Hiking Stage Vejen-Jels

Photo: Hærvejen

This stage offers the beautiful scenery around Kongeå River valley and the lakes at Jels. You cross the Kongeå at Frihedsbroen - the Freedom Bridge, and there are many good stories from the time when the river marked the border between Denmark and Germany. Part of the area is a nature cons

Godt at vide

Her finder du praktiske oplysninger om etapen - kort, etapebeskrivelse og lidt om turens længde, underlag og oplevelser.

Kongeåen er et enestående natur- og kulturlandskab og du følger åen tæt det første stykke efter Frihedsbroen. Ved Kongeåen finder du også Hærvejens gamle overgangssted der lå ved Knagemølle.

Lige før Jels by går ruten igennem Haraldsholm Skov, som formodes at være rest af den oprindelige Farrisskov, som strakte sig tværs over området fra Kolding til Ribe. Et ufremkommeligt og frygtet stykke af Hærvejen i hine tider. 

Distance: 22 km.

Sværhedsgrad: let

Underlag:  ad grusveje og asfalterede småveje

Natur: Etapen løber først et stykke langs Kongeåen for så at fortsætte gennem åbent land og skove til Jels.

Lejrpladser: Find dem i Hærvejens app og på


Natur, kultur og historie

Oplevelser langs denne etape

Vejen Art Museum

Vejen Art Museum is dedicated to Danish Symbolism / Skønvirke (a Danish version of Art Nouveau) from around 1900. The principal artworks, including sc...

Vejen Church

Vejen Church is located right next to the Ancient Road, Jutland’s old main thoroughfare. The church itself is of newer date so take a look at the ceme...

Freedom Brige - Kongeåen

A concrete construction from 1924, Frihedsbroen (Freedom Bridge) crosses the river of Kongeåen, allowing wayfarers to travel between Københoved and As...

Skodborg Church

On a small hillock to the west of the town of Skodborg you find the whitewashed Skodborg Church. Skodborg Church consists of a Romanesque nave with...


Skodborghus was once a castle located by a low-lying riverbank in the valley of Kongeådalen. It was an important border fortress in the Middle Ages, a...

Pilgrim’s shelter in Skodborg Præsteskov

The pilgrim’s shelter in the woods of Skodborg Præsteskov offers tables and benches, under roof as well as in the open, where you are welcome to take ...

Dresvold, the castle mounds at Skodborg

Dresvold by Skodborg is one of the many anonymous castle mounds in southern Jutland. There are small, anonymous castle mound throughout the inacces...

Haraldsholm Skov ved Jels, Fri teltning

I Haraldsholm Skov mellem Jels og Rødding er der et område, hvor der er Fri Teltning. Her kan du for en enkelt nat slå et eller to 3-personers telte o...

Jels Mill

Jels Mølle (Jels Mill) is a large Dutch-style smock windmill built in 1859. It was in use until 1959 to mill feed grain, flour and grist. Jels Mill is...

Jels Pigen

Bronze sculpture by Jels Søbad created by schoolteacher Jørgen Thoms. The sculpture came to town in 1953 and was made available following a negotiat...

Jels Church

Jels Church is located right in the heart of Jels and near the lakes of the town. It was consecrated in 1854, replacing a smaller, somewhat dilapidate...

Jels Sø Camping, boat rentals

Rental of boats and canoes on the lakes of Jels. Distance Hiking route The Ancient Road Hærvejen 0,6 km Cycling route The Ancient Road Hærvejen 0...

From Vejen the Military road goes westward to Askov, which is best known for its traditional high school, founded in 1865, where you are welcome to walk in the park and take in the atmosphere. The church in Askov was built in 1900, designed by the architect Rold Schrøder, who drew inspiration from early Christianity, which gives the building an unusual subdued light.

Skibelund Krat
From Askov, the route turns south to Skibelund Krat, where there is a memorial to many of the people who fought for the rights of South Jutland in the period 1864 - 1920. It has been used as a constitution day meeting place for over a hundred years. One a few km further on is the Freedom Bridge and Kongeå River. The bridge got its name during the period 1864 - 1920 when the river was the border between Denmark and Germany. At that time, the bridge was wooden and the German gendarmes had a sentry box on the south side.  

Many South Jutlandic people escaped to Denmark across the bridge, while others fought bitterly for their nation’s rights and identity. Among them was the local farm owner H.D. Kloppenborg in Københoved, who built a small stone house north of the bridge, and who would cross the ford towards the west, over to Denmark and wave the Danish flag at the guards, to their great irritation. 

If you wish to combine your hiking on the Ancient Road (Hærvejen) with a trip along one of the other old main arteries of Jutland across the country: The Kongeå and experienxe this old river by canoe then look here.

The route follows the Kongeå River in an easterly direction, through a unique nature and cultural landscape. The river is conservation area between Gredstedbro and Knagemøllen. 
On the north bank of the river, is a fortification with the remains of the royal Skodborghus castle. Nowadays, the building is bisected by the highway and has had a thatched building attached to it, which was the local customs house until 1920.

On the way along the Kongeå, you will come to one of the old fords used by the Hærvej at Knagemølle, an old mill which was restored in 1960, and which is open to the public. After Knagemølle, the route returns southward past the South Jutlandic town Skodborg, which offers good shopping facilities for travellers. 

Haraldsholm Skov
Immediately before Jels, the route passes through Haraldsholm Skov, which was once state woodland and is assumed to be the remains of the original Farrisskov forest which covered Denmark from Kolding to Ribe. The hurricane in 1999 caused enormous damage to the woodland and felled nearly all older trees. 

In Jels, the route crosses Jels River, immediately after its origin in Jels Lakes. The town is well known for its windmill from 1859, which was used until 1971 and has since been restored and opened to the public. There is a tourist information office in the mill as well, and there is plenty of opportunity for shopping. 

Another of the town’s landmarks stands in bronze on the banks of the Nedersø Lake - the Jels girl statue. There is also a outdoor swimming pool with recreational area and open-air theatre. The Orion Planetarium is located nearby.