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The forrests of Aabenraa

Explore the forests of Aabenraa - here you will find hilly landscapes, abundant wildlife, diverse nature, hiking and cycling trails.

The forests surrounding Aabenraa cover a total area of approximately 1,400 hectares, primarily owned by the state. Aabenraa's forests consist mainly of deciduous trees such as beech, oak, and ash, with smaller areas of coniferous trees. The forests encircle the city like a green belt, which is characteristic of Aabenraa.

The landscape around Aabenraa is a so-called moraine landscape formed during the last ice age about 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. The landscape is dominated by the fjord, which is a tunnel valley. It is divided into smaller tunnel valleys with steep slopes and meltwater gorges as one approaches Aabenraa. The soil layers consist primarily of clay. Due to the clayey and steep slopes, the area around Aabenraa has always been covered with forests as it is unsuitable for agriculture.

In 1641, cartographer Johannes Mejer created a map of Aabenraa. To this day, the map shows the same extent of Aabenraa's forests. However, the forests look differently today than they did back then. Oak trees, in particular, were cultivated for the shipbuilding industry, which characterized Aabenraa during the 17th and 18th centuries. Until the 19th century, the forests were grazed by pigs and livestock, resulting in an open woodland. Nowadays, the forests are managed in a way that allows for self-renewal. Spruce trees thrive sparsely in the clayey soil, which is why the landscape does not feature large spruce forests. However, the few areas with spruce are preserved to maintain forest diversity, birdlife, and wildlife. The forests are home to about 80 bird species, with the raven being particularly prominent.

Around Aabenraa, you will find forests such as Jørgensgård Skov, Nørreskov, Rise Skov, Langbjerg Skov, Søst Skov, Hjelm Skov, Sønderskov, Årup Skov, and Vestermark.

Jørgensgård Skov is located on the northeastern side of Aabenraa and has steep slopes that reach down to the fjord. In the southeastern corner of the forest, you will find Åbæk Beach with good bathing opportunities and a beautiful view of the water.

Nørreskov in the northern part of Aabenraa is a popular dog forest. From Galgebakken, where the last execution took place in the late 18th century, there is a beautiful view over the city. In the forest, you will also find the remains of a military shooting range from the 19th century.

Rise Skov, west of Aabenraa, is characterized by its hilly landscape and diverse nature. You will find lakes, river valleys, untouched forests, and meadows with grazing livestock.

Langbjerg Skov in the western part of Aabenraa is situated on a hill between two tunnel valleys. The deep gorge between Nymølle and Øen connects the valleys, and Slotsmølleåen runs at the bottom of the gorge.

Søst Skov, west of Aabenraa, extends over 78 hectares. In the northern end of the forest, Mølleå separates Rise Skov and Søst Skov. The stream runs parallel to the old railway line between Aabenraa and Rødekro.

Hjelm Skov in western Aabenraa has always been actively used by the city's residents. The forest offers two hiking routes, a parking area, and a forest playground. The legend tells that Valdemar the Victorious landed with the Dannebrog flag at Kongens Forhøjning after the campaign in Estonia in the year 1219.

Sønderskov in southern Aabenraa has a particularly steep and hilly terrain with small streams and gorges. In the forest, you will find the sources Hjortekilde and Helligkilde, which used to supply water to the Farversmølle watermill.

Årup Skov, south of Aabenraa, was originally part of the Søgård estate, which belonged to the noble family Ahlefeldt throughout the Middle Ages. The forest was mainly used for hunting. At Dragebænken, there is a very fine view of the fjord near Aabenraa.

Vestermark, in western Aabenraa, is contiguous with Hjelm Skov and has a very hilly terrain. Here you will find a moderately difficult mountain bike trail of 8.4 km. Parking spaces are available on Enemarksvej.