For 160 km, Ostkustleden winds its way through the Municipality of Oskarshamn, through the forests, beside the lakes and along the coastal strip. The trail is divided into 8 legs of around 20 km each, and at the end of each stretch there is an overnight cabin where you can gather new strength. The first leg begins at Lilla Hycklinge, and that tends to be where people set out from. There you’ll find parking facilities, an orientation board and space to put up your tent. At the Tourist Information in Oskarshamn, (tel +46 (0)491-77072) you can buy a special map, where the entire trail is marked out. The map is also printed on stone paper, a very strong and waterproof material.
Leg 1: Lilla Hycklinge-Nynäs, approx. 17 km
Lilla Hycklinge is considered to be Ostkustleden’s natural starting point. For bus connections contact Kalmar Läns Trafik, +46 (0)10 – 2121000. After 5 km you pass the village of Högatorp , the birthplace of “Döderhultarn” Axel Petterson. 12 km from the start you reach Lämmedal, one of the oldest villages in the Döderhult parish. The first overnight cabin is located in Nynäs, near Lake Hummeln, in the middle of the Humlenäs nature reserve. The cabin has 15 beds and is furnished with a wood stove and simple kitchen equipment. There is an outdoor toilet and it’s a good idea to bring a torch since the cabin lacks electricity.
Leg 2: Nynäs – Lönhult, approx. 21.5 km
The first part goes through the Humlenäs nature reserve and Kejnäste, the old harbour pier on Lake Hummeln. This is one of southern Sweden’s most remarkable lakes, with its 60 m depth and fine quality water. About 5 km along you come into the old agricultural landscape of Saxtorp, with its many piles of stones. Further along, the track also passes Lake Bråhult and a nice bathing spot. From the lake you pass some lovely paddocks belonging to the Gumsebo property. Approx. 13 km on from Nynäs there is a long stone wall that hikers have nicknamed “Småland’s Great Wall of China”. After 16 km you pass the Lönnhult Mill with its beautiful waterfall. And a little way from there, just before and north of the road to Krokshult, Ostkustleden joins up with Krokshultsleden which begins and ends at Krokshult. Watch out that you don’t take the wrong turn here! The leg ends at Lönnhultsstugan by Lake Övre Nejern and this is the western-most point of the trail. The cabin has 10 beds, a wood stove, simple kitchen equipment and an outdoor toilet.
Leg 3: Lönnhult – Krokstorp, approx. 21 km
The trail follows the country road between Kristdala and Hultsfred for a while, then turns and crosses a bridge over the runoff into Lake Nejern. After 2 km, you come to the 16th Century village of Skinshult. And then at the 7 km mark you arrive at the beautiful rural landscape around Lake Sjöändemåla. After 11 km you pass the large beautiful Lake Tvingen where you can take a nice dip. 15 km from Lönnhult we find the remains of Karlsfors old mill, where in days gone by there was a saw mill, a rag paper mill and a bone crusher. After 17 km, you reach Lake Storyttern – another opportunity for a swim. By the eastern end of the lake there are a number of old house foundations from the old handcraft village of Ytterryd, which was flourishing from the 17th Century to the beginning of the 20th Century. The last cottage was torn down in 1930. This was the habitat of farmers, paper makers, shoemakers, violin makers, copper smiths, book-binders, sheet-metal workers and a captain. The end station of this leg is the JUF-cottage, beautifully situated on the eastern shore of Krokstorpssjön. The cottage is fitted out with electricity, a hotplate, wood stove, simple kitchen equipment and a number of mattresses. Water is available from a well in the garden. The cottage is locked, but the key is kept in a box by the big house up the hill.
Leg 4: Krodstorp – Mörtfors, approx. 17.5 km
After 3 km you pass the dam at the Skälhult Mill and 4 km on from there the village of Ölvedal. Then, for several kilometres the trail follows Marströmmen – good water for sport fishing, but you need a fishing card. After about 16 km the trail follows a high mountain ridge with steep drops on each side. Here, you have a lovely view over Lake Lilla Ramm and the village of Ramnebo. The end of this leg is Mörtfors village, staying overnight in the old two storey bath house. The ground floor contains a kitchen with wood stove, dining room, living room, overnight room and a washroom. The top floor has five bedrooms with 10 – 15 places to sleep. Outdoor toilet at the back of the house. The key to the house is in a box to the left of the door.
