If you want to be on your own for a long day in a magnificent deciduous forest in demanding terrain, then HOLMESDALSBERGET is the right place. This is a big forested area by Matres Fjord in the southwestly part of Kinnherad. Here, we find one of the largest deciduous forests in Hordaland. The forest stretches over several kilometres.
Close to the tunnel opening at Amalie Skrams vei in Ssandviken, there is a cultural monument of European dimensions; a rope making works that produced rope and fishing tackle for West and North Norway.
Some of the giant trees in Hopslia north of Holme Fjord are as much as thirty metres high. Elm and ash are the most common, basswood somewhat rarer. Relatively soft bedrock, good growing conditions and enough light, help them to thrive just here.
The post house at Øpstad stands out in the landscape. An ochre yellow house with a loft and a white-painted house in Swiss style with ochre edgings, bears witness to a well preserved house from the 1800s, nearest neighbour to the beautiful old vicarage. In the Øpstad hamlet there was a post office for more than a hundred years, until the 1970s. Today it is possible to walk the old post road across the mountain to Strandvik, as part of “Den Stavangerske Postvei” (The post road to Stavanger).
Whoever wanders the mountain plateau will form time to time hit upon old mountain summer farms, with solid old stone sheds, half sunk into the ground; a building tradition that has roots into prehistoric times. When we have been satiated with untouched Nature, it is somewhat comforting to come upon the old mountain chalets - they represent a type of human encroachment that we not only accept, but appreciate. They arouse a feeling of recognition and are a distinct witness to how people in the rural communities have made use of even the most remote resources.