Roldskov is the second largest forest in Denmark. As much of the other land in Denmark, it is mainly private owned, but some parts are state owned and have been turned into recreational areas. Roldskov offers a quite diverse terrain for being Denmark, and during a whole day in the area you are able to walk through the hills in Rebild (Rebildbakker), the different woodlands, encounter natural springs and enjoy several lakes and hopefully see some wild animals. It is not allowed to camp freely in the area; however there are some places with shelters and areas where you are allowed to pitch your tent. Please note that not all of these areas do have access to drinking water.
Here is a somewhat old movie about Roldskov in English. However the wonderful Danish accent make it quite of an experience.
The forest is located south of Aalborg and in order to get there by public transport from Aalborg one can take the bus to Rebild or Arden. However, it is also possible to take the train to Skørping. I have only travelled there by train, so I cannot speak for which routes to take from Arden or Rebild into the forest. During my walks in the area I use to spend around 4-7 hours walking up and down the hills and in and out of the different woodlands. I usually take the train from Aalborg Station (approx. 20minutes) to Skørping. The ticket costs around 38kr one way, depending on if you purchase your ticket in one of the machines at the train station, or if you paying with you Reisekort.
The tourist information centre is just across the street from the train station in Skørping. Here you can pick up some of the free folders which contain maps and information about the area. However, please check the opening hours of the tourist information centre before you leave. Otherwise folders over Roldskov (and other recreational areas) are available for free at the tourist information centre in Aalborg (in Nordkraft) and also at the main library (Hovedbiblioteket).
I would like to underline that you not will be able to find a normal topographic map over the area (if you do, congratulations, please send me one). Denmark is in love with folders. Sure, they often offer some nice pictures of flora and fauna, some historical notes and other good to know things about the area you are visiting. However, when it comes to orientation they are less usable, at least if you prefer to “go you own way”, and often get of the marked trail. If you do so, there is a risk for getting a bit lost, since the forest is full wit logging roads, some with road signs, but most without so everything looks quite the same. Furthermore they are often very much out of scale. The general folder which is showing the whole area will most likely not “fit” with one of the folders that only contains a map and information about a smaller area when it comes down to scale and distance. However, you are in Denmark, in a quite small forest so it is very unlikely that you will go to hikers hell because of some detouring. I am still here and I have been detouring a lot in Roldskov.
Here are some useful links to folders and maps. However, I could only find the Danish ones, but in 2012-spring 2014 it was possible to get your hands on English folders as well at the tourist information centre.
The main folder over Roldskov (with map)
I dare to say that most of the areas marked on the main map do have their own seperate folder, like the one below of Rebildbakker. The colour of the trail can change though. In the main folder, the trail is marked with yellow, and in some of the smaller ones they are marked with red.
Information sheet about Rebildbakker in English (and a bad map) http://naturstyrelsen.dk/publikationer/2008/dec/rebild/
Overview of folders of the area
In the main folder over Roldskov (the first link) you might notice that the trail system of Rebildbakker/Kyø Skov and Store Økssø does not connect. I do not know why, but I guess that it is due to that a lot of the land in the are private owned. However, there is always a solution to that as you can see in the picture below.
When you come to number 46 on the map the trail kind of just ends and you might not feel for walking the same way back, since the trail continuing at Store Økssø actually leads back to Skørping and the train station. So, what you do is that you follow the gravel road that starts just after the fireplace located close to number 46. You should pass two road crossings, and after the second one you will come to some very nice white half-timbered houses and you will most likely be able to see the lake from here. Just continue straight on with the white houses on your left. After some 100 meters the road enter the forest, turns and goes a bit uphill. Just continue to you arrive at what seems to be private ground. There will be a red house and the lake is now clearly visible beind it. If you look to the right of the house there will be a small path (red dots on picture) just in the edge of the wood continuing the last 100 meters down to the trail which goes around the lake.
Furthermore there are several mountainbike trails in the area, and a downhill track for the more experiences riders. Roldskov is also very nice to visit under the wintermonths, and if there is snow, there is also a good chance that you will find nordic-skiing trails on the logging roads.
I will to post two or three more post on Roldskov, including some route explanations 🙂