The Icebug Xperience West Coast Trail | What To Expect - Outdoors Magic

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The Icebug Xperience West Coast Trail | What To Expect

For a mini-break with a difference, how about taking on a three-day running (or walking) event in Sweden's western archipelago?

Spring is just around the corner and so too is trail running race season. That mean’s now is the time to get an event booked in the calendar and to start building some miles into your legs. As they always say, there’s nothing more motivating than having a race to aim for, something to pull you out of bed first thing in the morning to get some training in before your day starts. 

If you’re looking for an event that offers a mixture of challenge, adventure and even a bit of holiday R&R, look no further than the Icebug Xperience West Coast Trail

Taking place each year along the trails of Bohuslän on the west coast of Sweden (a two-hour drive from Gothenburg) entrants to this three-day day event take on a 74km island to island course that’s broken down into three stages.

As well as its unique course, what also sets the Icebug Xperience apart from most other races is the fact that it’s split up into four different starting groups, including a run, walk/run, walk and mini-tour (new for 2020). This means its super accessible for a variety of abilities, with people able to take on the course at their own pace.

The three stages for the race are split up as follows:

Ramsvik Rocks – 23 km

The first stage of Icebug Xperience West Coast Trail starts on the sea cliffs of Ramsvikslandet.

Here, you’ll run on the famous, red-coloured granite slabs for almost 8km, all the while surrounded by some of the most stunning views the west of Sweden has to offer.

When you’ve passed the cliff sections on the island of Ramsvik, you’ll run over a bridge back to the mainland. Once back there, you’ll run beautiful single tracks passing rocky hills and forests before you reach the typically Swedish fishing villages of Kungshamn and Smögen with their multi-coloured huts lining the water’s edge. 

Stage 2 of the Icebug Xperience

Woods And Islands – 29 km

The second stage is the most diverse in this adventure, offering everything you can ask from a trail race. You’ll run through deep deciduous forests and over rocks along the shore, as well as past small fishing villages.

This stage starts on Bohus-Malmön, a place with an interesting stonemasonry history, with reminders such as the old quarries. After 11km at Bohus-Malmön, you arrive at the harbour, where you’re race timer pauses while a ferry takes you back to the mainland. 

The second part of the stage starts at Tullboden on the mainland. Here awaits a hilly track with a wide range of scenery, passing slippery rocks, verdant forests and winding gravel roads.

Post-race recovery
A classic west Sweden view

Hunnebo Haute Route – 22 km

The last stage starts in the picturesque port of Hunnebostrand. The trail then goes on into the hilly terrain around Hunnebostrand where you’ll reach a hilltop that provides a magnificent view of the archipelago. 

There’ll be deciduous forests to wind through as well as a visit to the magnificent, hand-dug Sote channel. After approximately 15km, you’ll pass a bridge back to Ramsvik. The last kilometres are located at Ramsvikslandet, a nature reserve named “The Rocks Kingdom”, so-called for its vast areas of granite rock. Then there’s one last push along tracks through heath before the finish line where crowds while cheer you back into the Icebug Xperience basecamp. 


Racer’s Verdict – Giles Dean

“I ran the Icebug Xperience West Coast Trail in 2019 and had an amazing time. It was my first visit to Sweden, so it was a perfect way of exploring a beautiful part of the country whilst taking part in an awesome event. 

“The Xperience has a real festival atmosphere to it, everyone is super friendly and the vibes are mighty on the trail. Everyone is in it together and there’s a strong sense of camaraderie to help get everyone over the line. 

“I would suggest this event to anyone who is looking for a multi-day adventure in an amazing part of the world with some super cool people.”


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