Hiking trails: Ellen Key Trail
⋅ Älvarum Trail
⋅ Ombergtrail (Around Omberg/Östgöta Trail)
Former pilgrim trails: Marialeden ⋅ Klosterleden Alvastra-Vadstena
New pilgrim trails: Birgittaway Jönköping-Vadstena ⋅ Monastery way Alvastra-Rogslösa ⋅ Virgin Mary round
Nature trails: Beechwood Forest Trail ⋅ Omberg and ice age ⋅ Orchid trail ⋅ Forest loop (Trees and bushes)
Detail maps: Alvastra ⋅ Stocklycke ⋅ Borghamn / North Omberg
This hike offers a view for miles, beech forests that smell of wild garlic, scraggy shoreline forest and a blooming hayfield.
The path goes down toward Vättern on the boulder ridge from the Stocklycke parking lot. After about 200 meters, you will come to a hayfield – one of the most rich in species and most endangered types of nature in Sweden.
From Stocklycke hamn the path winds through a varied “shoreline forest”, past the Rödgavel grotto toward Bokskogen nature reserve. Just south of the nature reserve, Ellen Key built her tasteful house Strand in 1910, designing it as “a home for the soul”. Sverkersgården just after Strand is an old crypt church. The path passes Ombergs turisthotell and then takes a steep incline up to the highest point in Omberg, Hjässan, where views of Östgötaslätten, Tåkern and Vättern await. Around Hjässan you will find the ruins of Hjässaborgen, the largest of Omberg’s ancient castles.
The pond of Mörkahålkärret nature reserve harbor toads, frogs and other pond animals. Keep an eye out for grass snakes on the prowl for frogs! The last leg of the path goes through a beautiful beech forest.
On this hike, you can meet the diversity of the heights and the natural spruce forests, get a taste of Vättern and visit some gorgeous outlook points.
A few hundred meters after the start, the path enters a so-called glacifluvial channel– a remnant of the ice age. North of Pers sten you follow a bewitching and gorgeous stretch down toward Älvarums udde. You can catch glimpses of Vättern through the trees of the deciduous forest and behind awe-inspiring spruces. At Älvarums udde you can go down to the pebble beach for a dip or to catch some fish for dinner. Just north of Älvarums udde is Storpissan nature reserve. In the spring, the Storpissan Basin, which runs along the northern boundary of the nature reserve, builds a forceful stream straight out in Vättern.
Take a detour to the slope of Marberget, with its magnificent view of Vättern and the forests of Omberg. The return trip passes Borggården, the most well preserved of the mountain’s three ancient castles and the limestone marsh in Mörkahålkärrets nature reserve.
The crème de la crème of the mountain’s natural and cultural treasures lie along this hiking path. Västra väggar, Alvastra and Ellen Keys Strand are well known in Sweden and abroad, but along this path you will also find lesser known favorites, such as Bockakyrkogården and Renstadfällan. The route up to Storpissan nature reserve is described under “Älvarumsleden”. North of the mouth of Storpissan you will find an oak landscape that is reminiscent of the Djurgård epoch when the mountain was a royal hunting ground. Livestock graze here once again. The hike continues past the lime-rich Vitlerbäcken toward the outlook point Västra väggar. Here, you can peer down into the clear water of Vättern 100 meters from above. At Drottning Ommas borg you will find wall ruins from a 1500 year old castle. You will also get a view of the historical Borghamn with limestone quarry, port and Bockakyrkogården – the burial site of soldiers and prisoners from the "Kronoarbetskåren".
While hiking along eastern Omberg, you will soon meet Östgötaslätten. You will pass Ombergsliden nature reserve, which harbors some of Östergötland’s foremost orchid marshes, Renstadfällan’s natural pastureland that is rich in flowers and offers a view of Tåkern and the plains. At Höje Lilläng you pass unique pasture and hayfield environments. Stop for awhile and read about the nature conservation project going on here. At the southern slope of Omberg, you will meet extensive beech, ash and elm forests. Alvastra kloster is made up of the grand ruins of the medieval Cistercian monastery. The path from Ombergs turisthotell and back to the starting point Stocklycke is described – in the opposite direction – under ”Ellen Keys trail”.
