Mols Bjerge National Park covers an area of 180 km2 of large forests, moors and open dry grasslands as well as lakes, coastal areas and the sea. The park area extends from the
coast of Kattegat in the east to the forests at Kalø in the west, from the winding inlets in the south across the magnificent moraine formations of the hills of Mols Bjerge to the outwash plains of the Ice Age in the north. The National Park also includes the town of Ebeltoft as well as various villages and holiday cottage areas.
80% of the area of Mols Bjerge National Park is private property.
There are no entrance fee to enter the National Park - it is free to experience and explore.
Mols Bjerge National Park - for the benefit of nature and the pleasure of people
180 km2 ice-age landscape
Mols Bjerge National Park covers an area of 180 km2 of large forests, moors and open dry grasslands as well as lakes, coastal areas and the sea.
The park area extends from the coast of Kattegat in the east to the forests at Kalø in the west, from the winding inlets in the south across the magnificent moraine formations of the hills of Mols Bjerge to the outwash plains of the Ice Age in the north.
The national park with a town
The National Park also includes the town of Ebeltoft as well as various villages and holiday cottage areas.
The objectives of the Mols Bjerge National Park
The objective of the National Park is to preserve, strengthen and develop nature, the countryside, the cultural surroundings, the distinctive geological features and to provide visitors with excellent opportunities of outdoor activities and information about the area.
Shaped by ice and water
Once upon a time...
In the Quaternary period, which covers the last 2.5 million years, climate changes have caused several shifts between cold Ice Ages and warmer interglacial periods. During each Ice Age, the ice sheets and glaciers in the Scandinavian highlands grew and spread out over the surrounding lower lying land and sea, including Denmark. Each Ice Age shaped the landscape anew, but without destroying the former landscape completely.
At the end of the latest Ice Age
In the last part of the last Ice Age, the Weichselian glacial period, the main ice sheet from the north east came all the way across Jutland to the central ridge region. When the main Weichselian ice sheet over Denmark retreated, the edge of the ice sheet, about 20,000 years ago, was located above Helgenæs, Mols Bjerge and the area around Rønde.
In a number of subsequent brief advances, the lateral moraines, formed of deposits of material transported by the ice, were pushed together. The ice disappeared from Djursland again, but about 18,000 years ago, it came back to these areas, this time from the southeast (Baltic advance) and reached southern Djursland.
Along the ice edge, the hills previously created by the ice movements were pressed together and the great lateral moraines near Ebeltoft and Kalø Vig were shaped into their present form.
At the base of the ice, moraine clay - a mixture of clay, sand, gravel and stones - was deposited, and in the melt water lakes in front of the ice, sand and gravel carried by melt water rivers was deposited.
Where does the landscape come from?
The ice brought material from the north, northeast, east and southeast of Denmark and mixed this with local material. Thus, the stones at the beach have an interesting story to tell about the movement of the ice: kinnediabas (from the area Kinnekullen, Sweden), rhomb porphyry and larvikite came from the areas north and northeast of Denmark, the red Baltic quartz porphyry and sandstone came from the east and southeast areas, while flint and lime are local material from East Djursland.
When the ice started melting, large ice blocks were buried under layers of sand and gravel, and it took thousands of years before it was melted completely. The holes in which the ice was situated are known as kettle holes.
Changing sea levels
In the Stone Age, about 8000 years ago, the sea level was about 3-4 meters lower than today, and southern Djursland looked very different, with several inlets that ran inland. However, the rise in the level of the land after the ice had retreated led to the fact that the sea level slowly sunk again to its present level. That is why the former coastlines from the Stone Age sea are visible inland as relict clifflines, with the former flat, marine foreshores in front.
The nature found in the National Park Mols Bjerge is surprisingly varied but it is not necessary to be an expert in order to have a fascinating experience exploring it.
Take your time – and use your senses – the nature will come to you.
Anemones and light green beeches in the forest of Kalø in May.
Bees and flowers on a warm day of July in Mols Bjerge.
Porpoises playing and sea birds screeching at Jernhatten in October.
White-tailed eagles, swans, geese and ducks on Stubbe Sø in January.
Wetlands are represented by both saline areas including the protected fjords and lagoons, the coastal marshes and the sea itself, and fresh water localities including clear lakes, rivers, pastures and moors.
On dry land we have beech forests, plantations and cultivated fields. However, the terrestrial habitats for which Mols Bjerge is best known are the protected areas of dry, warm and poor soils with their vegetation of the old grass pastures.
Rich cultural history
The history of the area
The cultural history of the National Park includes many episodes in Denmark’s history, from ancient times to the present.
This area has been inhabited and cultivated for millenniums. The light, sandy soil in the vegetated landscape of Mols Bjerge was easily exhausted and only a small part was ever cultivated, and much of the land was either left as heath or was abandoned, then returning to heathland
From small units to larger units
Mols or Mulnæs, as it was named originally, is the name of a former judicial district - Mols Herred - the home of the famous „molboer“or inhabitants of Mols. Stories of the sometimes dull-witted, sometimes canny molboer have been published since the late 1700s.
The early medieval history of Djursland is closely associated with the nobleman Marsk Stig, who, along with other men, was outlawed for the murder of the Danish king Erik Klipping at Finderup Barn (in central Jutland) in 1286. They later settled on the island Hjelm close to Ebeltoft, where they built a castle and engaged in acts of piracy and the minting of counterfeit Danish coins.
In Tinghulen in the midst of Mols Bjerge, which was the boundary between several municipalities, the Court Mols Herredsting held its open air meetings. Originally Mols Herred included only the municipalities of Agri, Egens, Rolsø, Vistoft, Knebel and Tved. In 1688 Helgenæs, Dråby and Ebeltoft were included and from that time Ebeltoft also became the location for the Court’s meetings, through to 1756.
The objective of the National Park organisation is to preserve, strengthen and develop nature, the countryside, the cultural surroundings, the distinctive geological features and to provide visitors with excellent opportunities of outdoor activities and information about the area.
Establishment of the national parks is based on broad local support. Each national park has a decentralised management, consisting of a board, a national park council and a secretariat. The board and its chairman are appointed by the Danish Minister for the Environment. As far as possible, all members of the board have close affiliations to the national park area.
The board prepares a plan for the operation and development of the national park. The local community is asked to participate in this process. Development of the national parks will continue over a number of years, and will be based on voluntary agreements and local support.
Development and Cooperation
Mols Bjerge National Park Foundation cooperates actively with the landowners of the area, the organisations and companies whenever possible in order to develop the area.