Unionsleden stage 4, Lennartsfors - Bengtsfors
Bengtsfors – much more than just a detour
Through magical forests along deep crevasse lakes, you travel across the county border from Värmland towards Dalsland and Bengtsfors. The landscape here is diverse and the route keeps on returning along the Dalsland Canal, offering the opportunity to spot both passenger boats and beavers.
Experience wild Dalsland
From Lennartsfors towards Bengtsfors you will travel along the shore of lake Lelång. Take the opportunity to stop at Gitta's Verkstad, which is packed with woven shawls, paintings and wooden handicrafts. Along the way there are a few small residential areas, but mostly you cycle through deep forests along winding roads with panoramic views stretching for miles. One tip is to stop at Hunduddarna north of Torrskog, where there are great views over Lelång and a nice rest area to stretch your legs for a while. There are plenty of places to stop for a refreshing swim and there's a good chance you'll have the bathing spot to yourselves.
A few kilometres north of Bengtsfors is Dalslands Camping & Kanotcentral, located on a ridge between the lakes Lelången and Ärtingen.
Once in Bengtsfors, there are some good accommodation options in the form of Vandrarhemmet Gammelgården, Hemgårdens hotel & hostel and First Hotel Bengtsfors. The town centre of Bengtsfors features a cosy selection of small shops and restaurants. From Bengtsfors you can choose to board one of the passenger boats M/S Dalslandia or M/S Storholmen and travel along the canal down to Håverud and then you can take the railcar back again. If your legs are tired, you can take your bike on board and catch the boat to Dals Långed, a journey of about 2 hours.
Industrial history along the way
As you continue your journey south, you'll cycle on the abandoned railway embankment where the Lelången railway once ran. You will pass locks and lakes and discover traces of how the lakes were used in the past for timber floating and industries. Some industries still exist in the same spot. For example, the factory in Billingsfors has existed on the same site since the 18th century. Over the years, it has gone from being primarily a forge to a high-tech paper mill.
In Billingsfors there is a supermarket, a café and a couple of restaurants. If you want to go on a side trip, there is the Ösan nature reserve in Billingsfors with a scenic landscape and easy walking trails. There is also a bathing spot and a wind shelter. From Billingsfors, the journey continues south towards the village of Dals Långed, which has a basic range of shops and several cafés and eateries. Stenebyskolan, with courses in arts and crafts at the University of Gothenburg, has shaped the community with a long tradition in arts and crafts. A large number of artists and craftspeople live and work here. There are several accommodation options around Dals Långed, including camping, holiday villages and hostels.
Nestled on a lush peninsula in lake Lax, Baldersnäs Herrgård is a popular destination. The beautiful manor house dates back to the 18th century. Here you can enjoy comfortable accommodation and fine dining at one of Dalsland's top restaurants, Öjentorp's Kitchen. The area is characterised by the former lord of the manor, Carl Fredrik Waern's interest in English park culture. Baldersnäs is also a 103-hectare nature reserve with several different hiking routes.
From Baldersnäs, the trail continues along lake Lax on the way to the village of Södra Fjäll. In Södra Fjäll the road diverges and the Unionsleden trail continues towards Åmål municipality.