NOTE! Some sections of the route between Stocklycke Harbour and Ellen Keys Strand consist of paths in close proximity to the steep bank of the Vättern. Caution is advised here - especially if the ground is damp or if you have small children with you.
Please note that the trail on the north-east side of Omberg has been given a new route and now runs entirely within the Ecopark. The trail ends at Drottning Ommas Borg. The Östgötaleden to Vadstena only starts again in Västerlosa.
[Texts are published with kind permission Sveaskog]
Signature trail Omberg
The Ombergstrail is part of Svenska Turistföreningens Signaturetrail Omberg (Ödeshög-Borghamn, 38 km). A signaturetrail is beautiful and contains spectacular nature experiences. The nature of the trail is characteristic for its part of the country. There are thirteen signaturetrails in Sweden. Once you have hiked them all, you will receive a diploma.
Ombergsleden and Signaturleden Omberg are in turn also stages of Östgötaleden, a 1500-km network of hiking trails covering the whole of Östergötland. If you want to experience Östergötland's varied nature and rich cultural environments, you can choose from over a hundred stages of varying degrees of difficulty and set off into the beautiful Östergötland countryside!
Ombergsleden/Omberg runt trail ends in the north at Drottning Ommas Borg and Brottsledet, but Östgötaleden continues from there via the historic Borghamn (Byggnadsminnet Borghamn, Borghamn Strand) and Västerlösa towards Rögslösa and on to the abbey church of Vadstena. See uMap (Östgötaleden Omberg-Borghamn-Vadstena).
After the re-routing of the Omberg trail between Steneborg and Vallgatan in August 2020, the Klosterleden also got a new route between Alvastra and Borghamn and the "Maria trail" ceased to be a pilgrimage route and was replaced by the new Virgin Maria round. Both follow Ombergstrail (Around Omberg/Östgöta Trail)
The old routes are left and you can still hike them. Especially the "Marialeden" is popular with visitors to the northern Omberg.
10,3 km / 15 km
The "Maria trail" is a shorter ca. 10,5 km long day hike that leads from Borghamn through the beautiful Omberg Ecopark and passes the Monastery of Mary's Daughters - Monastery of the Sacred Heart, Ombergsliden, Västra Väggar and Drottning Ommas Borg.
If you want to hike for an additional hour, follow the trail behind Svartsvall to Hälle källor and then walk along Norra Sjövägen to Västra väggar.
Note: The Marialeden does not have its own markings. Follow the maps of UpplevVadstena or the directions.
The former Alvastra Vadstena Monastery Trail had had varied routes and exciting shortcuts. Markers and signpost bear witness to this. Feel free to continue along the old routes. Roads and shortcuts have not lost their charm.
On Klosterleden from Alvastra Monastery to Vadstena you hike over the Omberg, the holy mountain of Östergötland. One admires the view over the Vättern, visits the Convent of the Holy Heart, hikes over the plain of Östergötland and finally reaches the pilgrimage destination, the abbey church in Vadstena. Accommodation is available at the STF Youth Hostels in Stocklycke and Vadstena, Borghamn's Youth Hostel and the Pilgrim Centre in Vadstena.
The entire Klosterleden, which stretches from Kolmården in the north and Alvastra in the south to Vadstena, received its name because it passes eleven monasteries with five different monastic traditions.
The Klosterleden begins at Alvastra Monastery. Via Hjässan and Stocklycke you get to Västra väggar. From there you can either take the path via Svartsvall, Ombersliden, past the Convent of the Sacred Heart to Borghamn or Rogslösa, or hike directly to Borghamn.
Note: The Klosterleden was marked with the "Birgittakringla" and red arrows on posts. Some markings are damaged, some posts are missing. However, the trail follows Ellen Key's trail via Hjässan and Ombergsleden to Västra Väggar and the old route of Ombergsleden from Svartsvall via Ombergsliden to the Abbey of the Sacred Heart and on to Borghamn.
Since 2019, work has been underway to create the so-called Saint Birgitta Ways. The intention is to merge existing pilgrim paths into a long-distance route from Hamburg, Trondheim and Uppsala / Stockholm to Vadstena under the name Birgitta Ways (Birgittavägarna). By this way Vadstena will be connected with other pilgrimage destinations in Europe and the Nordic countries.
