6 days

Walk to the top of Denmark’s most famous ‘mountain’ and explore the gorgeous lakes and woodlands in one of the most beautiful areas of Jutland. With more than 50 lakes and a forest area which stretches for more than 224 square kilometers, the Silkeborg Lake District is the largest natural resort in the entire country.

Enjoy a heavenly hiking trip in Denmark’s lake district with gorgeous lakes and woodlands.

Climb to the top of Denmark’s most famous ‘mountain’ with a stunning view of the lake district.

Explore charming Silkeborg, which is one of the most beautifully located towns in Denmark.

Follow Trækstien along the banks of Gudenåen, Denmark’s longest stream.

Experience true Danish ‘hygge’ in the old inns on the banks of Gudenåen.

Combine The Himmelbjerg Route and Trækstien for a perfect walking holiday in Jutland’s tranquil lakelands

The first part of the route follows the southern part of The Himmelbjerg Route, which is one of the most beautiful tracks in Denmark, as well as being very well marked and easy to walk. The trip begins in the pretty lakeside village of Ry. From here, you follow Gudenåen – the longest river in Denmark – through Jutland’s largest and most famous lake and woodland landscapes. You will climb to the top of Himmelbjerget, which is the most famous ‘mountain’ in Denmark and offers wonderful panoramic views over the surrounding lakelands. From here, you follow quiet woodland paths to your accommodation in the nearby village of Gammel Rye.

The next morning you will make your way back down to the shore of lake Julsø, before following a tranquil lakeside path all the way to the Lake District capital of Silkeborg. Here you will find many interesting attractions, including the AQUA Aquarium & Wildlife Park and a museum dedicated to the famous Danish painter Asger Jorn. If you wish to shorten your walk, you also have the option to do part of the journey by steam boat. There are numerous excursion boats sailing between Silkeborg and Himmelbjerget, including Hjejlen; the world’s oldest original coal-fired paddle steamer.

From Silkeborg, you follow the old Trækstien towpath along Gudenåen and the adjoining lakes. Historically, the trail was created for horses and bargemen, who once pulled great barges filled with goods between the towns of Silkeborg and Randers. Today it is a beautiful walking trail through Jutland’s tranquil lakelands. You will stay overnight at two of the charming old inns used by the bargemen in the 18th century.

On the last part of the track towards Bjerrringbro you will walk along the lake Tange Sø, which is the largest artificial lake in Denmark. At the north end of the lake you find the largest hydro-electric power station in Denmark, where you can visit Energimuseet (The Energy Museum), which offers a variety of experiences for the whole family. After another few kilometers along Gudenåen you reach Bjerringbro, where your walking holiday in Denmark’s Lake District comes to an end.

From Bjerringbro you can take the train back to Ry or Silkeborg, or to nearby Viborg. We would be happy to arrange an extra night for you in any of these places.

It is also possible to shorthen this tour to a two or three-day hike by choosing either the first part along Himmelbjergruten – from Ry to Silkeborg – or the second part along Trækstien from Silkeborg to Bjerringbro. If you are interested in one of those shorter routes, please contact us for a quote.

6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS From €875 per person sharing*

*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers


You will stay in three comfortable hotels and in two charming inns – all with en suite facilities.

Some of the accommodation providers we work with are listed below. If one of the places are occupied, then we will inform you about it and try to find an alternative.

You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.

AVAILABILITY You can start on any day from Tuesday to Saturday, subject to availability, between April 1st and September 30th. Please note that the accommodations along this route have limited capacity and fill up quickly in the summer months. Therefore, we advise to book well in advance.
5 nights accommodation with en suite facilities
5 breakfasts
Luggage transfers while you walk
Detailed maps and route notes
GPS tracks
Pre-departure information pack
24/7 telephone support
Flights and travel insurance
Transport to Ry and from Bjerringbro
Lunches or dinners
Personal expenses (drinks, phone calls, tips, etc.)
Any other items not mentioned in the program
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single room supplement

Day 1: Arrival in Ry

Your hiking holiday starts in the lakeside town of Ry. Depending on whether you are travelling by public transport or by car, your accommodation will be either in the centrally located Hotel Ry or in Knudhule Badehotel, which is situated by Lake Knudsø about two kilometres from the centre of the village.

