Nøklevann Hiking

Enjoy the wide trail and picnic areas around Nøklevann lake in Østmarka

  • View of Nøklevann lake from the southern shore.

    View of Nøklevann lake from the southern shore. Photo: Aaron Beaton

  • View of Ulsrudvannet lake.

    View of Ulsrudvannet lake. Photo: Aaron Beaton

  • View of Nøklevann lake from Sarabråten.

    View of Nøklevann lake from Sarabråten. Photo: Aaron Beaton

  • Picnic area at Sarabråten.

    Picnic area at Sarabråten. Photo: Aaron Beaton

  • Path along the eastern edge of Nøklevann lake.

    Path along the eastern edge of Nøklevann lake. Photo: Aaron Beaton

Essential info

  • Destination: Oslo
  • Season: April–October
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 8 kilometers (loop)
  • Elevation Gain: 190 meters
  • Duration: 1.5–2 hours

About Nøklevann

The loop around Nøklevann lake at the edge of Østmarka is a popular route for cyclists, runners, and walkers. It’s a perfect example of how tightly Oslo is connected to nature, with many locals enjoying an evening by the lake.

The wide trail is mostly gravel and is suited to strollers. Nøklevann has several nice picnic and swimming spots. 

If this is not your first time to Nøklevann, there are many trails leading off the main path so you can easily create your own unique route as you explore.

Getting there

Metro
From central Oslo, take metro line 3 (Mortensrud) to Bogerud. Once you leave the metro station, follow the road until you see a gravel path leading up from the left side of the road.

Continue on the path behind some apartment blocks until you meet a paved path. Turn left and follow this path to the start of the route.

Car
Park at Rustadsaga Pakering, next to Skullerud school.

Trail description

This route begins at the southwestern corner of Nøklevann, by the Rustadsaga Sportsstue. You can easily join the trail from other points along the western side of the lake, or from Skullerud to the south.

Follow the path north up the hill. The first half of the route is up and down, but never too steep. You’ll soon reach a trail that heads into the woods towards the lake. If you want, take a detour here to a nice swimming spot called Bråten.

Otherwise, continue along the main path. The trail skirts the edge of the city, past some residences and sports fields. Then, you’ll reach the small Ulsrudvannet lake which has some picnic areas and a small swimming beach.

Now the path enters the deeper woods as you walk towards the northern end of Nøklevann. After rounding the tip of the lake by the water continue along the eastern edge, ascending to Sarabråten. Here you’ll find the remnants of an old property and a beautiful large picnic area with a view south over the lake. This is also where you can join the trail to Hauktjern  lake.

As you continue down the eastern side of the lake you’ll be traveling through quite thick woods. Keep an eye out for a small waterfall on the left-hand side where you can refill your water bottle.

Further towards the south there is another small picnic area by the lake shore. The sun shines here until late in the evening, making it a nice place to enjoy dinner on a warm day.

There are a couple more places to relax and enjoy views of the lake along the southern edge as you continue back towards Rustadsaga Sportsstue. You can take some shortcuts through some small forest trails or stay on the main path. If you have a mountain bike, keep an eye out for the sign to Pioneren, Oslo’s best mountain biking track.

Back at the beginning you can grab a coffee and a waffle or just sit and enjoy some last views of the lake before heading home.  

Amenities

  • Rustadsaga Sportsstue serves baked goods, hot and cold drinks, and snacks. It is open every day except Mondays, but check the link for specific opening hours.
  • There are several picnic areas around the lake with benches and bins for single-use grills.
  • There is a toilet at Ulsrudvannet and at the sportsstue 

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