Östgötaleden will then be the last stage on the Hamburg-Lund-Jönköping-Alvastra-Vadstena route, and the trail across the Omberg will be one of the most exciting sections. You can already test the new Birgitta Way between Jönköping and Vadstena. A warm welcome!
18 km, to Vadstena ca. 40 km
The (new) Klosterleden follows the western part of the Omberg trail to Borghamn and at most the Östgötaleden further to Vadstena.
Follow the Östgötaledens/Ombergledens markings.
The Virgin Mary round is identical to the northern round of the Omberg trail.
Follow the Östgötaledens/Ombergledens markings. Take the shortcut between Svartsvall and Västra Väggar and walk a short distance over N Sjövägen.
Stage Ödeshög - Alvastra 9,7 km
Stage Alvastra-Västra Tollstad 3,1 km
Stage Västra Tollstad-Heda 3,8 km
Stage Heda-Alvastra 5,8 km
All the way: uMap
The pilgrim trail "Alvastraleden" was created by the parish of Ödeshög and connects Ödeshög with Hästholmen, Västra Tollstad (church and pilgrimage park), the Alvastra monastery ruins, Heda (church with prayer chapel and "Our Lady of Heda"), Isberga and St Broby.
Ombergsliden is the realm of orchids. They can be found everywhere: in the limestone bogs, on the pastures and in the spruce forests, and they adorn the landscape. There are also rare and exciting butterflies, mushrooms and snails. Lime, spring water and livestock are the main ingredients of this almost exotic nature. The hiking trail through the reserve offers an excellent start. There you will get to know the different types of nature, and on footbridges you can walk through the limestone moors on dry feet.
0,8 km from Sjövägen
0,6 km from entry to beechwood.
See the pillared hall of the beechwood forest outside Ecopark Centre. This 650 m trail can easily accommodate wheelchairs, walking frames and prams.
2,0 / 2,3 km
Do you know what a glacifluvial channel, alluvial cone and a dead ice hole are? Signs at these and other unique finds tell the history of the ice age and its significance to today’s landscape in Omberg. The trail also takes you out to Vätterbranten and the view at Oxbåset and the former shoreline of the Baltic icelocked lake.
The nature trail "Omberg and Ice Age" is being renovated and provided with new signs. Gebbe Björkman is doing the illustrations, while Sveaskog is responsible for the texts and layout. The inauguration will take place 8 July 2021 15.00 at Stocklycke.
The path is replaced by the new nature trail Skogsslingan (forest loop) "Träd och buskar" ("Trees and bushes") with Hjässatorget as the starting point.
The new "forest loop" replaces the former nature trail "Trees, bushes and forest" with the Hjässatorget as starting point.
1,8 / 2,2 km
Along the nature trail you can see over 40 different types of trees and shrubs. Many of our native tree species thrive on Omberg and can be found here. During the time of the forest school, many exotic tree species were also introduced on Omberg. Today some of them are real giants. The path leads past the old forest school, the teachers' house and the house of the caretaker (today private houses). Halfway you can make a detour and see Omberg, perhaps Sweden's highest spruce. Furthermore you will also pass a former "mobile" plant school and a cairn from early times of agricultural use of the Omberg.
Ommaspåret is a approx. 1,7 km long, in the evenings illuminated motion track below Marsafällan, between Drottning Ommas Borg and Steneborg. The circuit also passes Mormorskällan (Grandmother's spring), Borghamns limestone quarry and Brottsledet. The lights are switched off in autumn and winter at 21.00 in the evening.
The map section shows all the ways and paths between Borghamn Strand, Brottsledet and Drottning Ommas Borg.
The direct connection between Borghamn Strand and Drottning Ommas Borg past Bockakyrkogården is steep and you have to hold on to ropes. In addition, the path crosses two fence steps, one of which is directly in the slope. Hikers with walking difficulties or with dogs are best advised to use Bockavägen and Sjövägen (i.e. the official route of Marialeden) or alternatively Bockavägen and the lower motion track.