The route from the plantations west of Thorning to Tollund, west of Funder Kirkeby, leads through Grathe Hede heath land, which was the location of many royal feuds, and along Bølling Lake, which is a large nature reclamation project.
Kong Knaps Dige
At Haller River, there is a peaceful ford and a 200 m long defensive Stone Age moat known as King Knaps Dike. You can still see the wheel ruts at the crossing, and under the overgrown bridge is a stone box from the 1800’s.
Grathe Heath, south of Thorning, is the scene of many royal feuds. In 1157, Svend Grathe fell in battle against Valdemar the Great, in a battle which marked the victory of Jutland over soldiers from Skåne and Zealand, and is an example of how the Hærvej lived up to its name.
The walking route goes through Stenholt Skov, which is an old oak coppice woodland. It was a tradition to fell the trees and to let the trees shoot again from the stump. The new shoots were used for fencing and for firewood.
Stenholt Skov was made a conservation area in 1988, with the aim of protecting the recreating the oak thickets and the open woodland. There are marked walking tracks and information boards in the woods.
In the southern part of Stenholt Skov, the walking route goes past Klosterlund Museum, where you can see the trove from Jutland’s oldest habitation (around 8000 BC). The habitation, found on a farm south of the museum has given its name to one of the oldest Stone Age cultures - the Klosterlund culture. In a nearby building, there is an exhibition on the countryside at that time, where you can also take a break and eat a packed lunch.
Bølling Lake was formed during the Ice Age, around 10.000 years ago. As time went on, the low waters of the lake slowly changed to a thick layer of peat bog. The lake was the largest, shallow lake on the Mid Jutlandic Height with water running off both towards the east to the Gudenå and west to Karup River. In 1870, the lake was drained, although it never became good agricultural soil. The area was made a conservation area in 2003 and the lake was recreated in 2004 -5, supplied by spring water, making it clean and an excellent biotope for plants and animals. Many important finds have been made in the area in connection with peat digging. The most well known are the two bodies found, the Elling Girl and Tollund Man, as well as two small amber animal figures.
The walking route does not enter Kragelund, but there are only about 3 km in to the village, which has shops and a hostel.
The Hærvej also circumvents Funder Kirkeby to the west, but there are only a couple of km in to town.
TO THE NEXT STAGE: FUNDER KIRKEBY - NR. SNEDE