Coastal Trail on Kirkøy Hiking

A hike along the southern shore learing the Hvaler nature better to know

  • Sculpture Park

    Photo: Terje Fjellvang

  • Storesand Beach

    Photo: Rolf Sørensen

  • Potholes on Storesand Beach

    Photo: Rolf Sørensen

  • Picnic Rødshue

    Photo: Aase Richter

Essential info

  • Destination: Ytre Hvaler
  • Season: January–December
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Distance: 6.3 kilometers (point‑to‑point)
  • Elevation Gain: 60 meters
  • Duration: 3–4 hours

About Coastal Trail on Kirkøy

The coastal paths are excellent for those who want to wander and learn the nature of Hvaler better to know. Along the coastal path on Kirkøy you will be passing Bronze Age cairns and the old quarry at Rødshuet, which was an important industry on the islands in the late 1800s. In the old quarry, a sculpture park was established in 2005-2009 with five works of art excavated by local stone by international sculptors. You will experience many natural biotopes, from old winded woods, to pleasant sandy beaches. The trail is well marked, but is not suitable for strollers.

The coastal paths are excellent for those who want to learn the nature of Hvaler better to know. The path from Skjærhalden to Lille Rødshue is about 6 kilometers long, but there are several shorter walks to do.

The map shows the coastal path. The text has tips for smaller loops if this is more convenient for you.

Getting there

From Fredrikstad you drive road 108 to Hvaler and after approx. 30 minutes you arrive at Skjærhalden. You can pay to park at the parking lot by the Town Hall, which are a few hundred meters up from the port.

Busses runs regulary from Oslo to Skjærhalden.

Trail description

The coastal path from Skjærhalden to Lille Rødshue; 6 km

From the National Park Center, follow the the blue-marked trail signs toward Homlungen Lighthouse. From here, you will walk over a bit of rough terrain on the way to the popular swimming beach, Storeand. On the other side of the beach, you will enter the Hvaler Prestegårdsskog Nature Reserve where you will be among the beautiful old pine trees until you reach the next sandy beach, Ørekroken.

Along the water's edge, you will come across many beautiful seashells and the grasslands around the beaches are especially populated with butterflies. The coastal path continues on to Rødshue, which is a cape and is Kirkøy's south western-most point. After you pass the quarry and the sculpture park, the coastal path continues past the large stone crossing at the tip of the cape. On stormy days, Rødshue is a great place to experience rough seas and the strong waves crashing upon the shore land.

Continue following the path along the old road between the quarry and the port at Grønne Bakke. The return to Skjærhalden will take you through the forest. This route is also marked as the coastal path. The round trip starting and ending in Skjærhalden will be about 12 kilometers. This is a particularly nice trip showing the great variety in nature in Hvaler.

Direct to Rødshue from Hvaler church; 2.3 km

Another great trail to experience if you want to see the sculpture park or enjoy a beautiful forested trail. To experience this trail, follow the marked path from Hvaler Church, the medieval stone church, through Hvaler Prestegårdsskog and Øreroken, to Rødshue.

There is parking located at Hvaler church. A slightly shorter alternative is to walk from the parking lot at the Ørekroken swimming beach to Rødshue.

Facts

  • Great beaches
  • Magical pine woods
  • Amazing waves
  • Sculpture Park
  • Lovely trip

Amenities

At Storesand beach, 2,5 km from Skjærhalden: Kiosk with simple dishes and toilet



Map

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