Wednesday, July 5, 2017
For those of you that intend on actually hiking in this area, if you have not read my guide to The Ed Loop, I suggest you do that first, as these two sections of hiking are directly related and connected to each other. Plus, there is also more background information and context that I won't repeat here, so do check that out please. Together, The Ed Loop and The Dalsland Connection Route (DCR from now on) provide an alternative to hikers to connect two longer, well established trails: Bohusleden to the west, and Pilgrimsleden (Dalsland) to the east. Or these new routes can also work as section hikes unto themselves. One potential shorter thru-hike that I really like the idea of is to start in Åmål in the east and hiking all the way to Strömstand in the west, or the other way around.
You can read my full trail guide to Bohusleden here.
And you can also read a more recent partial trail guide to Pilgrimsleden here.
The DCR is around 50-60km (depending on how you choose to hike it), and runs from the town Ed in west, to the Dalsland Canal area to the east, centered around the villages of Håverud, Åsensbruk, and Upperud. These three canal villages are all right next to each other and offer a variety of interesting things for hikers and travelers alike. One option already mentioned is Pilgrimsleden, which runs right through this canal area. Another is that in the summer time, special boats and trains run up and down the Dalsland canal and beyond. Then of course there are more mundane but practical amenities for hikers/travelers, such as access to regular public transportation, restaurants, cafes, B&Bs, supermarkets, etc.
From these canal villages, one can catch a bus or train to the larger town of Mellerud, where there are further connections. Or backpackers can simply continue hiking onto Pilgrimsleden, which is accessible at several points in this area. The trail passes right through Upperud, and there are a few roads and trails one can follow from Håverud that intersect with the trail only 2-3kms away.