Kyrkjistølen - Maristøga Hiking Trail

  • Stiftstøtta langs kongevegen over Filefjell.

    Stiftstøtta langs kongevegen over Filefjell. Photo: Thor Østbye

Essential info

  • Destination: Vang
  • Season: June-November
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Distance: 10.6 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
  • Elevation Gain: 360 meters
  • Duration: 3-4 hours

About Kyrkjistølen - Maristøga

Long before there were written records, the traffic road between Eastern Norway and Western Norway passed over Filefjell. In the summertime the passenger was transported over the mountains on horseback, and in the winter the shuttle guys went on snowshoes and pulled the travelers on sleds. In the beginning it was only the king and noblemen who had the right to this kind of transport. Farmers in the village had to provide this work, and they also had to maintain the road. Because of this duty, they only had to pay half of the tax. Traffic between East and West increased, and particularly during the winter it could be very difficult to cross the mountains. The king therefore decided that lodges should be established, where the travelers could find shelter and get some rest and accommodation. The oldest lodge we know about in our district is Maristuen, which has a history dating back to the 1300s. At the end of the 1700s the Kongsvegen was improved to a carriage road. The road was in use during the period 1793-1843. The road, which runs high into the mountains, was stormy and subject to bad weather, then in 1830-1840s the Filefjell road was rerouted, and the steep high mountain pass from Kyrkjistølen to Maristøga was no longer used. The new road was routed through Smeddalen, which was a more protected and easierpath to go on. The tour is an excellent family outing. A few meters east of Kyrkjestølen there is a sign saying "Kongeveg 1793". Here you can enter the well-preserved section of the old road that runs from here and south, over Sula and in large swings through birch forest, before stretching out and going up the mountain. Up against Mureklopphaugen (about 1200 masl), there is a marble stone which the road builder C. J. Hammer got set up on the border between Akershus and Bergen. It was probably also conceived as a monument for the road and the road builder. On top of the slopes the path swings south, to the highest point at 1250 masl. Here there are breathtaking views of peaks in Jotunheimen. Suletind (1780 masl) looms over the other peaks. The road continues down the seven steep slopes towards Maristuen. At a large stone on the last hill, Jacobsstigen, Hammer got something carved in. "This roas was built by C. J. Hammer in 1790 (general road master in Bergen Amt)". And then you're down by Maristuen, and I would imagine you've had a nice hike over the mountain. If you checked the bus schedule before your trip, you may not need to wait long for a ride back to Kyrkjestølen?


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