Dyrevarden (The Animal Beacon) in Eide
The hike in Eide is a great roundtrip in an unusual, and for most people, unknown area. Eide church roundtrip is just under 4 km. The roundtrip itself to "Dyrevarden" is around 2 km. The trail follows old cultural landskape, in the forest, hills and marsh, which gives a feeling of being in the mountains. "Dyrevardeb" is a marvelous view point, looking out over the Hesnes islands in the north-east, to Justøya in the south-vest. You can do the trip walking or you can combine it with biking, by biking to the start of the roundtrip-trail and walk the rest of the way. The roundtrip to Dyrevarden goes through steep terrain, not suited for bicycles, wheelchairs or strollers.
How do I get to Eide and "Dyrevarden"?
If you go by car, take the RV 420 route (former E 18) west towards Homborsund and Lillesand. Drive past Omresletta and take the exit to Homborsund. Take the next exit to the left in Eideveien, where there's a sign with "Eide kirke", and follow this road for 1.6 km to Eide curch. You can park by the church. After the new E 18 was built, the area is easier to get around by bicycle. There are big portions of bicycle paths from Grimstad and the portions without a bicycle path are clear and there's less traffic than before. Bikes can be parked at the field where the trail starts. You may also bring bikes with a car and bike from Eide church to the start of the roundtrip-trail.
Follow Eideveien from Eide church around 900m in the direction of RV 420. Where the field on the left side ends, there's a big, characteristic spruce tree, locally known as "the spruce in the garden". The roundtrip to Dyrevarden starts here. The roundtrip is marked with red and white and some blue ribbons and the first ribbon is in the spruce tree. The owners of the area, led by Ole Petter Svennevig have cleaned parts of the trail and the area at the top, so the view has been conserved and the area is available. The trail goes through steep terrain, so hiking boots are recommended. We suggest that you take the round clockwise. At the edge of the field, take a right into the forest. The trail continues up, until you get to the last, steep hill up to Dyrevarden. Dyrevarden is a big, flat plateau with an amazing view. The top has an altitude of 76.69 meters above sealevel and is one of the hills close to the coast in our county that gives the best and longest view. There is a mailbox at the top and we recommend resting there. You may spot Homborsund lighthouse, Homborøya (island) and Auesøya (island). After the rest, continue straight ahead and follow the trail down from the hill on the other side. The trail is unclear some places, but follow the ribbons and is will become more clear further down. Follow the trail through the forest, over a marsh and an old field, until you get to the field where you started.