in southern Linköping

You don't need much to be able to enjoy the beautiful nature we got in southern Linköping - possibly a pair of friendly hiking shoes. That's it! To make it a little bit easier for you, so you know where to find some of Linköpings secret southern nature pearls, we have put together a list with some of the short distance hiking trails. Simply, a perfect trip in the Swedish nature just for the day!

1. Östgötaleden between Vidingsjö fitness centre and Bjärka-Säby

This is an easy to medium stretch of walking trail through a varied landscape with oak pastures, mature oaks, lock areas by Kinda Canal etc. Take a detour to Hjortkällas old agricultural landscape with information boards, to Fornhemmet at Bjärka-Säby and New Manor Bjärka-Säby.

In several places along the trail there are barbecues areas, shelters, toilets and summer cafes (Hovetorp locks and New Manor Bjärka-Säby). Bus connections are also available in several places. Photo: Gunnar Ölfvingsson

2. Säby Västerskog - An enchanted forest

This nature reserve can be reached from the road between Bjärka-Säby and Bestorp. About 1 km south of Bjärka-Säby, by Slåtterängen, there is a sign “naturreservat” to the left. Säby Västerskog is located along the Östgöta trail between Bjärka-Säby and Sätravallen. The trail is about 1.5 km.

Experience a genuine enchanted forest with a variety of fungi and wood-dwelling insects such as beetles. The average age of the trees is estimated at 180 years! Dead trees are the basis for much of the life in this ancient forest and are therefore often left where they fall; so good mobility is a must. Take the opportunity to refresh yourself in Lake Stora Mörken, which also offers shelters and toilet facilities; located just south of the nature reserve. Swimming from the rocks at Stora Rängen a few hundred metres away is worth a detour.

3. Viggeby - Lakeside experience

Signposted from Road 34, about 25 kilometres south of Linköping and located just north of Brokind. Here the visitor will find a varied lakeside experience - a large nature reserve on a peninsula in Lake Järnlunden with its own archipelago.

The area has a rich flora and fauna and is a perfect place for swimming, lakeside walks and boating. Other facilities available include areas for swimming and barbecuing, a rest cabin and shelters for overnighting. Fishing is free within the reserve. The Östgöta trail leads into the reserve with an endpoint.

4. Öna - A culture pearl in the middle of the woods

A lovely stop on the road to Ulrika or Ycke Urskog (take Road 34 south to Skeda Udde, continue to Haraldsbo and turn left towards Drögshult). After about 5 km there is a sign to Öna turning right. This is a cultural reserve area with 17th-18th century settlements on large flat rocks.

Offering views over Stenjön and the pastures surrounding the farm - perfect for a picnic. No trail of its own but Östgötaleden passes close to Öna.

5. Ycke Urskog - Ronja The Robbers Daughter environment

Go back in time to a real Ronja The Robbers Daughter environment (thanks to the author Astrid Lindgren) and enjoy the ancient forest with its mosses. Hiking opportunities are available, both within the reserve and along the marked virgin forest trail, which is about 1.5 km long, as well as along the Östgöta trail.

This is a distinct virgin forest with both spruce and pine; with some trees dating back to the early 1700´s also has shelters and a roofed barbecue area. There are information signs by the parking areas. Hiking here requires good mobility due to fallen tree trunks crisscrossing the trail – which you need to climb over or crawl under!

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