From Skutberget, the cycle route leads you towards Karlstad, but when you reach the cycle bridge to pass the River Klarälven towards the central hospital Central Sjukhuset, you have two directions to choose from. You can either turn left immediately after the bridge and head to the city centre, or continue out onto Hammarö Island where the cycle route will take you before it returns to Karlstad city centre.
If you choose the route to Hammarö, you pass the hospital and then proceed via a cycle path that is separate from the road. If you are interested in birds, we recommend that you stop off at Mariebergs Strandängar, which are seasonally flooded grasslands with scenic stretches for walking and birdwatching towers.
When you have passed Jakobsbergsbron Bridge, turn right, cycle for a short distance on Bymiljövägen Road and then turn right onto a cycle path. At the turn-off onto the cycle path there is a resting area with a table, directly beside the river. Then the route follows the river until you arrive in Skoghall and the park Lunnaparken where you’ll find Café Klarälven. The café serves prawn sandwiches, coffee and ice cream. You can also bring your own coffee and refreshments and sit down for a break along this section of the route.
Lillängshamnen harbour with a hive of archipelago activity
Take the opportunity to stock up on groceries in central Skoghall before you continue cycling towards Lillängshamnen harbour, where lunch at the fish smokehouse Lillängshamnens Fiskrökeri is a good tip. Here you’ll find a picturesque view of Vänern and bustling boat life in summer. You can eat freshly smoked fish in the restaurant or buy something from the delicatessen to take with you.
From Lillängshamnen harbour, the route meanders towards First Camp Mörudden where you can go swimming, stay overnight or eat a tasty lunch or dinner at the restaurant Udden, Möruddens Brygga. When you have finished enjoying the view, delicious cuisine and relaxation, you continue your bike ride towards the other side of Hammarö Island. En route, you pass the church Hammarö Kyrka and the archipelago museum Skärgårdsmuséet, situated directly beside Vänern with a splendid view in the direction of Karlstad. We recommend a walk past Hammars Udde before you cycle towards Karlstad.
Karlstad Inre Hamn harbour – a summer jewel
The Vänerleden route follows the Hammaröleden route into Karlstad. When you enter the city, the route winds its way down to the inner harbour, Inre Hamn, which is a wonderful environment with boat life, a guest marina, many restaurants, a microbrewery and a coffee roastery. You get back to the square Stora Torget via cycle paths.
In Karlstad, you’re close to water everywhere
We highly recommend that you start or finish your cycle tour in Karlstad. The city has plenty of accommodation to choose from and everything is close by. In the city centre there are 11 hotels within a 14-minute radius of the railway station. Karlstad is rich in water as both the River Klarälven and Lake Vänern enter the city from various directions. There is access to water virtually everywhere here, and in several locations you can swim right in the heart of the city. If you want to go on a boat trip, we encourage you to try the popular båtbussen boats that complement the city bus services from June to August. Boat trips are available within Karlstad on the River Klarälven and out in the Vänern archipelago.
Karlstad’s cultural attractions
In Karlstad, don’t miss the exhibitions by artist and author Lars Lerin in the former dance palace Sandgrund, which is now an art gallery. Opposite the gallery you’ll find Värmlands Museum, which is one of Sweden’s most popular county museums. It displays international exhibitions as well as exhibitions of Värmland’s cultural history. The park between these cultural magnets includes a very nice experience playground for children.
If you have time and are a music lover, you can enjoy opera and musicals of high artistic quality at Wermland Opera. If you are interested in the history of war, Brigadmuseum is located by the River Klarälven.
Signage in progress
As the Vänerleden is a completely new trail that is under development, signage of the trail is currently underway. From Åmål via Säffle, Grums, Karlstad, Hammarö, Kristinehamn, Gullspång, Mariestad, Götene, Lidköping, Grästorp to Vänersborg, the Swedish Transport Administration will sign during the month of June and July. From Vänersborg via Mellerud, Bengtsfors to Åmål, signage will take place later in the summer (in late August and September). Until the signage is complete, you need to download gpx files to your phone. These can be downloaded here on the website.