It is important to note that several of the popular mountain farming areas are located far into the mountains. Make sure to choose a trip according to your group’s fitness levels and outdoor experience, and bring the correct clothing and equipment that is required. Visitors must also keep in mind that the weather can change very quickly, and that there can be large differences in temperature from sheltered villages along the fjord to the high mountains. The nature of Western Norway is beautiful, but the terrain can be very demanding in places. Taking the wrong route may have life-threatening consequences. Bad weather, fog and rain can appear out of nowhere, making it difficult to orientate oneself in the terrain.
Bergen and Hordaland Trekking Association and Voss Trekking Association do an important job facilitating outdoor activities in Stølsheimen. In addition to the suggestions here, you can also visit their websites for great hiking tips.
Gullbrå to Torvedalen valley
From Gullbrå in Eksingedalen valley, visitors can follow the t-marked trail to Torvedalen summer mountain farm. There are only a few parking spaces where the trail starts, so try to find parking further down the valley. The hike runs through hilly terrain. On the way, visitors pass the old summer mountain farm called Nedste Torvedalen. Only the foundations remain of the old farmhouse. The trail runs right past one of the old foundations. The landscape still bears traces of grazing and mountain farming; it is open and various species of grass continue to grow around the old farm. After hiking up a rather steep hill, visitors arrive at Torvedalsvatnet lake and the self-service tourist cabin in Torvedalen valley. This trip takes about 3 hours one way.
Along the beaches to Sylvarnes
There is a path along the fjord that leads all the way from Ortnevik to Sylvarnes and continues on to Vollevik. The path is well marked all the way. This trip takes visitors past several isolated farms. The trip from Ortnevik to Sylvarnes takes approximately 4 to 6 hours. There is a scheduled boat service that stops at Sylvarnes on certain days of the week. Stops must be booked in advance, so this must be planned well before your trip if you wish to take the boat. At Sylvarnes, Vik Trekking Association operates the schoolhouse as a Norwegian Trekking Association cabin. Visitors may book overnight accommodation here. The trip leads out of the protected area, but it is possible to take nice hikes back into the protected area by using the farm trails that lead from the farms to the spring and summer mountain pastures.
Ortnevik to Brydalen
From the forest road at the end of Storedalen valley, there is a nice hiking trail leading to Brydalen. This is a traditional summer mountain farm that belongs to some of the farms in Ortnevik. One of the farmhouses is currently used as a tourist cabin where visitors can book overnight accommodation. The cabin caters for eight people to stay the night. The terrain is rather steep but the hike is relatively easy and is perfect as a day trip. There are great views from the mountain farm down to Sognefjorden.
The beautiful summer mountain farm at Solrenningen can be reached from may directions. The easiest way is to drive to Stølsdammen and start your trip from there. There is a well-adapted trail that incorporates stones and wooden planks across the marshland. It is also possible to hike to Solrenningen from Ortnevik, but this trip is much more demanding and sections of the trail are not waymarked. Visitors can also get to Solrenningen from Stølsdammen without having to walk. If you have a kayak or a rowing boat, you can launch it on the lake right next to the parking lot and paddle across Stølsvatnet lake. You must then drag or carry the boat about 250 meters up a small waterfall and continue paddling over Solrenningsvatnet lake.
Bjergane to Selhamar
A trail runs from Bjergane to Raudberg and continues on to Selhamar. If you choose to take advantage of the overnight accommodation at Selhamar tourist cabin, this is a great two-day hike in easy mountain terrain. There are good chances of catching fish in the lake which is right next to the tourist cabin. On the way to Selhamar, visitors get to see Raudberg; the red mountain. The red color of the mountain is caused by serpentinite rock that contains magnesium and iron oxide. When this rock weathers, the iron oxide turns to rust and gives the mountain its color.
Round trip Tenne – Vatnane – Nese
Starting from Arnafjorden, visitors can take a nice day trip to Vatnane summer mountain farm. It is also possible to make a round trip starting from Tenne or Nese, and then hike to the spring mountain farms of Rosete and Fossesete. This trip offers great experiences of the cultural landscape in Stølsheimen. All these mountain farming areas are used to graze livestock. Show consideration if you meet grazing animals on your trip, and make sure to keep your dog on a leash.
Leave no trace
Clean up after yourself and do not leave any trash behind, including disposable barbecues and wet wipes.
Show consideration for grazing animals and wild animals. Keep your dog on a leash and close gates behind you.
If you can’t find a toilet, dig a hole that is at least 30 meters from paths, buildings or water sources. Toilet paper and wet wipes are garbage that must be thrown into a trash bin.
Follow established trails so that wild reindeer and other shy animals do not have to encounter people everywhere. Avoid taking short cuts or treading new trails.
Do not disturb animals and birdlife. Try to observe animals and birds from a distance. Binoculars are recommended.
Cairns are landmarks that help you to follow the route. Do not build new cairns as this may lead people astray. Do not remove stones from old cairns. They are cultural monuments.
You are permitted to pitch your tent on uncultivated land as long as you are at least 150 meters away from the nearest house or cabin. Lowland meadows are often classed as cultivated or arable land. This means that you are only allowed to pitch your tent in these meadows with permission from the land owner. Use recommended campsites.
Lighting campfires in forests and uncultivated land is prohibited from 15 April to 15 September, except along places such as watercourses where the risk of wildfires is minimal. Use established fire pits and avoid building campfires directly on bedrock in case the rock cracks. Extinguish the fire properly and clean up before you leave.