Nature trails in the state forests nr. 24E
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Rebild Bakker was previously a common grazing area for the Rebild farmers' cattle, horses and sheep, and the name of the town is thought to derive from an old Danish word >>rapi<<, meaning scrub. In 1912 a group of Danish Americans acquired the core of the site and donated it to the Danish state. Three conditions were attached to the gift: The area was to remain in a natural state, open to everybody, and the Danish Americans were to be allowed to celebrate American holidays in the hills. For 150 years The State Forest Service has acquired other areas in the district beginning with Dybdals Hoved, which once belonged to a manor called Great Restrup. The whole area as well as the adjoining Lindenborg river valley is now a nature reserve. The preservation of a combination of scrub and heather is also desired.
A displacement of the chalk base rock in the Lindenborg river valley probably formed a trench for the runoff of subglacial melt water at the end of the ice age, leading to the creation of the valley. The melting took place by stages and created the terraces, which are remains of the bottoms of ice lakes. The gully, hilly terrain is moraine, grooved by melt water, arctic soil creep, sand drift etc. Later the Littorina Sea reached the road between Rold Storkro and Lars Kjær's house, through the river valley. The springs Ravrnkilde and Kovrstbækken are created by great veins of water in the chalk solids and run characteristically at the bottom of the valley. They contain a rare insect life due to the year round stability of the water temperature, (around 7ºC). The flora of the area is also rare and vulnerable. The public is therefore not allowed access. In the spring meadows with their chalky waters grow beautiful orchids which should not be picked. The open areas of the hills are covered with heather, crowberry, cranberry, bilberry, dwarf cornel, club moss, mountain tobacco, juniper etc. The scrubs consist of European aspen, beech and scattered oak trees. If the area is left alone, the European aspen and the beech will gradually spread over the whole area. In order to prevent the shrouding of the landscape, tree growth in the most characteristic gorges and valleys is removed. At the same time the scrub, heather and crowberry are encouraged by sheep and cattle grazing. The sparsity of the oak is probably due to the fact that the pigs ate its seeds and the cattle and the sheep preferred its young plants. Furthermore the farmers used the wood for carriages, furniture, stable timber etc. The beech trees show traces of coppicing. Trees are often found to be about 200 years old. As this is the northern limit in Europe of the beech, its survival has, apart from seeding, been secured by stomp sprout. This is the reason why the trees look so distorted and twisted, which in Himmerland is called >>purker<<. (>>Little fellows<<). In the Troldeskoven (Troll Forest) south of the hills the beech trees form >>eye trees<<. It was believed that by passing through the hole one could >>slip<< illness off. Three different routes are marked on the map. Suitable shoes are recommended, and please note that all trails go through a strenuous, hilly terrain and cannot be traversed by bicycle, with a pram or a wheelchair etc.
Tour 1: Sonderhol - Stendalen. Approximately 4 km.
The route starts at (P1)Rebildhus, the Tophuset (the Tophouse) and the Lincoln blokhuset (Lincoln Log Cabin) with exhibitions about the United States and the Rebild festivals. On your way you will pass the Cimbrian stone, a rhomb-porphyry stone carved as a Cimbrian Bull by the sculptor Anders Bundgård; Gryden (The Pot), where the 4th of July celebrations take place, Sønderland, which with its 102 m is the highest of the hills. The charcoal burner place, where up to the Second World War charcoal was burnt. The tour may be shortened by crossing Lille Stendal (Small Stone Valley), a steep erosion valley.
Tour 2: The Ravnkilde - Nordre Dybdal. Approximately 3 km.
The route starts at (P2) or (P3) at the Hulvejen (sunken road) in Hørgdalen. Follow the path and you will pass Lars Kjær's house which is typical of older buildings in the area. The banks in the meadow are the remains of Koger's Mill from the 16th century. The Ravnkilde (Raven Spring) produces 60 litres of water per second. Between Bløden and Nordre Dybdal you may make a trip to Grevens Bakke where you will have a magnificent view of the Gravlev Valley. On the route there is also a sign for the bust of Max Henius. The tour may be shortened by following the Ravrnkilde path between Ravrikilde and (P2).
Tour 3: Troldeskoven (Troll Forest) - Primeval Forest. Approximately 4 km.
The tour starts at (P4) at Kovrsbækken, (P5) at Rold Storkro (Rold inn) or (P6) at the Pumpevej. The route will take you through the VæIder Forest, a hilly forest with many hollow cart roads. Troldeskoven is a coppice forest of beech trees from 1689. In the middle you will see the ,>>eye tree<<. The primeval forest, which also previously was a coppice forest, has developed quite differently. On the camp fire site you may light a fire, boil some water for coffee or just watch the flames. Don't miss the tower on Høje Odde, the platform of which is 100 m above sea level. For a while you follow Kovrsbækken, (Kovrsbrook) which carries 90 litres of water per second. The route may be shortended by following the route between Sandhulen and Rold Storkro (inn).
Bus No. 104 (Ålborg - Skørping - Hobro) goes through Hulvejen (the sunken road).
Rebild Bakker are administered by
Naturstyrelsen – Aalborg tlf. 98 39 10 14.
Nature trails in the state forests
This folder - Rebild Bakker - is nr. 24 in a serial of Nature trails in the state forests and may also been found in a printed version.
These folders on nature trails in other state forests are available at tourist agencies and local libraries. There is only a few translated into english.
Or contact the National Forest and Nature Agency. Tel. 39 47 20 00.