The source of the Gudenå is located the middle of Tinnet krat at the ridge of Jutland. An old myth tells us how Gudenåen got its name.
It is said that the river got its name after the uncontrollable thief Gudar. He kidnapped a girl in Tinnet krat and tied her to his horse carriage. He led the carriage through a twisting path so it would be harder for potential pursuers to follow him. The girl’s father contacted one of the wise men in the town and asked for help to catch the thief. First the wise man sent the fire after Gudar but as the wise man couldn’t control the fire, he sent the water instead. The water followed Gudars footsteps and caught up with him when it reached Randers fjord. Gudar drowned while the girl survived. According to the myth this is how Gudenaaen got its name.
If you are up for it you can follow Gudars trip on the river from Tørring and all the way to Randers in a canoe or kayak.
”Denmark’s first water park”
The remains of Denmark’s and perhaps Europe’s first water park is to be found at the source of the Gudenåen. The first pool was built around 1920. It was originally built as a water trough for the animals but the kids and servants of the area started using it for bathing. More pools were built in 1938 where the park official opened as a water park.
It was also possible to find a carousel and a waterslide in the park. The waterslide was build of wood. Canvas bags were applied with some sort of tar which made it easier to slide down the water slide. A ride in the waterslide included the risk of getting splinters in the body. Around 1943-44 a small restaurant opened in water park where you could bye coffee and cake.
The waterpark hosted sport parties with handball tournaments and riding competitions. The waterpark could attract up to 400 visitors on a warm summer day. It is not known for certain when the waterpark closed but it is assumed to have happened between 1947 and 1950. Waterparks have since sprung up everywhere, but the old waterpark at the source of the Gudenåen is one exiting piece of our national history.