Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cesar's Guide to the E1 Trails in Sweden: Hallandsleden Part 2

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This is the shorter part of northern section of Hallandsleden which passes by the city of Kungsbacka to the west.  

Going northbound it connects with Bohusleden, and in the south it continues on to the much longer northern section of Hallandsleden, which is also the very first E1 trail in Sweden if one arrives via ferry from Denmark in Varberg.

Here is a PDF of the official map of this section of trail, but as I have noted before, I am not a fan of these maps.  I suggest you buy a better map of the area if you plan on exploring the area and/or spending a lot of time on the northern third of Hallandsleden.  On the other hand, the official map is better than nothing and it's free to print out, so if you are just passing through here it works.

If you have not read the introduction to this trail guide yet, you can do so here, and there is also a list of links to other completed trail reports of the Swedish E1 trails.  Please keep in mind this is still a work in progress.

Now on to the guide!

 
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I'll start off by admitting that in general I don't really like this section of trail.  There is not as much actual trekking out in nature, and I have experienced a few rather annoying problems with the trail.  So I'll start off with possible ways for you to skip this section.  

 
There are some bus stops at the southern end of the trail, but with pretty limited access, as buses only come a few times a day and not on the weekends.  If you are going northbound, it's 13km to a shelter at Äskhult.  If it's late or you don't feel like setting up your shelter, you can take advantage of this shelter.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the shelter or area, but I do intend on going back specifically to check up on some issues this section of trail has, and will also get some more pictures.

Shortly after the shelter (roughly 7-8km) the trail passes right by a suburb of Kungsbacka, Fjärås.  Not much is going on in Fjärås, but it does have several buses that run more regularly to Kungsbacka, where you can then catch a train going north with stops in the small town of Lindome, the small city of Mölndal, and the big city Göteborg.  All three of these places have Bohusleden passing relatively close by, and you can use a variety of public transportation to get to many different parts of the trail, including the E1 section which then connects with Vildmarksleden that goes east towards the small town of Hindås.

I would personally suggest if you have extra time to hang out in Göteborg, which is a really cool city with lots to see and do, plus you can re-supply there better than anyplace else in Sweden, aside from perhaps Stockholm.  If you don't have time or just want to hit the trail again, then I recommend going to Mölndal and then taking a bus from there to the Gunnebo Mansion.  You can read more about this area in my report on Bohusleden linked above.

However if you insist in hiking this entire section of trail, what you can expect is a lot of hiking through residential areas, suburbs, farmland, and roads.  Plus in the northern part of the trail, close to where it connects with Bohusleden, I ran into problems with staying on the trail.  Not only is it not marked all that well, but somewhat recently a part of the woods in the area that the trail goes through was clear-cut for logging--and while I was there, no one bothered to re-mark the trail.  Very frustrating, and I ended up off the trail several times, wandering around farmlands and dirt roads.

Here are some of the few pictures I bothered to take on one of my section hikes, all of which are in the northern half of this trail.  I will update this report with more pictures and any new information in the future, but for now this is all I have to say about this unfortunately flawed, short, and forgettable part of the E1 trail system.

Here is the clear-cut land where there were no trail markers.
Very close to the southern head of Bohusleden.

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