Leg 5: Mörtfors – Stjärneberg, approx. 18.5 km
To begin with the trail here follows Marströmmen up to Highway E22. After 10 km the trail reaches the Baltic Sea for the first time, at beautiful Hålviken Bay. Hålvik was once a stone shipping harbour. You can see the remains of the old stone quay. A good place to take a dip on a hot summer’s day. This is the northern-most point of the trail, and for about 1 km from Hålvik it follows the old railway bank to the stone quarry in Kallsebo, where the big stone blocks testify to an ice-age around 10,000 years ago. Approximately 15 km on there is a large stone ship and stone tombs built directly on the mountain rock at Snäckedal. The burial ground has no less than 37 prehistoric finds. The end station of this leg is Stjärneberg and the cabin is fitted out with electricity, a hotplate, a kitchen stove and an open fireplace. Overnight stay in one room and in an extra house on the property, a total of 10 beds. Water is available 75 m away. There is an outdoor toilet in the garden.
Leg 6: Stjärneberg – Lilla Laxemar, approx. 18.5 km
From Stjärneberg the trail initially follows a beautiful mountain ridge before it reaches the interesting Tjustgölen, a natural pool surrounded by rich flora and many types of birds. You can swim here too. After 5 km you reach the village of Bussvik, which was previously a large stone shipping harbour. At the beginning of the 1940s great quantities of cut stone were shipped from here to Germany, intended to be used for Hitler’s victory monuments. After a further 5 km we reach Granholmsfjärden at the Bjurhid property. From here the trail does a loop around the inner part of the bay before passing through the little village of Kärrvik. Then, it turns into the forest before returning once again to the shore of the bay. Here you will find some water-honed cliffs and a good opportunity for bathing, with a glorious view across Granholmsfjärden. The end station is Little Laxemar, where the cabin sleeps 10 people and is equipped with electricity, a hotplate, wood stoves and simple kitchenware. There is water available from a tap in the garden. Don’t forget to flush out the pipe before drinking. Wood store and outdoor toilet on the property.
Leg 7: Lilla Laxemar – Hällveberg, approx. 21 km
From Lilla Laxemar the trail goes through old pastureland, passing one of the big power lines from Simpevarp, past the village of Ströms and then across the coast road down towards Gammelnäs. In several places you can see the old stone tombs from the bronze-age – evidence of an ancient settlement in the region. The trail continues past Nynäs and Södra Uvö. On your way towards the Uthammar recreational area, you can see many traces from stone quarrying times. Soon after that you come to a bathing spot and a lovely lookout, before continuing along Figehomsfjärden, where you also pass the remains of an ancient fortress. Not far from that, you reach Figeholms Fritid & Konferens complex with rental cabins, camping, restaurant, golf course and kiosk. Then the trail finds its way up the mountainside at Bredviken. At the foot of the mountain you have Bredviken’s bathing and camping grounds. If you want to shop in Figeholm you follow the road from Bredviksbadet to Figeholm. From Fårbo and from Figeholm, buses go to and from Oskarshamn several times a day. The trail crosses the E22, and after a while you come to Fårbosjön with its lovely bathing spots. Once you have crossed the bridge over Virån, you haven’t got far to go before you reach the overnight cabin with about 10 beds, wood stoves and simple kitchen equipment. The garden has a well. There is no electricity, so bring a torch.
Leg 8: Hedvigsberg – Lilla Hycklinge, approx. 18 km
From Hedvigsberg the trail goes through the forest, once again towards Virån. A bridge takes you across the river and then you follow its shore in a southerly direction. After crossing three bridges, you reach the Stensjö cultural reserve which is owned by Vitterhetsakademin. The parking area has an interesting information board that tells the history of the village. There is also an outdoor toilet here. Now, the trail follows narrow tractor tracks and forest paths before it reaches the road to Skrikebo. At Björkelund a delightful pastureland spreads out before you and Lilla Nybo Göl (pool) offers a last bathing opportunity. The last part of this leg goes through the pine forest towards the village of Hycklinge and then towards the parking area at Lilla Hycklinge, where the circle is closed. For more information contact Döderhults Naturskyddsförening on +46 (0)491-19695 or +46 (0)491-17706.