Photo: Christer Nilson

Finnskogleden 13-Day Hike

The 214 kilometer, 13-day Finnskogleden trail takes you on a journey through the famous Finnskogen forest. The well-marked route weaves between Norway and Sweden, from Morokulien on the border in the south, to the Norwegian village of Søre Osen in the north.

Wild camping along the route is possible and there also accommodation options from simple public cabins to hotels. See the practical information in each stage for more details about accommodation and stocking up on food during the hike.

Getting there
It takes about two hours to get to the Finnskogen area from Oslo in Norway or Karlstad in Sweden. From Stockholm in Sweden the journey is around five hours. To get to the start of the hike at Morokulien, take the train from Oslo, Karlstad, or Stockholm to Kongsvinger (in Norway). For departures from Norway, book tickets at nsb.no. From Sweden, tickets can be bought at sj.se. From Kongsvinger station, bus 575 runs to to Morokulien. To check the timetable, visit en-tur.no and search for “Kongsvinger stasjon” to “Morokulien”.

From the end of the trail at Søre-Osen, take the Trysilekspressen bus from Kjernmoen bus stop. The ride back to Oslo takes two and a half hours. From Oslo there are trains back to Karlstad and Stockholm.

Day 1

Morokulien to Håvilsrud

14.2 km · 5 – 7 hr · Medium

Finnskogleden starts by the main road, just behind the peace monument, and heads northwest on the gravel road until you reach the river, Vexla. You will cross the bridge over the river and continue along the dirt road to Breitjenn. In Breitjenn, it is a nice place to take a rest or go for a swim. After Breitjenn, the dirt road turns into a trail and you will follow the route until you reach a place called Billia, when the trail turns in to Sweden where you cross and forest and end up in Håvilsrud.

Håvildsrud is a small village that extends across the border into Norway, where it is called Kjerret.

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Day 2

Håvilsrud to Mitandersfors

17.6 km · 5 – 8 hr · Medium

The beginning of the trail follows 2 kilometers of gravel road before it becomes a flat forest path leading to Vangen. During the Second World War, several courier routes went through Vangen, which was frequented by one of Norway's most famous war heroes, Gunnar Sønsteby. After Vangen, the trail is quite flat going over swamps towards Skålsjön. Here, you will cross the river over an old flood dam and you will find a gapahuk located at the edge of the beach. Right behind it, the trail rises above Källerashöjden providing a great view of Varaldsjøen lake in the north.

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Day 3

Mitandersfors to Lebiko

11.9 km · 3 – 5 hr · Easy

The trail crosses Bogsälven river at Mitandersfors and rises through the forest towards Bengtstorp. From there, hike through the easy woodland to Lomstorp located at the north end of the lake, Lomsen. From the lake, follow the trail another 1.5 kilometers towards Ritamäki, where you find a perfect place for a break. This area was inhabited until 1964 and has since become a nature reserve with rich flora and fauna and even a røykstue, a smokehouse.

After Ritamäki, continue another 2-3 kilometers further to Lebiko which will take you back across the border to Norway. Lebiko was a waypoint for many Norwegian refugees during World War II. Here, they received food and rest before being continuing over the border through Kissalamp and to freedom in neutral Sweden. Lebiko was in action until 1964.

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Day 4

Lebiko to Øyermoen

14.9 km · 5 – 7 hr · Medium

After walking a few kilometers in easy woodland, you will reach Kvåho. A place with well-maintained buildings and fences. The neighboring area, located a few kilometers further north, is Abborhøgda, where you will find more buildings and rich cultural landscapes. This place was ranked among the ten most cultural landscapes in Norway in 1994. The meadow is maintained annually by cutting the gras as it has been made by people in immemorial times. The best time to experience this farming region is during the flower fair in mid June.

The trail continues along the easy-going forest terrain to the inhabited village, Viker, located on the south side of the lake, Øyersjøen. Follow along the west side of the lake until you reach Øyermoen. Midway, at Bolneset, you go through a 4-acre conifer forest planted in 1803. Once reaching Øyermoen, walk north along the road named, Rugbråtavegen to the Nedre Øieren farm. 

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Day 5

Øyermoen to Askosberget

13.6 km · 4 – 6 hr · Medium

From the Nedre Øieren farm, follow the trail heading north. The terrain rises slightly over a wooded hill before the heading down towards the river, Rotna. You will see the ancient glacial formations like eskers down at the river but continue following the trail as it rises towards up towards the towns, Linna and Mellombråten. From Linna, continue along the border between Norway and Sweden for a few kilometers towards border cairn 83, where you cross the border back into Norway and continue another 2 km to the cabin, Askosberget. 

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Day 6

Askosberget to Røgden

15.4 km · 3 – 4 hr · Easy

From Askosberget, the trail heads east and crosses the border into Sweden by the lake, Nyckelvattnet, which you must walk around. Continue around yet another small lake called, Hallsjön, a great place to relax and even enjoy a swim. There are two gapahuks by the lake.

Further north you will pass Fjolperstorp and several other villages before arriving to your destination, Røgden lake. 

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Day 7

Røgden to Løvhaugen

14.7 km · 6 – 8 hr · Medium

When leaving Røgden, walk for 1 kilometer until you reach Purala, where you will come across a very well kept røykstue. From here you will go up a steep climb into the Moldus mountain range. At the top of this mountain, there is a great view of Røgden and the surrounding forest. Continue along a flat trail to Abborrtjärnsberg, a natural reserve rich with plants and home to a nice open-air røykstue. Here, the trail turns more westward and crosses back into Norway and this section of the adventure will finish in Løvhaugen. 

