Hestmannen Hiking Trail
Mount the stallion of an unruly knight
- Destination: Helgeland
- Season: May-September
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 5.8 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 580 meters
- Duration: 3-4 hours
Hestmannen (also known as Hestmonkallen) is an iconic mountain reaching some 571 meters above the sea on Hestmona Island.
From the top, you can enjoy views in all directions of many Helgeland highlights. In the south, you’ll see the mountains of The Seven Sisters and Dønnamannen, in the west the islands of Træna and Lovunden, in the east Svartisen Glacier, and Rødøya Island in the north.
Historically, the peak was used as a marker for sailors on the Helgeland Coast. According to mythology, Hestmannen was originally a troll and Vågakallen’s only son. He was named Hestmannen (meaning “the horseman”) because he was an unruly knight always riding his horse. From certain angles, the mountain actually looks a bit like the shadow of a knight mounted on his horse.
Legend has it that it was Hestmannen who shot the hole through Torghatten Mountain when chasing the beautiful maiden Lekamøya. When the sun rose on the night of the chase, Hestmannen, Lekamøya, and Torghatten were all turned into stone.
Hestmannen is located on Hestmona Island. The most direct way to access the island is taking the express boat from Tonnes. This takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on the number of stops along the route. Check departure times on Entur (Tonnes hurtigbåtkai, Lurøy to Hestmona hurtigbåtkai, Lurøy).
You can also take the speed boat from Onøy. This takes about 45-55 minutes, depending on the number of stops along the route. Check departure times on Entur (Onøy kai, Lurøy to Hestmona hurtigbåtkai, Lurøy).
From the speed boat terminal, follow the road going past Hestmona farm to reach the trailhead. The trail is well marked all the way, except for the final climb towards the summit.
Follow the trail marked “Seterveien”, which goes southwards in the direction of Skardet. This trail goes between Hestmannen and Ambåtta, another characteristic mountain on Hestmona. The trail leads you up along the wooded hillside. You’ll see the trail continuing further up the mountainside as you pass the treeline.
The terrain becomes steeper and rocky as you ascend. You’ll pass two masts on your way to the top. There’s a rope to help you keep your balance between the masts. The platform by the second mast is the perfect place for a break while enjoying the view towards Ambåtta.
The final part of the trail is challenging, as there are some exposed parts which require cleavage climbing. You should only undertake this final part if you’re an experienced hiker. Once at the top, you’re awarded one of Helgeland’s finest views.
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