Lake Hornborga is situated in the ancient countryside in the tableland of Västergötland. A host of ancient monuments and stone walls, the area bears witness to the activities of generations past. The area is a paradise for resting and breeding wetland birds and, every spring, the lively dance steps of thousands of resting cranes attract huge crowds of spectators.
A famed bird lake, ravaged by countless attempts to lower the level of the water, Lake Hornborga was revived by an extensive and unique restoration programme. At Lake Hornborga, two information centres, naturum Hornborgasjön and Trandansen, walking tracks, bird towers, hide-outs, café and grazing native breeds welcome the visitors.
Welcome to the visitor centre
The information centre known as naturum Hornborgasjön stands on pillars in the lake at Fågeludden. It was opened in 1986, when the restoration project started. It is situated on the eastern side of the lake, where the Billingen table mountain rises out of the water and forms a beautiful backdrop. The surrounding countryside with its many old stone walls bears witness to its ancient traditions and, in mid-May, the cherry trees fill the hills with white blossom.
Naturum Hornborgasjön contains an exhibition about the history of the lake and its bird life, a beautiful slide show, films, a viewing tower with a lift, a souvenir shop and a café. If you follow the foot-bridge to Fågeludden, you pass two hide-outs. If you are quiet and have a little patience, you can watch birds at very close range. Fågeludden is one of the very best places at the lake to watch birds. You can see grebes, ducks, coots, wading birds and Sweden’s largest colony of black-headed gulls.
At the end of the cape, you will find a new bird tower offering a fantastic view of the lake. This is the start of a number of walking tracks which pass along the water meadows and out into the old cultural landscape.
The dancing cranes
At the south-western end of the lake lies Trandansen. Watching the cranes here in the spring has been a popular activity since the beginning of the 1950s. The cranes have been here for several hundred years, but they did not become a tourist attraction until Arne Sucksdorff’s film about them was shown in cinemas. Nowadays, around 150 000 visitors from far and wide come here every spring. They all want to watch the cranes’ lively dance, hear them trumpeting to the heavens and feel that spring has finally arrived.
Managing the nature reserve
Lake Hornborga is a nature reserve with an area of more than 4,000 hectares. It is made up primarily of the lake and the shore meadows, but it also includes part of the old agricultural landscape east of the lake – Bolums lider. The reserve is designed to promote biodiversity. Breeding and resting birds that are dependent on wetlands must benefit. The small-scale cultural landscape around the lake is also important. Lake Hornborga is managed by the Västra Götaland County Administrative Board.
Lake Hornborga is situated in southern Sweden, 150 km north east of Gothenburg. To reach the lake, you need to get to one of the three main towns in Västra Götaland, Skara, Falköping or Skövde, all of which are about 20 kilometres from Lake Hornborga. You will probably arrive by car, but we would like to remind you that it is possible to take a bus to Skara, Falköping or Skövde. You can also take a train to Falköping and Skövde.
Please visit the Lake Hornborga Nature Reserve website for more information