Photo: Arne Nyaas
What characterizes Forollhogna National Park?
Shaped by the Ice Age, the landscape is gentle with mountains that are easy to hike. It’s a place to find peace and quiet, with little human encroachment and no tourist cabins. The Pilgrim’s route via Østerdalen to Trondheim is one of a few marked trails. It takes you along the foot of the mountain Forollhogna (1332 m.), which has always been an important landmark for wayfarers and given the national park its name.
Rich cultural landscapes
Forhollhogna National Park is surrounded by eight large protected landscapes that cover an area of ca. 500 km²: Endalen, Budalen, Forddalen, Ledalen, Øyungen, Vangrøftdalen-Kjurrudalen, Londalen-Ørvilldalen and Magnilldalen-Busjødalen. Centuries of seasonal mountain farming, haymaking, and grazing livestock have shaped these unique and vulnerable landscapes.
Lush and colourful
The calcareous bedrock provides great conditions for a wide range of plants in Forollhogna National Park. Large parts of the protected areas are located above the treeline and the vegetation is characterized by dry ridges with heather and lichen. Crowberry, bearberry, Flavocetraria nivalis and purple mountain saxifrage grow here. In the moister lee sides downy birch, juniper and Salix thrive. Areas of nutrient-rich bedrock provides good growing conditions for Chamorchis alpina, Pseudorchis straminea and other orchids. In the calcareous fen you can find short-leaved sedge, Pedicularis oederi and whortle-leaved willow. The rare Gymnadenia nigra, also known as black vanilla orchid, grows in several places but areas must be used for grazing or haymaking for it to thrive.
Forollhogna is also known as “the Green National Park”.
Forollhogna is living area for wild reindeer, wolverine, and small rodents. Together with other species they are part of a unique and vulnerable mountain ecosystem.
This system is not complete without the arctic fox. The animals are listed as endangered in both Sweden and Norway. The Arctic Fox Captive Breeding Programme
is run to help save them. No cubs have been registered in Forollhogna for many years. Previously the mountain area had a large population of arctic foxes, and we still find many of their old dens, some of which can be more than a thousand years old. One of the peaks in Forollhogna is called Vedhundbolhøgda and vedhund is an old Norwegian word for arctic fox.
A varied landscape with diverse vegetation and large wetland areas means many different species of birds thrive in Forollhogna. All four breeds of mountain ducks found in Norway nest here: the common scoter, long-tailed duck, scaup and velvet scoter. In dryer areas you can find rare breeds such as the horned lark and long tailed skua. There are wading birds like Temminck’s stint, ruff, great snipe, and purple sandpiper. Also, ptarmigan and several birds of prey such as white-tailed eagle, the common kestrek and rough-legged buzzard.
The realm of the wild reindeer
The northernmost herd of wild reindeer in Norway lives here. Both their summer and winter pastures are within the national park. They need a lot of space. Apart from when they eat or rest, wild reindeer are always migrating across large areas searching for food.
Norway has a special obligation to take care of the vulnerable wild reindeer, as they are a National Responsibility Species. When humans build cabins and roads, the animals lose ever increasing parts of their living areas. This means we need to take extra care of the remaining wild reindeer areas. Please help us: Keep a considerable distance from the animals and avoid disturbing them.
Cultural heritage sites
Traces of human activities are referred to as cultural heritage sites, of which there are plenty in Forollhogna National Park. Ever since the wild reindeer came to this region ca. 10 000 years ago, hunter-gatherers have followed and hunted them. Among their remnants are stone-built hunting hides, pitfall traps, and tips of arrows and spears.
You can also experience remnants of Sami settlements, mining, and seasonal mountain hill farms.
Forollhogna National Park with its eight surrounding protected landscape areas were protected by law in December 2001. The national park is 1030 km², and the protected landscape areas are nearly 500 km². Grøntjønnan Nature Reserve was protected as a wetland area in 1981 and is located within the national park.
The Forollhogna National Park Board is the administrative authority of the protected areas in Forhollhogna. You can visit their website here.