A national park that for many years has been on my to-do list to hike in is Söderåsen National Park. Although we visit Skåne several times a year, it has never really been convenient to go here. Perhaps it was always meant that we would meet Söderåsen for the first time this autumn. When the national park showed its most beautiful side. Our visit was a truly memorable walk through golden book halls and a moss-covered fire-colored ravine.
Unique deciduous forest and dramatic gorge
Söderåsen National Park lies 5 miles east of Helsingborg and is one of Skåne's three national parks. Here there is not only a ravine, but also one of the largest nature-protected broadleaf forests in Northern Europe. Mainly beech and oak grow here, but other deciduous trees such as maple also thrive here.
You will find the most dramatic nature at Sciatica, where the movement of the Earth in the continental plates millions of years ago created a dramatic rift valley with mountains, high escarpments and deep valleys. "Skåne's Grand Canyon” the gorge is usually called. A nickname that obliges!
The copper hat round counter-clockwise
There are several different tours that start from the center of the national park at Naturum vid Skäralid - The stag leap round (7,7 km / 120 min), The Liakroks round (7,2 km / 120 min) and The copper hat trail (4 km / 90 min). The most popular round is the Kopparhattsrundan, where you can both see the gorge from the Kopparhatten viewpoint and also hike down into the gorge at Skärån. So it wasn't too difficult to choose which trail to hike as first-time visitors. It had to be the Kopparhattsrundan for us too!
We chose to walk the Kopparhattsrundan counter-clockwise, which means that you start the walk with a long and steep staircase up to the edge of the gorge from Naturum and then after a kilometer walk on the top slowly walk down into the gorge.
Kopparhatten and hiking at the edge of the gorge
I don't think we could have chosen a better day to visit Söderåsen National Park. As a photographer, I was even a little glad that it was cloudy. There will clearly be much better pictures of the splendor of autumn leaves without bright sunshine.
As soon as we left Naturum and went up the stairs and reached the edge of the ravine, we encountered the forest for real. The ground was covered in orange leaves, all while the trees were still shifting in everything from green to red. Rocks, trees and logs were covered in a thick layer of lush green moss that almost looked like a layer of fluffy green terry cloth. There were giant ticks growing on several of the trees we passed. Bitches that almost looked like big duckbills. Bigger than any I've seen before.
To our left, the gorge opened up with fences and a sheer escarpment and a view of a crackling foliage palette of endless shades of fall colors. At the Kopparhatten viewpoint, the view is at its best, with views in two directions and with a large wooden viewing platform. A place that is probably beautiful all year round, but which perhaps tickles the beauty nerve a little extra on an autumn day like this.
The road down to the gorge began just after Kopparhatten's viewpoint. A fairly wide gravel path wound its way down the mountainside and took us down through the treetops. It was not a steep incline, the 150 meters of altitude were passed without being noticed.
Once down in the ravine, the path literally became two planks wide. The foliage was so thick I could hardly see the sky and the colors were among the strongest I have ever experienced in a deciduous forest. Showy ferns with dew-spattered fronds lined the path, and the moss-covered logs and ground were covered in golden autumn leaves.
After a few hundred meters of hiking, we came to the small Skärån. The path followed all the curves and peculiarities of the river and offered mirror-like views of the enchanted forest. Although it is an easy hike here along the river, it takes time to hike here. We met a lot of people and the path was narrow. In addition, there were many places where you wanted to stay and enjoy nature. Because if I were to choose a favorite place in Söderåsen, it would be down here by the rippling river. I have to look for a more beautiful forest for a long time!
The last stretch of the Kopparhattsrun was next to the small lake Skärdammen. Here, the two planks became a wide wooden bridge and both prams and walkers strolled past. A flat and very easy hike. On the lake, several swans glided by. It didn't look like they intended to move south this year, but they took the arrival of autumn in stride.
Just before we reached Söderåsen Naturum, Skärdammen was at its most beautiful. The mirror-like surface captured the autumn colors that perfectly spilled out over the lake. A really good final view of a really lovely hike!
When should you go to Söderåsen National Park?
We visited Söderåsen on a gray overcast day at the end of October, before the autumn storms had time to tear the colorful leaves from the trees. We had read that it would be the most beautiful in the national park during these weeks, but had probably not really understood how many visitors there would be on a weekend in October. The parking lot at the entrance at Skäralid was already full at 10 o'clock.
There is also an entrance with parking at Röstånga if you want to explore a slightly less visited part of the national park. For those who have difficulty climbing stairs, you can also take the car all the way up to Kopparhatten to experience the view of the gorge without hiking.
Who is the Kopparhattsround suitable for?
The Kopparhattsrundan is an easy and very lovely hike for the whole family that takes you past the most beautiful parts of Söderåsen National Park. Don't be put off by the fact that it is "only" 4 kilometers long and easily hiked - the views offered after the trail are nothing short of magnificent! It is allowed to bring the dog with you, but it must be on a leash during the entire visit.
Do you want to read more about Söderåsen National Park?
- Söderåsen National Park's official website has lots of information before a visit
- Sweden's national parks have one informative pdf brochure with a map of the hiking trails that is worth reading to plan your visit
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Ann RumbleinthearcticNovember 3, 2020 at 13: 51
What amazing pictures! I love autumn. We had a long fall here on the east coast and in New York state. Autumn is ending now but I think it lasted for a month or so. Love the yellow light you get when the trees cover the entire path, like that photo of the footbridge you took. It is stunningly beautiful!
Eva Gyllenberg1 February, 2021 at 21: 29
So wonderful with a long autumn! Autumn is my favorite season, not too hot - not too cold. Just beautiful. Especially days when it is "high in the ceiling" and the air is as fresh as only autumn air can be.
4000 thousandNovember 4, 2020 at 21: 17
I have that on my list to visit Söderåsen, too. It looks very cool.
Eva GyllenbergNovember 11, 2020 at 21: 55
Super awesome! Have looked at some pictures from the summer half, must say that autumn beats summer by horse lengths. But it is a short period! Usually only 2-3 weeks, so not easy to find the right one! We were probably a bit lucky 🙂
Ladies AbroadNovember 6, 2020 at 19: 59
Eva GyllenbergNovember 11, 2020 at 21: 56
Truly magical! Like an enchanted forest in a forgotten valley where the sun never reaches 🙂
Ann-LouiseNovember 10, 2020 at 22: 12
So beautiful and what fantastic pictures and autumn colours!
Eva GyllenbergNovember 11, 2020 at 21: 54
Thank you Ann-Louise! Although the Kopparhatten lookout is the most famous place in the park, I have to say that the most beautiful thing was walking down the valley with all the colors and the water.