Isaberg has a long tradition as a Resort and recreation facility. And it goes back more than 100 years...
Niz and Finnveden are mentioned in the Icelandic sagas. There is one legend about King Gylfe and Hjulfhult that dates from the 6th century. The Gus lakes and the entire lake system were probably regarded as holy in the world of mythology. Jättestigen - the Giants' Footpath - is a reminder of the legends that say that giants have lived in the hillside.
Finnveden is the name given in the Viking Age and Middle Ages to one of the original "small countries", or the western part of Småland, which covered the three districts of Sunnerbo, Västbo and Östbo (i.e. south, west and east of Lake Bolmen). Finnveden was an important borderland between Sweden and Denmark until the area known as Skåneland became part of Sweden in 1658.
Nissastigen is an ancient royal road, a "stråkkongaväg" that has also been used as a pilgrims' path and post road.
During the Northern Seven Years' War (1563-1570), Eric XIV struck camp in Vik - just south of Isaberg - as, in the early stages of the war, he was on his way to besiege Halmstad with a large army. He rode to the summit of the hill to survey the land and perhaps also to inspect the beacon, so that it was ready for use if necessary. The path he rode on is still called Kungslierna.
The railway line between Göteborg and Karlskrona/Kalmar was completed in 1902. A description of the journey, published by the BAJ railway company (Borås-Alvesta-Järnvägar) in 1904 includes the following description:
Next to Hestra station, located at Agnsjön and surrounded by conifers, there are views so magnificent that you will not see their like closer than as far north as Dalarne or Norrland.
The first boarding house, Lyckeborg, was built in 1914 and was followed by Turisthotellet in 1918, Viks Pensionat (now Hestravikens Wärdshus) in 1922, Furuhill in 1923 and Ådalen in 1924.
After a list was drawn up in 1915 for contributions to the construction of a viewing tower, the Isabergs Turistförening u.p.a. economic association was founded in 1919. Shareholders included companies and private individuals in the surrounding area, but BAJ held 10 shares and was thus the largest shareholder. The association leased an area of land at the summit for 49 years, as well as the area where the ski jump is. Construction of the road to the top began in 1919. The view tower and the ski jump were completed the following year.
Extra trains from Göteborg were organised from 1921 until the Second World War. Annual visitor volumes grew from 2-3000 people to around 10,000 in the 1950s.
Political meetings and festivities were held on the hillside in the 1930s and 1940s. At that time, the prime ministers were expected to hold political speeches. These meetings attracted large crowds. On 27 August 1933 Prime Minister Per-Albin Hansson held a speech on the summit of Isaberg for an audience of 5,000 people.
At the end of 1935, GBAJ decided to become involved and, with its support, Isabergs Turistförening was able to lease land for the slalom slope - now one of Sweden's oldest. With the association as the principal and the help of local youths, the land was cleared and prepared so that the slope was ready to use in the winter of 1936-37.
The opening of the slalom slope resulted in a great interest in skiing and, as a result, Hestra Skid & Sportklubb (HSSK) was founded on 3 February 1938.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, skiers began to demand that a ski lift was built. On 19 April 1968, the decision was made to create a reserve, as Isaberg was particularly suited to outdoor activities. The decision allowed for the construction of the following facilities: youth centres, slalom and sledging slopes, car parks and lifts. The first lift was ready for use just before the Christmas of 1968.
The first artificial snow machine was delivered between the Christmas and New Year of 1971-72.
The first 25 cabins in the holiday village were built in 1971 and there have been several periods of expansion. There are now 72 houses for holiday accommodation.
A fire in 1998 destroyed parts of the main building. During reconstruction work, the facilities were extended with a conference centre and a larger restaurant.
The ski facilities have been expanded and improved on an ongoing basis, with extensions to most slopes and an upgrade of the snowgun system to one of Sweden's most modern.
In the 2004-2005 season a "six pack" chairlift opened, followed by a "quad" the following year.
2006 a 4-chair lift was installed in the Norrbacken.
Two new 12-bed American-style lodges were built in 2007. These have added to Isaberg's attractiveness amongst those looking for more exclusive accommodation.
In 2009, autumn/winter hunting was added to the range of available activities.
The moose enclosure, "Isaberg Moose Park" was constructed in the autumn of 2009 and will be opened in the spring of 2010.
2010 new buildings for restaurant and skirental were built in the skiing area.
2012 Major renovation of cabins and facilities
2013 Tree top adventure and MTB biking, renovation of cabins and conference center continues.
2014 An additional black track in the Tree top adventure is built. A busstation makes it possible for the locals to get here easily via the regional buslines. A third pump is added and increases the water capacity for the snowmaking with 40%.