The nature reserve lies in magnificent countryside on the edge of Lake Vättern. It consists of many small headlands that are completely exposed to the winds and waves of the lake. The area has dramatic cliffs from where there are wonderful views over Lake Vättern and Vänneviken, and sitting on the bare rocks is almost like sitting by the sea. The area also has old flat-rock pine forests.
Remains of chalk quarrying
The cliffs and precipitous slopes of Harge Uddar are part of a bigger fault that stretches along Lake Vättern.
The rock consists of granite, with elements of quartz-porphyry and limestone. In several places, there are small chalk quarries. The chalk was transported by boat from Vänneviken. Far out on the western side, there are still traces of loading in the form of chalk fragments and dust.
Wind-battered pines and rare mosses
The short, knotty and wind-battered pines are typical of the area. These wind-pruned pines are found mainly on mountain tops and beaches. The rocky block and cliff surfaces have a rich flora of lichens and mosses. There are rare mosses such as Cirriphyllum tommasinii, rock pouncewort and pillows of Leucobryaceae. There are also many lime-loving plants, such as dark-red helleborine, bloody cranesbill and rue-leaved saxifrage.
The headlands glow with the warm, red colour of the granite, and mountain everlasting, angular Soloman’s seal and breckland thyme grow in the cracks.
The Harge Uddar headlands, and particularly the nearby Klåvudden headland, offer fine viewing points for observing migratory seabirds. During the spring migrations, birds such as eider ducks, velvet scoter and common scoter can be seen – species otherwise associated with the sea. The best time for spotting migratory birds is at sunrise. The gregarious red-breasted merganser is usually found at sea but is happy to rest at Harge Uddar.
Harge Uddar is a fine nature reserve in all seasons. But why not try visiting in late autumn or winter? Even on a stormy November evening, Lake Vättern’s face can be threatening, yet attractive and fresh. On a crystal clear February day, when the water has frozen in Viken, the lake is at its best. Occasional waves lap against the cliffs and the warmth of the sun can be felt. In cold winters, Lake Vättern itself freezes, offering fantastic skating opportunities.
Footpaths and shelters
From the car park, a 2.5 km marked path runs round the area. In places the path is challenging for people with impaired mobility. The easiest way is to go straight to Vänneviken. There is a wind shelter and barbecue at Korpaberget with a fine view over Lake Vättern.
How to get there
Signpost from road 50, immediately south of Stora Hammarsbron. Car park, shelters and barbecues at the reserve.
In the reserve, you are not permitted to:
- Have dogs unleashed
- Disturb animals
- Light fires except where designated
- Remove branches, cut down or damage in any other way living or dead trees and bushes
- Pick flowers, dig up or damage in any other way herbs, mosses or lichens
- Cycle, except on the cycle path to Vänneviken harbour
- Mark trails with paper strips
- Set up notice boards, placards, posters, signs or similar