Simested Å is one of Denmark's best water streams. It is known for its famous stock of especially large self-producing sea trouts. The very clean water stream is about 3-8 m broad with many curves and deep holes. The surroundings are meadows and uncultivated areas. Along the river is a beautiful heath, Bortrup Hede, which is a central part of the 450 hectare conservation of Simested Ådal (river valley). Typical plants on the heath are heather, cowberry, potentilla, chickweed wintergreen and European aspen. The root of potentilla is fine for a spicy snaps.
At Skindersbro was a crossing from time immemorial. It is obvious to see it in the sunken-road system which leads across the banks on both sides of the river and the two Bronze Age hills, Tinghøj and Galgehøj. The Thing-place, the Gallow Hill and the good road-connections always went together. A memorial stone at the grave hill east of the bridge marks that Rinds Herred's Thing was held there until 1688. North of the bridge were found rests of a wooden bridge where the oldest parts were from the Viking Period. It was repaired several times and the last time in the middle of the 1600s' during the thirty-year's war. The roads are branches of the road-system of Hærvejen.
The first trace of humans in the district is from Stone Age where the primeval forest covered the land. The settlers started about 6000 years ago to clear the forest in order to cultivate the land. Increasing wood consumption and violation through the time and centuries were the reasons why the heath spread and sand drift caused havoc. In the 1800s almost 40% of Jutland had turned into heath. The sand drift devastated the agriculture of the district. Many villages were abandoned, i.e. the church-village Mindrup north of Skindersbro in ab. 1600. Several water mills had to be abandoned because of lack of corn.
In 1970 450 hectare of Simested Ådal was listed. The intention was to avoid deteriorations and to preserve the valuable and beautiful habitat of plant- and animal life and to make a recreation place for people. It was also the intention to prevent the actual plans about straighten out and deepen the river and to prevent the building of holiday cottages, raw material-digging and planting. The municipality of the district (Viborg) sees to Nature Care with .i.e. grassing sheep in order to keep the heather plants sound and to prevent the area from being choked with trees and bushes. In the meadows are cattle which keep the area open to secure that orchids and other light-demanding flowers are preserved.
At two parking places are information tablets and cards where also a hiking path is marked. The parking places and the gravel road between them are also suitable for wheelchairs. The gravel road through the area is accessible for cars: from the north from Kommunevejen between Ulbjerg and Møldrup and from the south from Låstrup to Nr. Borup.
For anglers it is necessary to have a State Fishing-Licence, and it is also necessary to have a local fishing licence which can be bought i.e. at Ålestrup Turistinformation. The fishing season is from March till November.
photo Autumn 2006: grethe bachmann, Simested Ådal & Borup Hede