This trip goes to the east of the county. The roundtrip is not marked, but the area is manageable and is you shall lose the path, it should be easy to find the way. All of the area of the roundtrip is protected. Ruagerkilen is a part of Raet national park. Ruagerkilen is a wetland with a rich bird habitat.
You can find a map at Grimstad kommune's homepage.
Description of the hike
We recommend that you park by Hasseltangen. To get to Hasseltangen by car, take the RV 420 past Fevik. Take a right at Vessøyveien (there are signs towards "Hasseltangen friluftsområde" (outdoor area). Follow Vessøyveien until the road ends at Sømveien. Take a left here where the sign points towards Hasseltangen.
The hike starts with a walk along the beach at Haslebukta. When you get out on the gravel path, continue straight ahead into the forest, towards Ruagerkilen. When the path parts, you can choose to go on the outside, or keep to a path with easier terrain, closer to Ruagerkilen. The hike on the outside takes you over rocky shore with an amazing view to little Torungen, amonst other things. The terrain is rather rough, so good shoes are recommended. There are many hidden rocky shores here where you can stop and enjoy the view.
Where Ruagerkilen comes out, there's a small bridge. Keep to the left after the bridge and continue up towards the top, before taking a right and coming down to Kvennebekken. At the top, notice the huge burrial mound we call "Kvennebekkrøysa". This is the biggest burial mound in the county.
From Kvennebekken, follow Ruagerveien (road) towards Sømsveien. Eventually, you will have the beech forest on the right. Head into the beach forest and follow the path through it, keep to the left of the hill in the forest.
Did you know that beech was formerly used in the making of carriage wheels, or that beech is used in the process of smoking meats and fish? There is an info-board right before you get to Sømsveien in the beech forest. Follow Sømsveien back to the car.
There are also shorter alternatives for the hike. You can for example park at, or bike to Kvennebekken. If you have difficulty maneuvering in the terrain, Hasseltangen is a good area with asphalt roads and several view points.