Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cesar's Guide to the E1 Trails in Sweden: Vildmarksleden


Vildmarksleden is a 42km trail that connects in the west with Bohusleden in Göteborg, and in the east ends in Hindås.  The E1 then continues from Hindås on Knalleleden towards Borås in the east.

Here is the official website of the trail, which is in Swedish, but apparently has plans on having information in English in the future.

Here is a link to a PDF of a set of maps of the entire trail from the official website, and it is generally a pretty good set of maps that has recently been updated.

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!


My friend Blue Alex at the eastern head of the trail in Hindås.

This is a trail that I have hiked on several times over the past few years.  It's a good hike with several very beautiful spots--especially around and east of the large lake St. Härsjon--has a few shelters, and is pretty straight forward and without many complications.  Recently efforts have been made to do trail maintenance, mark the trail better, and slightly change the route of the trail, so there are times where you might see the older version of the trail go on and some of the faded older markings.  But don't worry, it's pretty hard to get lost on this trail and in this area.

The trail has plenty of conveniences for long distance hikers, as it's fairly close to civilization.  I highly recommend the shelter on the south end of St. Härsjon, which has a great view of the lake and is spacious; but keep in mind that it's right next to a large lake, and thus will be slightly colder.  This shelter is popular with the locals however, so especially if the weather is nice there will be people there.  This also means firewood is harder to find/collect if you want a campfire, as the area directly surrounding this shelter has been thoroughly ransacked for dead wood and kindling.  

If you get off the trail and just head south, on the western part of the trail you'll run into the 40/27 highway, and on the eastern part of the trail (close to Hindås) you'll run into the 156 highway.  There are bus stops all along these highways, as well as small towns like Landvetter and Härryda on the 40/27, plus a few gas stations.  Landvetter is probably the best place to re-supply on Vildmarksleden, with supermarkets and shops in the center of town, which is right next to its large, central bus stop.  There is a train station in Hindås where you can catch a train to either Göteborg to the west or Borås in the east.  This is a local commuter train and chugs along slower, but the ride is rather scenic and pleasant going both east and west.

The trail also happens to pass by somewhat close to the second largest airport in Sweden, the Göteborg-Landvetter Airport.  So it would be possible to fly in and hop right onto the E1 trail system, or to hop off the trail and fly away.  It's a pretty nice airport, and there are buses, shuttles, and taxis to get one into the city of Göteborg.

Rather than go back and re-hike the entire trail on another section hike, I've decided to dig up some pictures from last year and the year before on different trips I took on the trail.  So my apologies for not having as many pictures as I normally have for my reports, but then again this trail is not that long or challenging anyhow.  These pictures are mostly from the eastern end of the trail, closer towards Hindås.  Several of these pictures were taken by my friend Ryan, so cheers for your photography mate.  And thanks to Blue Alex, Red Alex, Mikael (AKA Mr. Beardy), and Julia for their talents as backpacking models and for joining me on trips on and around Vildmarksleden.