Rold Skov

Rold Skov forest

Endless forest and magnificient views

Rold Skov forest is Denmark´s second largest forest and covers an area of 80 km2 or 8.000 hectares.  The forest consists of various minor forests, each with their own name, for example, Hesselholt, Nørreskov, Nørlund Skov and Rold Vesterskov.

75% of the forest is privately owned by 3 estates; Lindenborg, Nørlund and Willestrup. The Danish state owns the remaining 25 %, and this area is managed by Nature Agency Himmerland.


Efterår i Rold Skov

The Trees of the Forest

Today, Rold Forest is primarily a coniferous forest. The soil, sandy and gravelly moraine, in combination with frequent rainfall makes the area one of the very best habitats for cone-bearing trees. The forest is known for its large and dense growth of fir trees. However, the forest was severely damaged during in a storm in November 1981 as more than 550.000 m3 of timber were literally put down by the wind. 

Since 1850, many different species of coniferous trees have been planted, aside from spruce and Scots pine, various North American trees have been planted such as, douglas fir, sitka spruce, nobilis fir and grandis fir - even though the forest manager Hintz’s superior had forbidden Hintz to plant those type of park trees. These trees have since then been really important species in the forest. You can encounter old and impressive examples of douglas fir and sitka spruce in “ Jætternes Baghave’” (The Backyard of the Giants ) and at the “Forstrådens Gran” (The Forest Supervisor’s Douglas Fir).

Jætternes baghave

As addition to the coniferous forest fine parts of the original beech forest have preserved. The largest stands of old nature forest with beech trees can be found in the areas; The hills Rebild Bakker, Bjergeskov, Troldeskoven, and Urskoven. Especially in Rebild Bakker the trees are multi-stemmed, twisted and gnarled.

Troldeskoven and Urskoven have been left untouched since 1992, meaning that the forest actually sustains itself. Consequently, it is not allowed to cut down trees or make any cultural intervention in these areas. Other natural forests such as Rebild Bakker are maintained as with forest grazing, where sheep and cattle run around free. 

The former forester, Jens Hvass, desired to preserve the beautiful forest and at the same time to develop it. At his request, since 1970 it has been possible to visit the beautiful arboretum called Den Jyske Skovhave.

Den jyske Skovhave

The Exceptionel Nature of the Forest

The calcareous subsoil in Rold Skov forest is the explanation of the so-called sinkholes. When the rainwater passes through the soil of the forest with parts of decaying plants, the water becomes acidified with humic acids. The acidified water penetrates cracks in the soil and dissolves the limestone creating an underground cavity, which one day may cause a sudden collapse. Sinkholes with 4-5 meters in diameter are frequently found in Nørreskoven.

One of the largest and best-known sinkholes is called Hestegraven. The name derives from the myth about a horse carriage which drove through the forest, when all of the sudden the ground collapsed underneath the horse and the horse carriage totally disappeared into the deep and Hestegraven was created. Another well-known sinkhole is Røverstuen. It is said that some of the robbers from Rold had their base in some of the sinkholes. Here they could lie in wait for passers-by, having stretched strings attached with bells across the road.


Even though the Rold Skov forest area is known for its fantastic and large forest, is it also known for its unique nature filled with plants, flowers, springs, stones, and animals.  It is worth mentioning plants such as Frueskoen (Lady’s Slipper), Digitalis, White and Blue Anemone - whereas one can see for example fox, red deer, bat and birds like common buzzard and raven. The fauna and flora can be experienced throughout the year, each season presenting different settings and stages.


History in Rold Forest

The forest is rich in relics of the past, notably in Bjergskoven there are several burial mounds from the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age. For example  the dolmen Stenstuen and two barrows , Svinehøjene.

In the forest, there are many old sunken roads – often several next to each other. Sunken roads were formed by prolonged carriage traffic. If one stretch of the road became too poor or impassable, a new one was taken into use right next to the old one. The best-known sunken road is the now paved Rebildvej through Rebild Bakker, locally called Hulvejen, meaning the sunken road. The well-known Rebild Bakker Route are both located near this road.

There are traces everywhere in the forest of an extensive charcoal production, like for example by Kulsvierpladsen in Rebild Bakker. The extensive charcoal burning in Rold Rorest required very large amounts of wood, which contributed to the reduction of the forest. Today, a local professional charcoal burner carry on the tradition.