3 days cycling.
Asphalt and Gravel.
Occasionally along a busy road.
1830 m ascent, 1780 m descent.
Red '2 Kanalruta' signs.

Kanalruta is National Cycle Route no. 2 in Norway, and follows the Telemark Canal. This more than 100 years old waterway was carved into the mountain and was an important transportation route between upper and lower Telemark. Today it´s a very popular tourist attraction, both by boat and by bike. The locks are a crucial part of the canal system. The boats glide into a chamber, the gates lock behind and water are filled until the boats rise to the next chamber.

The cycling here is a combination of tranquil gravel roads in the forest, over fields, along the canal and some cycling on low traffic asphalt roads. In summer time it´s great to combine the cycling with the Canal Boat trip. Make sure to book accomodations, and plan for limited availability (groceries and goods) on parts of the route. The terrain has quite a few hills. Even though it´s called the Canal Route, there are few flat parts – and you should have some cycling experience to do the whole trip.

The deeper you venture into the valley, the more secluded, and peaceful it becomes. And nestled at the very end lies Dalen – the place of the enchanting Dalen Hotel. The hotel is surrounded by a charming garden. Down by the lake, there’s a beautiful sauna – perfect for a swim.

The route is signed with red signs from Ulefoss to Dalen. It´s recommended to take the canal boat from Skien to Ulefoss as a start, instead of cycling on the busy roads. From Dalen you may cycle the same route back,  or you may bring the bike on the boat back to Ulefoss. If you feel like more cycling you may continue towards Setesdalsruta.

Download GPX Filedownload help_outlined

Transportation and Travel Options

The route can be cycled both directions.

Train: You can travel by train to the starting point Skien. See, for more details.
Canal boat: Bikes can be brought on the canal boat. See, for more details.

Connecting Bicycle Routes