Unionsleden stage 5, Bengtsfors - Edsleskog
Cultural treasure in Fröskog
Once you've made your way to Fröskog, you can stay overnight at the cosy little B&B Villa Weidling. Here you will also find one of Dalsland's most charming churches – Fröskog Church. The timber-clad church from the early 18th century is brimming with "bondebarock", translated as peasant baroque. It is open in summer and offers an audio guide. The 3.8 km long Bläsenrundan hike starts at the Fröskog parish house. It passes several “caves” that are actually mine shafts, and the lovely turquoise lagoon makes for a nice picnic spot.
One of Dalsland's most popular destinations
Just 2 minutes by bike from Fröskog lies Fengersfors, which is dominated by the Fengersfors mill. The old paper mill is home to the artists' cooperative Not Quite with studios, exhibition halls, a shop and events. Their café and bistro are well worth a visit, and the stone oven bakery Brukets Godaste attracts hungry travelers with its delicious aromas. The old mill is also an industrial museum, and in 2015 Fengersfors Mill was awarded the Industrial Heritage of the Year. Fengersfors is well worth a longer stopover. There is a nice country store where you can buy groceries, and a beautiful bathing spot right in the centre of the village. In a small converted slaughterhouse you will find Fengers, a small B&B/retro shop.
Beautiful road to Edsleskog
On the winding road north you'll pass lakes, farms and grazing cows. Just before you cycle into Edsleskog, you will come across Bräcke Ängar, a nature reserve and memorial to the older cultural landscape. Hundreds of years of haymaking and grazing animals have left the area with a unique flora and fauna.
Edsleskog is best known for the excavations of the old church of Edsleskog. The finds revealed no ordinary church, but a great brick cathedral, far ahead of its time, which made Edsleskog a metropolis during the time of the pilgrimages. Today, however, only a memorial is left here, surrounded by a cemetery and the picturesque vicarage. Edsleskog is a junction for many trails for both cycling and walking. Spend the night at Edsleskog Wärdshus, which has an incredible view of lake Edslan.
As you continue your journey from Edsleskog, you're going uphill, which comes as no surprise – you're heading up towards Dalsland's highest peak, Baljåsen, which is 302 metres above sea level. Take the opportunity to stop at Petersborg and have a look at the fine old houses here. Petersborg is the starting point for the hiking trails that cross the Baljåsen and Orsberget nature reserves. Now you're getting close to the Värmland border.