Otrøvatnet Lake Loop Hiking Trail
Discover the rich history of Filefjell
- Season: June-October
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 11.7 kilometers (loop)
- Elevation Gain: 230 meters
- Duration: 4-5 hours
About Otrøvatnet Lake Loop
For hundreds of years, Filefjell, the mountainous area between Valdres and Lærdal, has been a central point of connection between eastern and western Norway. The trail around Otrøvatnet Lake takes you on a journey through history, from the Iron Age to the present. You’ll hike past old bloomeries, coal pits and house ruins dating back from year zero to 1200 AD, as well as two mountain lodges wrapped in legends.
This trail is located by Tyinkrysset along road E16. This is the main road between Oslo and Bergen and it takes about 4 hours from both cities driving up to Tyinkrysset.
The nearest bus stop is "Tyinkrysset" along road E16. Getting there by bus from Oslo or from Bergen takes about 5 hours. From the bus stop follow Nystøgovegen road for 1 kilometer until you reach the start of the trail.
You can buy a ticket for the bus from NOR-WAY Bus Express.
Start from Filefjellstuene and follow the road towards the main road. Cross the bridge, and after 60 meters, take a left onto "Kongevegen." Kongevegen is a wide trail, and you will find a sign there with a blue hiker and the Kongevegen icon.
Continue on this trail for 1.2 kilometers until you reach the main road. You should see a big blue sign saying "Tyinkrysset 0.4 - 1 km." On the other side of the road, look for a wooden tree post, marked with a blue hiker. Follow this trail as it climbs up a small hill. At the top of the hill, you will find a classic Norwegian outhouse toilet with a picture of the royal family on the wall.
Continue past the outhouse and also past some cabins. There is a red cabin there which might feel a bit strange to hike past as it's so close to the Kongevegen trail, but rest assure that you are on the right track. Getting past the cabin, you get to the parking lot by the road where the trail up to Skørsnøse starts.
Continue along the road until you reach a power pole on the right side of the road where the trail continues. After 300 meters follow the trail on the other side of the road which leads you across the Begna river and towards the slopes at Filefjell Alpinsenter. Go past the first lift, follow the road Børrenøsvegen and continue on Gamlestøgovegen which is a fairly wide gravel road going along Otrøvatnet Lake.
Follow this road to the end where you reach Gamlestøgo farm. The trail continues on the right side of the farm and after crossing a small creek, look for a sign towards Nystuen and Pilgrimsleden. The trail now continues through a birch forest, and when reaching the next trail junction, you take a right onto the red-marked trail going down towards the lake. As you reach the other side of the birch forest, you get some good views of the lake and the mountains around you.
Take a right when the trail once again splits in two. The trail to the left is Pilgrimsleden. Follow the trail along the lake and once you go past Nystuen make sure to stay on the trail, and eventually you reach the trail you left off earlier. From here, head back the same way you came to Filefjellstuene.
- The water in Otrøvatnet Lake is drinkable.
- Before reaching Gamlestøgovegen, you’ll pass Raude Sandadn where there is a short cultural heritage trail. This trail leads you past bloomeries, coal pits, and house ruins dating back from year zero to 1200 AD.
- Both Gamlestøga and Nystuen (meaning the old and the new lodge) are fabled mountain lodges. Gamlestøgomannen was an infamous host who robbed and murdered innocent people staying overnight at his inn. Today only ruins remain of the Gamlestøga lodge. However, rumor has it that at night, you can spot a blue light over the moors where Gamlestøgomannen buried his victims.
- Nystuen lodge is known for a more benign host, Knut Jonsen “Basen” Nystuen (1804-1890). Due to his special ability to sense when people were in danger in the mountains, he and his crew saved many lost hikers.
- There is an outhouse toilet along Kongevegen, about 600 meters from Filefjellstuene.
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