Overnight: Hotel Ry / Knudhule Badehotel


Day 2: Ry – Himmelbjerget – Gammel Rye

Distance: 12/14 km | Ascent: 197m | Descent: 142 m | Time: 3-4 hrs approx.

If staying at Knudhule Badehotel, your first day’s walk begins with a pleasant stroll along the shore of Lake Knudsø into the village of Ry. From the center of Ry, you cross the bridge that divides the lakes Lillesø and Ry Mølle Sø. You then turn westwards along forest paths toward Himmelbjerget. After about 9 km, a steep path takes you from the shore of Lake Julsø the top of Himmelbjerget (147 m). Visit the small shops selling souvenirs and snacks and read about the historical folk meetings on the ‘mountain’. You might also climb the Himmelbjerg Tower to get the ultimate view over the Lake District. To reach your accommodation in Gammel Rye, you will walk a further 3 km southwards along forest paths to the village.

Overnight: Gammel Rye


Day 3: From Gammel Rye to Silkeborg

Distance: 21 km | Ascent: 270 m | Descent: 315 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.

Today’s route will take you through the Lake District along a well-marked path, which meanders through the forest and along the serene shores of numerous lakes.

From Himmelbjerget you descend to the edge of Julsø lake, where the ferries dock at Hotel Julsø. From here, you continue along a small path that runs along the banks of Julsø with stunning views over the lake. After a short while, you reach the Skyttehuset campsite at the Svejbæk passage. Here you can enjoy a refreshment in the café that has a lovely lake view. You can also take a small solar-powered ferry or rent a rowing boat and row to the other side of the Svejbæk passage (88 m) to have a bite to eat at Ålekroen – an old inn with tables by the water , which is renowned for its great food.

The next section takes you along the lakes of Borre Sø and Slåen Sø. The water in Slåen Sø is said to be so fresh and clean that you can drink it! You continue along a narrow strip of land between lakes Brassø and Vejlsø to the banks of Denmark’s longest river; Gudenåen. You follow the riverside path along Gudenåen into the heart of the beautifully located town of Silkeborg.

If you wish to shorten your walk today, you can  jump on one of the historic steamboats and enjoy a gentle cruise to the Lake District capital of Silkeborg.

Overnight: Gl. Skovridergaard Hotel in Silkeborg


Day 4: From Silkeborg to Svostrup

Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 48 m | Descent: 48 m | Time: 4 hrs approx.

From Silkeborg you continue along Gudenåen and its adjoining lakes following Trækstien, which is the old tow path of Gudenåen. Historically, the trail was created for horses and bargemen, who once pulled great barges filled with goods between the towns of Silkeborg and Randers. Barge traffic on the River Gudenå had its heyday in Silkeborg after the opening of the paper mill in 1845. Back then, it was the only way of transporting large quantities of goods to and from the town. The barges could be seen sailing on the River Gudenå right up until the beginning of World War I.

The trail has been extensively renovated over the last few years, with a raised gravel track enabling you to walk with dry feet in this flood-prone area. On the first part of the track you walk along the lake Silkeborg Langsø, before continuing along Gudenåen. Shortly before Svostrup the river widens out in the lake Sminge Sø; famous for its bird life, which you can observe from a bird tower. In Sminge Sø, Gudenåen is joined by another river: Gjern Å. Shortly after that you reach the old inn, Svostrup Kro, where the bargemen traditionally stopped for a well-deserved rest and refreshment!

Overnight: Svostrup Kro


Day 5: From Svostrup to Kongensbro

Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 41 m | Descent: 44 m | Time: 3 hrs approx.

Today you continue along Trækstien towards Kongensbro. This part of Trækstien was previously susceptible to flooding by Gudenåen, but in the spring of 2019 the path was renovated and raised, so that it now remains dry throughout most of the season.

Shortly after having left Svostrup you will see Tvilum church on the opposite site of the river. The church was built in 1250 as an abbey for the Order of Saint Augustine. It was also used for an overnight stay by the king of Denmark in medieval times, on his travels around in Jutland, as evidenced by some newly discovered murals dating from 1350.

