Gelsådalen & Stensbæk Plantage - Gram

Photo: VisitHaderslev


Photo: VisitHaderslev


A beautiful natural area with fantastic hiking opportunities

The unique landscapes, unspoilt river meanders, extensive heaths and wetlands offer a wealth of experiences. The plantation of around 770 hectares is located on the heath, Gelså Hedeslette, between Ribe and Gram.

The area’s history

This area in the valley of the River Gels is a former borderland. The Danish-German border followed a stretch of the River Gels from 1865 until 1920. Around 1900, 2 large farms, Åskovgård and Hedeagergård, burnt down. At that time, agricultural activity upon the heaths was in decline, and the farms were not rebuilt afterwards.

The Prussian state bought both farms, as well as the lands of Stensbæk Kro, and started planting Stensbæk Plantage in 1904. The Germans bought the area with money that they had received in reparations from France after the war between the two countries in 1870-71. The area remained part of Germany until 1920.  

The area of inland dunes then became uncultivated and today consists of 3 large heath areas -  Stensbæk Hede, Åskov Hede and Ballum Bjerg Hede. Stensbæk Plantage is dominated by shifting sand and is located on part of the heath that is cut by the River Gels.

Ancient monuments and remains

There are a number of burial mounds in Stensbæk Plantation. Close to one of the old cattle drovers’ routes, Gelsbrovej, on Åskov Hede, there are three small burial mounds. From Vadestedet at Gelsbro the cattle were driven over the heath to Toldboden, where the farm of Åskovgård was originally located before it burnt down.     

On Åskov Hede you can see the remains of a large stone. According to legend, treasure was hidden under the stone, so treasure hunters attempted to blow it up. It was believed that the stone would topple over when it could smell bread being baked. But this blowing up was unsuccessful and the remains of the stone can still be seen today.

Walking routes in the area

There are 3 signposted walking routes, which all start in the car park at Goliaths Hoved on Stensbækvej. In the car park there’s a "picnic house", where you can eat any food that you bring along.

Hotels nearby of Gelsådalen & Stensbæk Plantage - Gram

  • Gram Slotskro

    6.99 km

    Gram Slotskro is steeped in history. In the magnificent surroundings, guests cannot fail to feel the passage of time. Uniquely sited next to Gram Castle, the inn is perfect for a relaxing stay with good food cooked using seasonal raw ingredients. Today, the fourth generation of the Schrøder family runs the inn.
    Read more : Gram Slotskro
  • Agerskov Kro

    19.69 km

    In the heart of South Jutland lies Agerskov Kro & Hotel. The old buildings have been modernised with respect for the original atmosphere, and the inn has been expanded with large rooms. The innkeeper works in the kitchen alongside his staff of chefs, where they prepare meals to satisfy the most discerning palates.
    Read more : Agerskov Kro
  • Abild Kro & Hotel

    33.21 km

    Stay in scenic surroundings at Abild Kro & Hotel, which is located in the middle of the marsh and close to the German border. Experience the phenomenon Black Sun or the beautiful nature by the Wadden Sea. Look forward to being pampered and getting great service from the staff.

    Read more : Abild Kro & Hotel
  • Hotel Rode-Kro

    33.25 km

    Hotel Røde-Kro is a family driven business, which is placed centrally near Aabenraa. There is a high focus on creating a good atmosphere, as well the coziness feeling with a strong professional approach. The location opens the opportunities to ramble. There's among other the path Gendarmstien along the coast, and more.
    Read more : Hotel Rode-Kro
  • Tyrstrup Kro

    34.12 km

    Tyrstrup Kro is idyllically situated in the middle of fields and woods a few kilometres from the gingerbread town Christiansfeld. It has been here for at least 350 years, but in recent years the old inn has undergone largescale restorations and has become an internationally known restaurant.
    Read more : Tyrstrup Kro
  • Hotel Hovborg Kro

    36.93 km

    Hovborg Kro is famous for its low-ceiled taprooms and for its splendid Jutland food. The inn has been here for at least 250 years and the thatched main building erected in 1790 is reverently preserved. Without ruining the atmosphere the owners have succeeded in “building in” modern facilities valued by today’s guests.
    Read more : Hotel Hovborg Kro
  • Hotel Tønderhus

    38.33 km

    In the heart of the marshlands, you will find Hotel Tønderhus. The cosy restaurant serves pure pleasure with a cheery smile. Tønder is a natural starting point for fantastic experiences, such as the Sort Sol phenomenon (the gathering of large flocks of starlings in autumn or spring).

    Read more : Hotel Tønderhus
  • Refborg Hotel Billund

    51.66 km

    The cosy Refborg Hotel Billund in the middle of the town Billund bids welcome to LEGOLAND® guests and all others who would like to benefit from the excellent location close to a number of attractions and activities. You will enjoy the fine possibilities of golfing, fishing and walking tours in the neighbourhood.
    Read more : Refborg Hotel Billund
  • Hotel Svanen Billund

    51.85 km

    Hotel Svanen in Billund is exceptional: A 4-star design hotel where children are also very welcome. All details have been cared for – in the uniquely designed rooms, in the cosy lounge and in the restaurant “No8”. The target is to give all guests a unique experience as close to the sublime as possible.
    Read more : Hotel Svanen Billund
  • Hotel Hedemarken

    53.23 km

    You can hardly get any closer to the heart of Jutland: Hotel Hedemarken is situated near good golf courses, LEGOLAND®, and Givskud Zoo, has a beautiful brook in the backyard with salmon, and modern facilities. Quality is the pride of the place.

    Read more : Hotel Hedemarken