Why not keep things close to home this summer holiday and explore what Scandinavia has to offer? Norway is just a short(ish) drive away and has some of the most spectacular mountain bike trails in the world. From well-known bike park riding in Trysil to the magical singletracks of Nesbyen and the more unknown forests of Ringebu, Norway is every mountain biker's dream.
With such an overload of yummy-looking trail destinations, it can be hard to choose, so we decided to resort to some local expertise for guidance. Swede-gone-Norwegian Joline Johansson has lived in Norway for over 7 years and knows exactly which places you cannot miss out on. Check out her top 4 destinations below!
Where: Nesbyen, located in Hallingdal, is about a 3,5 hour drive from Svinesund and the Swedish boarder. It’s a small village nestled away in a quiet valley with some magical singletrack hidden away in the surrounding forests. It’s become a well-known favourite amongst Norwegian riders.
Favourite trail: “Påskestien”, located on the west side of the valley, is a trail you can not miss. And while you’re in the area you should also check out the trail named “SS4” - named after the many races held on it - and its new top section called “Espesetstien”. The whole trail takes about 10 minutes top to bottom, is fast and flowy and suits most types of riders (it's just a matter of little you dare to brake, i.e. how fast can you go?).
Best thing about the area: Nesbyen is a small bike-friendly village with amazing riding right on its doorstep. You can easily stop for lunch at the local café “På Hjørnet” or sit down and eat your packed lunch on the benches in the bike park located on the east side.
Remember to: Pre-book your shuttle ahead of time with “TrailHead Nesbyen". The area is becoming popular and the shuttles fill up quickly.
Don’t miss: Staying at Hagaled Gjestegård, a local farmstead built during the war, in order to mix some Norwegian history into your riding trip. Also, make sure to taste “brunost” (ie. brown cheese) for breakfast and grab a waffle for an afternoon snack. When you need a break from riding, check out Nesbyen Trailhead’s SUP rental and go for a panel down the nearby river.
2: TRAKTOR BIKE PARK
Where: Traktor bike park is located in the rolling hills of Hadeland, just north of Oslo and a 2,5-hour drive for the Swedish border.
Favourite trail: All of them! You can easily link the different trails together, from left to right and back again - all combinations are fun and worth a try.
Best thing about the area: The bike park has a first-class view over Randsfjorden. Go sit on the nearby dock, enjoy the peace and quiet or take a cooling dip after a full day of riding. If you’re lucky, Petter who runs the place might even fire up the Pizza oven.
Remember to: Pre-book your trip with Petter via his Facebook page Traktor Bike Park as shuttles only run when pre-booked. For people wanting to pedal, there is a gravel road climb that goes to the top.
Don’t miss: The view over the fjord Randsfjorden. It’s not for nothing that Norway is famous for its beautiful and stunning fjords. Also, there is some amazing riding hidden away in the surrounding forests if you want to explore outside of the bike park.
Norway has an endless amount of riding and this list doesn’t even cover half of my favourite spots. Places like Telemark/Nissedal, Fjørå, Harstad, Røros, Oppdal (to mention a few) are well worthy a visit. If you’re heading that way and need some info, just contact me on social media.
Where: Trysil is located 45 minutes from Sälen, with Rörbäcksnäs neatly located halfway there so you can stop for a fun ride on the way over. Trysil has put a lot of money and effort into developing itself as a riding destination in recent years and has trails that suit all kinds of riders - from beginners to pro. It’s become one of the new go-to MTB destinations.
Favourite trail: Don’t miss “Redneck” and “Grimsåsen”. “Redneck” is a fun trail with loads of jumps and drops to play and practice on. “Grimsåsen” is a natural singletrack with a steep start and some fun high-speed sections towards the end. It is a trail that suits intermediate riders. All trails are marked on the Trysil Bike Arena trail map and are well-signed out in the forest.
Best thing about the area: As a well-known ski and outdoor destination, Trysil is used to accommodating visitors making it is easy to find a cabin or hotel room to stay in. If you tire of riding, there is a bowling arena and an indoor adventure swimming pool.
Remember to: Bring the whole family - Trysil is a perfect getaway for both kids and grownups. Also, remember to bring bug spray if you venture up to the top of the mountain.
Don’t miss: The locally brewed beer at Trysil Bryggeri. And why not try indoor surfing at the SAS Radisson hotel?
Where: A little gem located north of the world-renowned Hafjell Bike Park. The small town has some amazing trail riding hidden away in its forests and on its mountainsides. Every year they organise a bike camp called Sykkelviku Ringeby.
Favourite trail: “Trolldalen” is a really fun flow trail with some rocky sections thrown in to keep you on your toes. It is easy to shuttle from the town centre or can be incorporated into longer mountain-to-valley trail tours for a full day on the bike. The area is working on creating a proper trail map and trail signs, but it won’t be in place for the 2019 season.
Best thing about the area: This place has everything from high-mountain fell riding to amazing singletrack in the forest, all easy to connect together straight from the town centre. Ringebu is still a relatively unknown riding spot, but it’s only a matter of time until that changes…
Remember to: Come here between July and October to get the best riding experience. The area gets a lot of snow during winter so you can only access the best mountain trails during summer and autumn. Also, if you’re venturing out on a big mountain ride remember to bring a jacket, a spare tube and some tools as it will be a long walk down in case of a mechanical.
Don’t miss: Stop by Værfast in Ringebu to munch on a delicious homemade bun and chat to the local bike enthusiasts. The owners of the little boutique/café/guide company live for the outdoors and can point you towards all the little gems in the area. Also, their “fika” is dangerously tasty!
More must-do trails: