Occasionally along a busy road
Signed with red signs Route 9 Villmarksruta, but there are signs missing and somewhere misleading, so make sure to download the map upfront in your smartphone.

Villmarksruta – “The Wilderness Route” doesn’t lie – this is largely a trip in the quiet forest through sparsely populated areas. If you want to experience silence and long stretches that are practically free of car traffic, the Villmarksruta, especially the northern part, is perfect for you.

Photo: Jonas Ingstad, Haldenkanalen Regional Park.

On the Villmarksruta you are close to nature all the way. The first half through the Finnskogen is characterized by wide dirt roads, various lakes and ponds, waterways, large pine bogs and a number of hills 4-600 meters high. It is a large and relatively untouched open-air eldorado, with very limited settlement. Here you can cycle far without meeting anyone and the silence in these forests is significant. A number of campfires, simple rest areas and gapahuk have also been created at several of the ponds along the route. Maybe you will spot a glimpse of a moose, or hear the wolf howl in the distance?

You are welcome to combine accommodation in hotels and farms, with sleeping in tents or shacks. There are a number of unattended cabins and shacks called “gapahuk” along the trail. The suggested stages are just recommendations, and feel free to make shorter or longer daytrips. You may also cycle from south to north. There are good fishing opportunities along the route, in several places there are signs showing what types of fish the different waters have. Just make sure to buy fishing licence. Be aware of long distance between stores and other service points on the northern part. Mobile coverage can be poor.

The southern half of the Villmarksruta runs in more cultural landscapes and through a number of small towns. Here you can expect more service like stores and cafés. From Ørje and south you follow the Halden Canal and can see a number of cultural monuments and notices from the time when the canal and boats were an important transport line for both people and goods. Feel free to visit the locks at Ørje, Strømfoss and Brekke.

The Villmarksruta is a hilly trip that, overall, has around four thousand meters of elevation gain. The uphills are divided into many short and some long gentle climbs, but there are also a couple of places with uphills that are steeper than five percent.

Elevation: 4561 m
Surface: 60 % asphalt, 40 % gravel. The gravel can be rough in springtime.
Safety: Mainly roads with limited traffic. Some shared roads with moderate traffic, especially in the southern part.

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Connecting Bicycle Routes