Length 4 km (2.5 miles), terrain: mostly flat, 32-meter gain
NOTE: If this 4-kilometer route is too short for you, you can either lap the lake more times, or follow the connecting trail heading out from the north end of the lake.
Oslo is one of those wonderful places that is defined by the natural beauty surrounding it on all sides. It hugs the fjord with its countless islands and rocks on the one side, and stretches up into the surrounding hills on the other. And the hills are typically Norwegian in their pristine wilderness feel, with woods and lakes in every direction. This is an outdoorsman's heaven.
So if you'd like to get a taste of Norwegian nature while visiting this exceptional city, just take the T5 metro train out to its terminus at Sognsvann and head straight out onto the trails.
|Runners along Sognsvann|
The lake lies at 200 meters above sea level, but the lakeside trail is fairly flat, with just a few small rises.
|Leaving the Sognsvann T-Bane station: follow that runner!|
Now just head downhill along the trail as it takes you to the south shore of the lake. You'll soon see the water there, with a small island just offshore. This is the main picnic- and hangout area for visitors.
|Along the south shore of the lake|
You'll first cross a little dam and then the trail will curve to the right to follow the lakeside towards the north. The trail is well-kept (like everything in Norway), a dirt trail lined with streetlamps. You can tell that it is used in winter as a lit-up cross-country ski trail for people to use after work.
When you get to the north end of the lake, at the 2-kilometer mark, you'll see a trail continuing northwards towards the Store Åklungen lake, if you want to follow it for a while to add extra distance.
|Crossing the stream that feeds the lake|
Soon you'll be back at the picnic area at the south end of the lake.
|Back at the south end: a standup paddler in the distance|