You continue your walk along the river in an idyllic and peaceful landscape, finishing up at at Kongensbro Kro, another charming inn with an atmosphere of times gone by. In earlier times the inn was an important junction for the traffic between Silkeborg/Randers and Aarhus/Viborg.

Overnight: Kongensbro Kro


Day 6: From Kongensbro to Bjerringbro

Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 94 m | Descent: 104 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.

From Kongensbro Kro you continue along Trækstien, which at some places due to flooding has been diverted into the woodlands along Gudenåen. After seven kilometers you pass a bridge to the village of Ans, where it’s possible to take a small detour for lunch at the local inn.

After Ans, Gudenåen runs into Tange Sø, which is the largest artificial lake in Denmark. The old towpath now lies at bottom of the lake together with the remains of an old rural hamlet. You follow the trail along the eastern side of Tange Sø and at the north end of the lake you reach Gudenåcentralen (Tangeværket), the largest hydro-electric power station in Denmark, which opened in 1921 and once provided 25 % of the electricity used in Jutland. The power station is now home to an Energy Museum, with cafés and a variety of experiences for the whole family. From 2019 you can experience a new exhibition “Life in Change”, which illustrates the life of the Danes in a world of climate change. The new exhibition is intended to stimulate discussion on how to make a contribution.

After another four kilometers along Gudenåen you reach Bjerringbro, where the tour ends.

From Bjerringbro you can catch a train for onward travel throughout Denmark. We would also be happy to arrange an extra overnight stay at one of the local towns, such as Silkeborg, Ry or Viborg. Please enquire for prices.

Getting to Ry

  The nearest airport is Aarhus Airport (75 km approx.). You can also fly to Billund, Aalborg, Copenhagen or Hamburg airports.
  • From Aarhus Airport
    Take bus 122 to Aarhus Rutebilstation (departing every 2 hrs, journey time 1 hr.). Then train from Aarhus H to Ry (departing every hour, journey 30 mins.).
  • From Billund Airport
    First take bus no. 43 to Vejle (bus runs every 30 mins, journey time 30 mins approx). From there, you take a train to Ry, with change at Skanderborg (departing every hour, journey time less than 1 hr.).
  • From Copenhagen Airport
    Take a train to Ry, with change in Skanderborg (departing every hour, journey time 3hrs.).
  • From Aalborg Airport
    Take bus 71 to Aalborg Busterminal. Then take a train to Ry, with change in Aarhus (departing every hour, journey time 2½ hrs approx.).
From Ry train station you can either walk the last 2½ km to the hotel or take a taxi.

Getting from Bjerringbro

There is a train station in Bjerringbro where you can catch a train for your onward journey.

You can plan your trip on www.journeyplanner.dk.

Hiking Denmark's Lake District
Hiking trail at lake Julsø
Forest hiking on the Sky Mountain Route with a lovely view over Himmelbjerget and the surrounding landscape
Hiking to Himmelbjerget; the 'Sky Mountain'
The lakes of Silkeborg seen from above
The world’s oldest original coal-fired paddle steamer 'Hjejlen' on Lake Julsø
Boat stop at Svejbæk
Forest path along Brassø
Boat on Borre Sø
lakeside path at the 'Brillerne'
Swimming in the lake Slåensø, which is the cleanest lake in Denmark
Boardwalk along Brassø
Lake Brassø
Path along Gudenå toward Silkeborg
Kayak rental in Silkeborg
The entrance to the traditional Danish inn 'Svostrup Kro' situated along the Tow Path (Trækstien)
Another old traditional inn on the Tow Path is 'Kongensbro Kro'. Here it's seen from the banks of Gudenåen
The Towpath in the early morning mist
Taking a break by a lake on the Towpath
Blooming trees and a canoe on Gudenåen - Denmark's longest river
Taking a break to enjoy the view over Tange Sø

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review

We had a fantastic time on this tour! Wild Rover did an exceptional job of providing maps, .gpx files, tour write ups, and accommodation planning. It made the journey relaxing and fun. Being able to walk through a more rural part of Denmark, meet locals, and have an opportunity for bird watching was truly magical. Thanks Wild Rover Travel!

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