Fröskogs Kyrka church and the Not Quite artists’ cooperative

When you have reached Fröskog, you can stay the night at the homely B&B Villa Weidling or Nordic Refugewhich both welcome cyclists. Here you will also find one of Dalsland’s most charming churches: Fröskog Kyrka. This early 18th-century church is clad in wood shingle and filled with rustic baroque details. It is open in summer and equipped with an audioguide. The 3.8 km walking loop Bläsenrundan starts from Fröskog’s parish hall (församlingshem). It passes several “caves” that are actually mining shafts, and the wonderful turquoise-coloured lagoon is a picturesque setting for a picnic. Just two minutes away by bicycle from Fröskog, you will find Fengersfors, which is dominated by Fengersfors Bruk.

Fengersfors Bruk is a hub for art and culture, business and industrial history. After the paper mill closed in 1978, operations resumed at the mill in the form of handicrafts and small-scale businesses in 2003 via the artists’ cooperative called Not Quite. Today, the mill site is a well-known destination in Dalsland and Västra Götaland that is characterised by culture, handicrafts and events. The Glupsk på Dalsland food festival is organised every August. The festival is established, well known and attracts visitors from far and wide. Here, you’ll find a café and bistro and the stone oven bakery Brukets Godaste, which spreads its delicious aroma throughout the area. The old mill is also an industrial museum, and in 2015 Fengersfors Bruk was awarded the distinction of Swedish Industrial Heritage Site of the Year. Fengersfors is well worth a long stop. It includes a lovely village shop where you can stock up on food, and a great bathing spot in the centre of the village. In a small converted slaughterhouse, you will find Fengers, a B&B with a retro shop.

Harbour community and blues in Åmål

After Fengersfors, the Vänerleden cycle route meanders on towards Åmål and passes Torpane, the northern part of Lake Käppesjön, and continues past Bodane and Jakobsbyn. Shortly before you reach Åmål, you pass Tollebols Kvarn & Kvarnkafé. An intact water mill with a dam, mill race (trough of water to turn the water wheel) and the water wheel itself. In summer, the café serves tasty waffles, among other things, and the museum displays what life at the mill was like in the past. Animals are kept on the green spaces, and various activities are provided for children. We suggest that you take a break in Åmål and stay the night; the town offers several great forms of accommodation and restaurants, such as the town hotelÅmåls Stadshotell and Örnäs camping directly adjacent to Vänern’s shoreline. In summer, the harbour is a hive of boating activity, and if you’re lucky, your visit might coincide with Åmåls Bluesfest when the whole of Åmål sways to the blues. If you’re looking for a scenic view of Vänern, we recommend a walk up Kungsberget Hill. For tips about activities in and around Åmål, visit the tourist information centre Turistbyrån in the guest marina, which is also a Vänerhub.

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.

Along the way