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Day 8

Løvhaugen to Röjden

17.1 km · 7 – 9 hr · Medium

From Løvhaugen you will walk north along the road for a few kilometers before following the forest trail until you reach the lake, Baksjøen. The trail follows along the south side of the lake and then eastwards along the border, which you follow north until you come to border cairn 90 at Baksjøberget.

At Baksjøberget, the trail turns eastwards and into Sweden. At the Böhönen, it turns north over the Nollaberg with a great view, before the path falls down towards the cliffs of the Röjden. Here the trail passes the legendary "Korset" i Röjden, a large cross in the ground where nothing is growing. The cross was discovered around 1850, but no one has an explanation for why.

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Day 9

Röjden to Medskogen

27.4 km · 8 – 10 hr · Medium

This is a longer section which takes you over a few hills providing great views along the way. From Röjden, hike west for 6 kilometers along a flat trail into Norway. Just before reaching Breisjøen, Finnskogleden takes you away from the road and into the woods to the north. The trail rises slowly upwards to the pond Kottern.

From there, the trail continues steeper up to Gråberget, at 631 meters above sea level. After the peak, the trail goes down and back up over several hills and takes you through a few wooded marshes. The trail follows the border road up to the highest point of the trip, Elgklinten, at 634 moh, providing a magnificent view of Finnskogen.

Continue following the border road for a few more kilometers before turning west towards the Finnish village, Furuberget, where you will find the nice farmland scattered with many old buildings. Following Furuberget, continue north for a few kilometers until reaching Østbakken, where you will catch a wide view of Vermundsjøen.

Continue hiking until you reach Mattiashemmet, which was also an important border crossing for refugees during World War II. Here, you cross the border into Sweden. The trail takes you down to the river where you cross over on the bridge. From here, hike the final half-kilometer until reaching Medskogen, which is located along the main road.

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Day 10

Medskogen to Haldammen

23.1 km · 5 – 8 hr · Medium

This section of Finnskogleden is long, but easy going, taking you along gravel roads and wooded paths. From Medskogen, the trail rises upwards towards the Storhøglingen mountain. There is a gapahuk located not far from the peak. The landscape opens up and the trail will take you slightly downhill towards the lake, Kroksjøen, where the summer café Honkaniemi is beautifully situated along the shore. Enjoy a rest here along the edge of the lake.

A few kilometers further and you arrive in the village, Possåsen.

Finnskogleden continues north on a gravel road to the village Juvberget, with Juvbergshetta mountain towering at 611 meters over sea level behind the village. If you think the trip has been long enough, DNT has accommodation options at in the “drengestua” at Juvberget Farm. You need the DNT membership key for access. The “drengestua” has a propane stove available for use to cook your own food. In addition, Nedre Juvberget offers additional accommodation.

If you wish to continue on, there are 6 kilometers of easy-going forest terrain before reaching Haldammen. Nervang farm will pick you up for a small fee if you wish to stay at their accommodation. This will save you 4.5 kilometers of walking and give you more time to explore the village and church in Gravberget, which has attracted worldwide attention for its architecture.

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Day 11

Haldammen–Gravberget–Bråten

22.8 km · 6 – 8 hr · Medium

The trail is heading north. Some miles after Furuberget you reach the intersection to Gjestgiveriet, a log cabin from World War II, cleverly hidden in the wood with a dramatic history. Both inside and outside the cabin walls ar placed drop containers from the days of war. There is a marked path to the cabin, which is only 1 km west of Finnskogleden. There are simple beds for 5-6 people, but no mattresses if you want to spend the night here.

Back on the Finnskogleden trail there is only 5 km to the settlement Bråten at the border.

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Day 12

Bråten to Håberget

14.8 km · 6 – 8 hr · Medium

After leaving Bråten, after a few kilometers, the national border makes a knock eastwards at the border cairn 108, and the trail continues in Norway for the last two stages. 5 kilometers further, you will cross over Kjølberget, which is the highest point of Finnskogleden, at 705 meters above sea level. Here the landscape opens with a view of Trysilfjellet. The trail continues through a large marshy area.

Soon you will arrive to Høljebakken and Nygarden, which are situated in an oasis in the middle of the forest. Here, Finnskogleden turns west towards Håberget, which is one of Finnskogen's most well-kept farms. With the artist family Gry and Trygve Hansen, you can make an appointment to see Trygve's impressive work in woodcarving. The work itself is highly distinguished and blends old traditions with his own creative touch. 

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Day 13

Håberget to Søre Osen

7.3 km · 3 – 5 hr · Medium

From the Håberget farm, the trail takes you over the mountain also named Håberget, before the trail begins to descend toward the lake, Osensjøen. After the top of Håberget, you will come to Håbergskoia, located at the highest point of this stage. From here, you can follow the forest road if you want an easy walk for the last few kilometers. Before reaching Osensjøen, you will pass the large road traveling between Elverum and Trysil. After passing the road, follow along the east side of the lake until you reach the village of Søre Osen, the final stop on the Finnskogleden trail.

The lake, Osensjøen, is the northern boundary of the Finnskogen region.

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