Wednesday 30 January 2013

Oslo Tryvann Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 11.3 km (7 miles), terrain hilly, total gain of 206 meters

Oslo running routes:
Oslo Downtown route
Oslo Bygdøy island route

Oslo Tryvann wilderness route
Oslo Fornebu fjord route
Oslo Sognsvann lakeside route
For more running routes, see Route List.

Pictures courtesy of the creative folks at Flickr Creative Commons. Thanks!

The great thing about Oslo is that it is so close to nature. At every turn, you get glimpses of fjord bays, uninhabited islands and imposing mountaintops. As soon as you get out of the center of town, you're already approaching wilderness.

And the biggest wilderness area, the Nordmarka, begins at the Tryvann mountaintop, past the Holmenkollen ski-jump area, northwest of town. You can quickly get there from downtown, with Metro (T-bane) Line 1. Get out at the last stop, Frognerseteren.
Nordmarka trail, photo by Ian B
Tryvann (Three Waters, I think, if I'm interpreting this old name correctly) marks the end of civilization around Oslo. From there on, stretching off far across the wooded mountains to the north, lies the Nordmarka wilderness. There are trails leading through the various valleys, making this a perfect place to head off on a long summer evening. This is the REAL Norway.

In the winter, Tryvann is a skiing area, with several ski lifts strung-up along the Vinterpark, on the north slope.

NOTE: If you're in Oslo in the winter, here's an alternative to running: one time, when working there in a January, I brought my cross-country skis on my flight, and then rode the metro to Holmenkollen in the evenings to ski along their lighted tracks, which begin right at the tram stop. Not a bad way to unwind after work!

This run covers just the southern part of the Nordmarka, as an out-and-back to the Nordmarkskapellet chapel, and then returns back the same way.

So, if you are a wilderness runner at heart, let's get going!
The Frognerseteren metro station, all out here!, photo by pixelbombe
Take the metro to Frognerseteren, then start running northwest from the tram stop along the gravel path, uphill through the woods. It merges into a paved street, Øvresterveien, in just 200 meters. The route is uphill all the way to the TV tower.

Another note: I've also run all the way to the top from the city center, but this is something for an evening-filling adventure.

You'll pass a pond on the right, and the road curves towards the right as it continues lightly uphill. You'll see the gigantic TV tower (Tryvannstårnet) off on the peak, straight ahead, with a metal radio tower along the way.
TV tower, photo by Wolfgang Stief
The ski lifts and Tryvann Vinterpark buildings are clustered at the base of the TV tower.

Once you pass the TV tower, the paths turn to gravel. and you'll start heading downhill into the wooded valley ahead of you, with the green, rolling Nordmarka hills lining the horizon ahead. In the summer, the area is a favorite destination for hikers, mountain-bikers and runners. I'm very impressed by the Norwegians' attitude: whenever the weather alllows it, they are out enjoying it with every sport possible: sailing, roller blades, you name it!
View towards Nordmarka from lift, photo by flickr.Marcus
Run downhill among the ski lifts and cleared slopes, following the main trail. The trail ends by running into another gravel road. Turn left to continue northwards, downhill.

NOTE: These trails are also used as lighted cross-country skiing trails in winter, hence the street lamps. Those lucky Osloers!

Just 100 meters later you come to the three little lakes, natural blue jewels with crystal-clear water. The path goes right along the east shore of the first lake, Store (Large) Tryvann. At the north side of the lake, you'll find the grass-roofed Tryvannstua, a private mountain hut where you can eat fresh-baked waffles (hard to resist, I know).
Lille Tryvann lake, photo by Sjekster
Continue running northwards, past Lille (Little) Tryvann lake on your left, and after another half-kilometer you come to another lake, Bjørndammen, on the right side. You can jump in and go for a swim if it's warm enough. I did!
Nordmarka reflections, photo by Eli Brager
Now just keep running straight north to the Nordmarkskapellet chapel.

After another kilometer, the trail starts heading slightly uphill. Keep going for the last half-kilometer until you reach the chapel, a collection of wooden buildings on the hillside.

This run turns around here and heads back, with the more difficult uphill section to come, rising about 160 meters back to the TV tower.

But, if you haven't had enough of this wonderful Norwegian countryside yet, you can naturally keep heading north, following the trail forever, if you prefer. For example, you can run to the next lake, the Blankvann, another kilometer north of the chapel. Have fun!

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