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Walking in Norway National Parks

Haifa, Israel
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Walking in Norway National Parks

I plan to come to Norway this summer with my family to walk in a Norway national park. For children climbing in mountain areas may be too hard.

May you recommend national parks that have tracks that are suitable also for families with children, preferably in areas with forest?

Thanks

Oslo
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1. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

You can hike in all wilderness in Norway, national park or not. NP primarily indicate protection status. Many paths require sturdy hiking shoes (jogging shoes usually not enough).

This web gives a nice overview

http://ut.no/

Femundsmarka for instance includes a national park, lakes, forest and some barren highland.

http://ut.no/turomrade/femundsmarka

Even inside the Oslo there are wide forests where you can walk for days:

http://ut.no/turomrade/oslomarka

Haifa, Israel
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2. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

To avoid getting lost in wilderness I rely on parked paths. Are the paths outside national parks marked?

Thanks

Oslo
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3. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

Marking is generally the same inside and outside parks. Note that parks are primarily lines on the map. There are no fences or guards. Generally you can not go hiking in the wilderness without a map (and compass). Keep in mind 95 % of Norway is wilderness.

In the wilderness paths appear mainly by wear of the ground, sometimes very clear:

turistforeningen.no/images/TY/QN/2H.sized.jpg

…blogspot.com/-CBNuzb5q1Hk/…IMG_3182.JPG

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_4jymrXtvRmA/TCkH8R2UgRI/AAAAAAAAANE/2uvcL70FiVk/s1600/sommer+2010+156.JPG

"Offical" paths maintained by the trekking association are marked with red Ts and cairns

friluftsveileder.com/wp-content/uploads/2012…

Oslo
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4. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

The Norwegian Tourist Association is the kingpin in Norwegian trekking. It owns hundreds of huts and cottages ant it maintains and marks paths. But it is all organized around day long trips from cottage to cottage in the wilderness, typically with rather hard 5-8 hours hikes. There are no facilities between cottages and you sometimes have to cross rivers and difficult terrain.

Norwegians sometimes do this with children as young as ten, but they will already be used to long walks and outdoor life.

http://ut.no/tur#suits[]=For_Barn

Unless you and your children have experience with long walks and appropriate clothes, I would recommend walking in the city forests that surround Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim. Here, the distances are shorter and the cafés more frequent.

http://ut.no/turomrade/oslomarka

http://ut.no/artikkel/1.7199473

ut.no/tur/vandring-mellom-minnesmerker-i-bym…

The Oslo city forests are approximately 1700 square kilometres, generally without cars and very few houses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oslomarka

Haifa, Israel
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5. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

From our experience wilderness within cities does not approximate the beauty in national parks. For this reason we look for national parks.

I had a look at Femundsmarka. It is beautiful, but seems to be hard to access.

We usually rent a cottage near a national park and make one-day trips into the park. So we are looking for a national park with cottages available for rent near such a park.

Can you please provide us with several alternatives, preferably not longer than 4-5 hours of driving from a city with an airport?

Thanks

Oslo, Norway
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6. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

Staying in a rented cabin outside a national park and going for hikes into the park is not realistic in Norway. Most places there are protection zones bordering the parks, you would have to go quite far from the park to find places with cabins for rent.

You should consider staying at one of the mountain lodges run by the Norwegian Trekking Association or private lodges part of the same network. Many of them are in national parks. Here are a few family-friendly suggestions:

- Bjørnhollia, Rondane: turistforeningen.no/bjornhollia/cabin.php…

- Memurubu, Jotunheimen: http://www.memurubu.no/eng_index.html

- Gjendebu, Jotunheimen: http://www.gjendebu.com/gjendebu_uk/index.php

All of these are within 4-5hrs. drive from Oslo + a walk or a ferry ride.

Oslo
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7. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

These are the national parks in Norway

http://www.dirnat.no/nasjonalparker/

But as I mentioned above, most of Norway is wilderness so in terms of hiking and scenery the difference between NPs and other wilderness is not important. In fact, some of the great landscapes are not NPs. So my advise is instead to focus on areas defined on this web (some of these are more or less national parks):

http://ut.no/turomrade

Perhaps places like Aurlandsdalen is a good idea? In Sogn og Fjordane region (about 3 h from Bergen). You can walk some stretch into the valley and return to car:

…wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/2001_0…

For walks in the barren highlands near Aurlandsdalen

http://ut.no/turomrade/skarvheimen

Or Utladalen in the same region

visitnorway.com/ProductImages/Tellus/TellUs_…

Some ideas for day hikes for visitors with a car around Bergen (these western areas are the most rewarding for day hikes, but note that long hills may be hard for kids):

http://www.carwalks.com/default.asp

Oslo
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8. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

When are you coming? The high mountains are generally best from the end of July.

And how old are your children?

Here is a brochure over the national parks:

…dirnat.no/multimedia/48381/Kart-og-informas…

In the late summer, I might recommend for instance Jotunheimen. There are some private cabins, but you might also stay at the relatively cheap cottages of the tourist union:

http://ut.no/hytte/gjendesheim

Cabins for rent:

finn.no/reise/feriehus-hytteutleie/result…

Haifa, Israel
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9. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

Thanks for your replies. We come at the begin of July. Our children are 9, 6 and 2 years old, so the youngest one will travel on my back :)

Oslo
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10. Re: Walking in Norway National Parks

Early June is great for medium altitude and a bit into the highlands (above treeline). With children 9, 6 and 2 years old I would recommend day trips starting from and returning to car, so you can stop and go back when children I tired. Many hikes on UT.no, especially in high mountains like Jotunheimen, are too strenuous for children. So perhaps consider walks in places like lower Aurlandsdalen or Utladalen. This area has many of the highest waterfalls in Europe (or in the world), for instance Vettisfossen in Utladalen:

…fotopedia.com/2STp4Td9KZw-tEwi97FNZIM-ifill…