ØsterdalsledenTrysil/Rena - Tynset - Trondheim
The Østerdalen valley has old pilgrim traditions. In the late Middle Ages there was heavy traffic between the Nidaros cathedral in Trondheim (Nidaros) and Vadstena, home of the Swedish St. Birgitta.
Another route used by medieval pilgrims from the south-east to Trondheim was from Värmland in Sweden along the river Glomma to Åmot. Both these old thoroughfares are part of today's Østerdalsleden.
How to do a pilgrimage on Østerdalsleden?
The Østerdalsleden passes through forests, mountain areas and some smaller valleys. Here you can wander in quiet and peaceful areas with varied and beautiful scenery, and rich wildlife. For those who want to focus on nature and want a pilgrimage on a low cost budget, the Østerdalsleden is a good choice.
The Østerdalsleden can be done as one long trip, or divided into shorter stages. Large parts of the trail have the railway nearby, which can provide good starting and stopping points (from Rena in the south to Singsås in the north). To Trysil there are several buses, for instance an express bus from Oslo.
The season begins in May/June and lasts until September. Please note that over the mountain area of Forollhogna, snow can remain until well into June (altitude 1,000 meters above sea level).
Prior experience with long walks in forests/nature is recommended for those who want to hike the Østerdalsleden. The route is mostly marked, but you must be comfortable using physical maps or GPS. You have to have clothes and equipment to be able to cope with varying weather, terrain and length of stages, as well as carrying a sleeping bag. Some areas may have poor mobile coverage. Planning can be done through our digital trip planner.
Where can I sleep and eat?
Accommodation along the Østerdalsleden largely takes place in different types of cabins or on campsites. But there are also opportunities along the way to spend the night in hotels, traditional accomodations and restaurants, or on active running mountain farms. The Østerdalsleden is also well suited for those who prefer to sleep in a tent (just remember the regulations of the right to roam).
Some of the cabins, especially along the southern part of the trail, have some stock of dry food that you can buy from. Some of the accommodations serve meals. You pass grocery stores along the way, and some of the small towns have cafés or restaurants. But be aware that along some stretches, several days will go by between passing a grocery store, so plan this well in advance. All details can be found in our digital trip planner.
Two official starting points: Trysil or Rena
The eastern starting point is in Trysil municipality by the Swedish-Norwegian border. The engravings on the pilgrim milestone at the border in Lutnes says it is 379 km to Trondheim.
The western starting point is at Rena ( Nesvangen) in Åmot municipality. The pilgrim milestone here says 375 km to Trondheim. From this point you can walk thorugh Stor-Elvdal and Rendalen municipality before passing the retreat center Lia Gård, with it's pilgrim house. This part of Østerdalsleden meets the eastern part at the landmark pilgrim stone at Åkrestrømmen in Rendalen. From here, they continue together to Trondheim.
After Åkrestrømmen, you wander through cultural landscapes and small towns. Then the climb up Fonnåsfjellet awaits - where you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of Rendalen behind you. You continue past Tylldalen with its pilgrim traditions, through Tynset, Vingelen and Dalsbygda, before eventually entering Trøndelag county at the foot of Forollhogna mountain. The pilgrim path continues through the National Park into mountain terrain. Be aware that the snow may be present well into the month of June up here.
On the other side of the mountain, you first descend into Budalen, then over to Singsås. A few day marches later you can see the Nidaros Cathedral from Øyvindstjønna on the Vassfjellet mountain. The last kilometers before you reach the cathedral, you walk peacefully along the bank of the Nidelven river towards the city centre.
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