Himmelbjerget Ruten – hiking around the Silkeborg lakes

The hiking route, Himmelbjerget Ruten, runs from Ry Station along the northern side of the Himmelbjerg Lakes to Silkeborg Station and from here south of the lakes to Himmelbjerget. Halfway along this stretch you can get across the lakes on a solar-powered passenger ferry.

Himmelbjerget was acquired for the Danish people by King Christian VIII in 1840. Since then, the “mountain” has been a national gathering place, and recurrent constitutional celebrations have been held here since the fifth anniversary of the Danish Constitution in 1854.

In 1861 the excursion boat Hjejlen was put into operation, and since then tourists have flocked to the scenic Himmelbjerg area; from 1871 by train and later by car. Today Himmelbjerget is buzzing with activity all summer long.

Pack weight 8.7 kg

Hiking around the Silkeborg Lakes

Thursday May 5th 2016

I parked my car at Ry train station and started out at 4pm heading west past Lillesø and Birksø lakes. I have been looking forward to this trip for some time now. I have been busting to try out my new Cumulus Quilt 250. With the night temperatures between 5 to 10 degrees Celsius, it was a perfect time of the year.

Hiking around the Silkeborg Lakes
Tarptent Notch

We hiked the short 4 km to Alling Vest Teltplads (Alling West camping ground). The group that I was hiking with decided to camp on the north-west end as there were many campers spread out on most of the campgrounds. It so happened that we apparently were not pitched on the Alling Vest Teltplads but on private property. There was no fence line or markings anywhere, although there was a tiny dried-up stream. The owner of the private property was out on his evening stroll when he noticed and confronted us. We explained that we did not know and that we could move our shelters if he insisted. After he quietened down a little, he was slightly disgruntled, he said that we were not required to move but we should be aware of this and not to do it again. After dinner we witnessed this beautiful sunset.

Hiking around the Silkeborg Lakes
sunset at Alling Vest Teltplads

My  new Cumulus Quilt 250 was a bit too cold to sleep in on the first night. The temps came down to about 3-4 ℃, so I had to sleep with my winter down jacket on as well. However I only had to do this on the first night. The next two nights the temps were around 9 ℃ and my quilt was perfect under these conditions. I made a mental note not to use my quilt below 6 ℃ for future trips.

Friday May 6th 2016

There were four people in our group. We sat around a picnic table and ate breakfast together. While we were drinking our morning coffee the Alling Vest Teltplads people came around and collect the site fees from us. I think that it was 15 kr. per person. We followed the trail around Julsø lake until we reached Svejbæk where we climbed up to the lookout at Sindbjerg at 103 m and then across to Stoubjerg 99 m.

We finished the day at Korsdalhus Pladsen in the middle of Silkeborg north forest where we setup camp for the night. The day’s hike is aprox. 17 km. This is a great camping place with drinking water and toilet. Although you have to book the site. After dinner we went for an evening stroll before retiring to bed.

Hiking around the Silkeborg Lakes
Korsdalhus Pladsen camp place

Saturday May 7th 2016

Today’s stage is aprox. 15km. We hike down from Korsdalhus Pladsen in the middle of Silkeborg north forest and along the north side of Brassø lake heading east to Gåsekær where we setup camp for the last night. But first we walk along the ridge line and take in the views passing Ulvehoved 74 m, Bryndumshøj 73 m, Birkehøj 72 m, Knuden 73 m and Dronningestolen at 66 m. Once we were down and at the Himmelbjergruten trail again we passed over the bridge towards the Silkeborg Danhostel.

Changing our direction to a south-east heading we are now on the south side of Brassø lake.

Before reaching our camping place at Østre Gåsekær we top up our water bottles at Slåensø lake which is Denmark’s cleanest lake.

Sunday May 8th 2016

Today’s hike takes us past Himmelbjerget before we end where we started last Thursday in Ry. The day’s hike is approximately 12 km. From Østre Gåsekær you can take the lake trail by Svejbæk Færgegård where you can take a Solfærgen Søhøjlandet (solar powered ferry) over to the north side of the lake if you wish. We continued east pass Svejbæklund and Sletten until we came to Hotel Julsø where we took a break.

We used the hotel’s outdoor sitting area and borrowed their toilets. It is a lovely location and the whole trail actually offers beautiful lakeside views. After the break we headed south and up to Himmelbjerget at 147 m.

Following the south side of Birksø lake we finally reach Rye Mølle and then we are back in Ry where we started. It has been a very warm four days and now my synthetic shirt is not only wet with sweat but it is also very smelly. The drive back to Copenhagen had to be completed with the car windows down. I really enjoyed this hike and coming back here and hiking Himmelbjergruten again sometime is defiantly a no-brainer. I’ll be back!

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