Posts Tagged With: finnskogen

4 December: Top 3 destinations NOT in the official Norway guidebooks

Norwegians celebrate “Jul” (from old norse Yule) on 24 December. RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

4 December: Top 3 destinations NOT in the official Norway guidebooks

If you are a seasoned Norway traveller, or just want to go to places that are not necessarily the postcard picture perfect place, this post is for you. You really don’t care too much for the crowded (all in relative terms, of course – this is not Venice…) tourist attractions in Norway, but are instead looking for places which give you solitude, quietness and additional bragging rights when back home in the local pub with your friends. You are willing to ride that extra mile just to get to this place, and don’t mind staying the night in your tent – so here it is, RideNorway’s Top 3 destinations NOT in the official Norway guidebooks:

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Hessdalen is peaceful, quiet and a great place to walk the dog. But in a leash. Because of the sheep. Image: RideNorway

1) Hessdalen

Hessdalen is a somewhat secluded valley not far from Røros, in the middle of Norway. Or middle of nowhere, depending on your take. Hessdalen is one of RideNorway’s favourite spots to find peace and quiet in this part of the country, but despite its quietness it still has some suspense to offer: Hessdalen’s claim to fame is the odd light phenomenons that may – or may not – occur at any given time. There are apparently studies of these phenomenons taking place. But for us, it’s a place of tranquility. Follow the road beyond where it goes gravel, and find your spot to put up your tent whenever you like. Bring everything you need – it is a bit to ride to the nearest grocery store if you forgot your bacon to your breakfast eggs.

 

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Finnskogen is a favourite rideout for many gravel enthusiasts. Image: RideNorway

2) Finnskogen

Finnskogen – or “The Forest of the Finns” – is an area in the South-East of Norway, bordering Sweden. Its name origins from the Finns that migrated here in the 17th century. But to you, it is an area of forested secludedness. An area where you can hone your gravel riding skills, while finding those sweet spots near a lake to put up your tent and try you fishing luck. Even though it is pretty accessible by vehicles, not many venture into these forests, which makes it a sweet playground for you and your bike. The silence is breathtaking, which makes it the perfect hideout for a couple of days to lower your puls rate.

 

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Fiskevollen has its 10th century charm somewhat intact. Image: RideNorway

3) Fiskevollen

Fiskevollen is Norway’s largest inland fishing village, dating back to the 10th century. It is situated in Rendalen in the South-East of Norway, and sits at some 700 meters above the sea level. Today, it is holiday homes for the locals, but it has retained its picturesque quality. The Sølensjøen lake is a nice place to try your fishing luck, and you can put up your tent out of ear’s reach of the few people that occupy the cottages during the summer months. It can be chilly at this height even in the summer, so to experience a night or two at Fiskevollen: Make sure your sleeping gear can take it. Oh, and the road there is a wonderful gravel road!

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Last year in review

Whereas 2017 in many ways was not what we would hope for, it was a brilliant riding year. Here are a few glimpses of last year’s fun. What is your image of 2017?

 

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Fun in the Forest of the Finns

It was way past due to grind those off-road tyres on proper gravel roads. Last weekend, Henning and I decided  to do just that. 

We spent the night in one of the cabins which are available for free or nearly free. Peaceful and nice!

I am quite a newbie to proper gravel riding, even though I´ve been facinated by it since many years. Not until I bought my light, nimble and powerful-enough Yamaha WR250R did I dare to venture into the loose stuff for real. 

Henning, on the other hand, is a former motorcross, road race and enduro rider and instructor. Thanks to him, my learning curve has been pretty steep – although this particular weekend I felt like it was my first time on gravel: My riding was stiff, my cornering awful, and things just didn´t feel right. 

However, the area in which we were riding, Finnskogen (eng. “Forest of the Finns”), is extremely inviting when it comes to gravel riding. There are miles and miles of gravel roads, very little (if at all) traffic, and free cabins all over the place, which you can borrow for the night. In other words: A Mecca for gravel riders.

The first leg was all but muddy: The track was thick of slippery mud, so we admittedly had to struggle a bit to get our bikes through – Henning on his Transalp, me on my Yamma. Or at least: It felt like we had to struggle. I think I was the only one who did it, as Henning effortlessly steered his Honda more or less sure-footed through the slippery stuff. 

It did become a lot better when we arrived to the forest roads themselves: Dry to the point of dusty, vacant and available.

We spent a night in a small cabin, had a meal and just relaxed before riding back home the day after. A short burst of season debut for me, but it was good to shake loose a bit. I´ll even try to do better next time.

If you´re a gravel rider too, make sure you visit Finnskogen when you visit Norway. It´s well worth spending a few days on this area. 

Stay on these roads!

 

Henning (right) and yours truly. We´re heading for Kirkenes in the north by gravel this summer.

Henning and his trusty Transalp in the back and my Yamma in the front 🙂

There was no firewood in the cabin, but Rolf, who lives nearby, provided us with a couple of bags to heat the evening.

Pretty nice view by the lake Fjørsjøen

You just have to love this…

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