Saturday 20 August 2016

Hätteboda Summer Fun-Run Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 6.2 km (3.9 miles), terrain: flat, 25-meter gain

Thanks to Chris Hauser for showing me this great route!

Hätteboda, in southern Sweden, is a lakeside campground surrounded by woods.
Hätteboda campground beach and sauna
It bills itself as Europe's greenest campground: "We use nature without consuming it". There's no electricity, no running water, just outhouses for toilets. There are a few kitchens where guests can wash dishes, but to do it, you first have to use an old-fashioned hand-pump to fill up a tank with well-water. To get hot water for showers, you fill a black plastic canister with water and set it in the sun to warm up before you hang it up above you in the shower.
Camping in paradise
They use the renewable resources of their woods to provide firewood. But if you want to build a fire, you have to saw-up, then split the logs with an ax yourself. But, luckily, they have a few saunas out along the lakeside to help use the wood for a good cause. The campground is full of families every summer, enjoying a lifestyle that's hard to find elsewhere. Their website is for anyone who likes the wilderness.
Do-it-yourself firewood
So if you find yourself there some nice summer day, like I did, then you'll want to take a run in the woods and then jump into the lake to cool off. The campground blazed a few hiking trails themselves, but they are so full of roots and boulders that they are not fit for running. So we'll stick to the dirt roads of the surrounding area.
Canoe on Arasjön lake
So off we go, let's discover a bit of this beautiful corner of Sweden!

The campground is spread out among several areas along the various coves and arms of Arasjön lake, so I'll have us start in the Outback Camp, because it's fairly central.

So now, follow the dirt road north to the Main Camp, then turn right at the woodyard and reception to continue northeast, out the long driveway, exiting the campground.
The campground entrance
When the driveway ends at the next dirt road, turn left and just follow it north as it curves westwards. This is the least scenic part of the run, just woods and a few houses that belong to the settlement of Hätteboda.

After 2.5 kilometers, the road will end by running into a crossroad at a farm with a yellow farmhouse. Turn left and run southwards past pretty meadows and barns, heading towards the settlement of Aramo.
The road ends here, turn left and run towards Aramo!
At 3.5 kilometers you'll come to a little crossroads in Aramo with a few mailboxes and a wooden table where the farmers place their milk cans to be picked up by a milk truck.
The milk cans
Run past the table, and in a few steps you'll see the road fork ahead. Take the left-hand dirt road, leading into the woods. You'll now pass an abandoned barn on the left and its abandoned house on the right side (you might want to take a look inside: who can resist?).
Take the left-hand fork where runner Chris Hauser just came from!
Now keep following the main dirt road past a few spots where smaller roads branch off. At around the 4-km-mark you'll run between a nicely restored old red barn and its red house, a spot that looks like the road is just a driveway for that house. But keep running and you'll be back in the woods again.
The abandoned barn
Soon after, just before coming to another house, you'll see a new gravel section of the road turn to the left to bypass the house. Follow it. Until recently, the bypass wasn't there, and people pulling trailers or driving RVs to the campground drove right up against the house trying to turn the corner on the original road (the poor home-owners).
The restored barn
Before the 5-km mark, this little road will merge into the main dirt road near the campground. Now just turn right and run the 200 meters to the campground entrance, then turn right again to head into the campground and back to the start.

Nice country around here! Beautiful Sweden!
Plow, seen along the way

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