Reading material for those who love the camping life

By: Knut Randem, Bobilverden
Caravan and Caravan magazine, No. 2. April 2017

Halden Canal in Østfold: The unknown attraction

This channel, which among other things has Europe's highest sluice facility, is one of Norway's lesser-known attractions. It has the potential to get something more, but even now there are many possibilities in motor homes along this riverside.

The duct channel was built between 1852 and 1860 for use in timber flow. The Halden Canal is the oldest channel in Norway and it was Engebret Soot that led the development.

The chairman of Haldenvassdragets Kanalselskap AS, Steinar Fundingsrud, is very positive to bobilturism along the canal. "We should make more arrangements before we consider the spaces as mobile homes, but it is still possible to stay overnight at several places along the canal," says Fundingsrud.

Halden watercourse

The Halden Canal has no connection to the sea, but extends from Femsjøen in the south to Skulerud in the north. Almost 80 kilometers is it. It can be traversed by slightly larger boats through several sluice systems. The entire Halden waterfall includes even more lakes and rivers.

At Skullerud in the north, there is plenty of space in the parking lot. The toilet is open to everyone, but a shower card must be purchased for the showers. Here you can call a phone number to buy a card. Skullerud is the northernmost point in the watercourse for larger boats, but if you have a canoe with you, you can paddle further up the river.

Båtkafe

25 km further south lies Ørje locks. There believes Fundingsrud there are several places a motorhome can stay for. Among other things, to the right of the floating boat cafeteria. Sommeråpen turistinformation via the canal sells shower cards for use in the service building, but the toilets are open to everyone. The shower card costs NOK 300, but then you can shower as much as you want in the facilities at Skulerud, Ørje, Østre Otteid at Stora Le and at the tourist bridge in Tistedalen in Halden.

At the three castle chambers of Ørje there are canal museums, galleries and cafés. Ear can also be at the mentioned boat café and other restaurants and shops. Summer time you can also watch the Soot game in open air close to the canal.

The sluice chamber

At Strømsfoss there is a lock chamber. This is also where the steamboats are moored when they are not in tourist traffic. In the old mill and around it there are now shops, cafes and various activities. Also here in Strømsfoss there are good opportunities for accommodation in a motorhome. There is an open service building with a coin-operated machine in the shower. At the bottom of the lock there is a great recreation area. Just north of Strømsfoss, the "Farmen farm" Bøensætre is also beautifully situated as a possible excursion destination.

Europe's tallest sluice facility

The brekke house at Brekke has four lockers and lifts the entire 27 meter. This makes the plant the highest in Europe. "At Brekke Locks, it's a good place to stand for campers. There we have not found any payment solution so both toilets and showers are free. Currently, Fundingsrud says.

The channel company has no drainage stations and the municipalities in this area are generally poorly equipped for emptying, but Fundingrud says that it is possible to empty at Kirkeng camping south of Aremark church. See drainage stations in Østfold here .

Brochures

In its map brochure, the Halden Canal has outlined ten different bicycle trips from 12 to 38 kilometers in length. They are Siljedalen and Holvannet around, Femsjøen around, Grenserittets trail, the combination tourist boat Strømsfoss-Tistedal a road and bike back, Aspern around, Aremarksjøen around, Rødnessjøen around, Buerkroken around, Eidet Sandviksand and Nybakkrunden. Not everyone walks along the canal and the lakes, but is in the immediate vicinity. This map brochure otherwise gives a good overview of fishing opportunities, restaurants and cafes, bathing places, activities and services. You get it along the canal.

On the Halden Canal Homepage There is a lot of information about what happens at any time along the canal. There you will also find an overview of where you can purchase the shower card mentioned above.

There is no power at the mentioned accommodation and they must be regarded as "approved fricamping". Parking is free. The places are also used by other visitors to the channel.

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