Reading material for those who love the camping life

Text and photo: Arne Lunde
Motorhome and Caravan magazine, No. 3. June 2017

Travel through Østerdalen: In Greater Elgen's kingdom

Do not expect to see steep mountains with snowy peaks and blinding fjords if you go through the Østerdalen. Anyone who drives the Elverum-Tynset line soon finds that Hedmark is the number one forest in Norway.

Endless stretches of forest can be boring for those who drive Highway 3 through Østerdalen. Boring to death, in fact, which is why the stretch has also had the label "the road of death" pasted on it. Not a few drivers fall asleep as a result of the monotony through the forest, some never to wake up again. Scary. Moose collisions are another danger, the King of the Forest is at home in the deep forests, and Hedmark and Østerdalen are among the places in Norway with the densest population of moose. So beware, stay awake and beware of the king of the forest lurking at the edge of the forest.

Greater moose

Between Koppang and Atneosen, you are guaranteed to meet the Great Elk, the world's largest, in fact. It is admittedly created by humans. Not only does it protrude 10 meters into the air and measure 12 meters in the longitudinal direction, it is also silver colored and shines like a jewel in the sunshine. You can not avoid spotting it as you come to the beautiful picnic area Bjøråa. The moose, which is made in China and has cost two million kroner, came into place in the autumn of 2015. It will hopefully make many people stop to take a closer look and thus get a break with fresh air. This is how the road authorities hope that Stor-Elgen can prevent drivers from falling asleep behind the wheel. It may prove to be a sensible investment.

But Hedmark county and Østerdalen have more than moose to offer. A trip through the central Østerdalen includes the stretch between Elverum in the south and Tynset in the north where the national road follows the valley that the Glomma flows through. The stretch is 190 kilometers and can easily be done in three to four hours, but then you miss a lot along the way. In addition to attractions such as the Norwegian Forest Museum at Elverum and the Aukrust Center in Alvdal, the side valleys Rendalen, Folldal and Atndalen are worth considering for passers-by.

forestry Museum

We start the trip in Elverum which is a regional center in Sør-Østerdal. The Norwegian Forest Museum has found its natural place here in the middle of forest county number one. Every year, 110.000 visitors drop by, making it one of the country's most visited museums. - «The Forest Museum is a national museum with a focus on cultural history related to forestry, hunting and fishing. The museum has its background in a national forest exhibition in 1954 where the focus was on the professional and technical aspects of forestry. The exhibition was such a great success that it provided a profit to establish what became known as the Norwegian Forestry Museum "-, explains Stig Hoseth, current director of the museum.

- "In 1994, a name change was made to the Norwegian Forest Museum, to show that it is not only forestry and industry that is themed, but that we also focus on outdoor life, hunting and fishing," he continues. 

The latter is clearly expressed during the annual Nordic Hunting & Fishing Days second weekend in August, which has become a tradition over fifty years old. Then the between 30-40.000 visitors can stop by 200 exhibitors who show all the heart could desire of equipment for active outdoor people. And in addition, there are various activities, also of the family-friendly kind, as well as seminars and otherwise a social meeting place.

Popular campsite

That it drips on the neighbors during the Hunting & Fishing Days, the owner of Elverum camping, which is next door to the museum, Marius Østmoe, can confirm:

- We open for booking a place for the Hunting & Fishing Days in December and it fills up in 15 minutes, smiles Marius who can tell that there are very many regulars who book. 35 cabins and 250 drop-in spaces for motorhomes and caravans are not enough to cover the need for space the second weekend in August. But apart from this one weekend, it is mostly okay to find a place at the campsite, which by the way is the municipality's only. 

- What attracts visitors to the campsite?

- «It is probably that we are located in the middle of nature and at the same time close to the city. The Glomma flows just past and there is free fishing for our guests who can expect to get both grayling, trout and whitefish on the hook "-, Marius advertises. The fact that the Forest Museum is next door is probably not a disadvantage either, exactly.

cultural Life

Elverum otherwise offers a rich cultural life, several festivals and a variety of nature experiences, but we will continue north. But one stop on the way out of the center is hard to get around; Elgstua. This café, which saw the light of day in 1959, has almost become an institution in the region with its strategic location where roads from east and west and from north and south meet at a busy intersection. No wonder car tourists for generations have chosen to stop right here.

Elk on the menu

- "Elgstua has always been a landmark, and the good old dishes in the cafe are of course in place" - assures marketing manager Solrun Irene Nordlien, who emphasizes that it also includes the somewhat legendary elk stew that has followed the cafe since the beginning. You do not mess with the creation… If it is more than three years since you were last on the site, it is not certain that you will recognize yourself. In 2013, the café was joined by a hotel building that bears the same name as the café, thus it has become possible to extend the stay with one night or more. 111 rooms and facilities for courses and conferences are offered. Here, too, it is noticeable when the Hunting & Fishing Days are arranged, as well as large sporting events such as Birken. - "Then it's full at Elgstua, yes" - states a smiling marketing manager who is optimistic about the future of the establishment.

Saved Bro

The journey continues north while lead gray clouds ensure that the road and forest are irrigated by drizzle. Under such conditions, it is tempting to just drive on hoping to see the sun further ahead. At Atna it is easy enough that we are tempted to take a break, moreover we are curious about a sign that shows the way to Glopheim cafe on the other side of Glomma. A narrow bridge with room for only one car on the bank leads us across the river and to the café, which can boast of being the country's only that is protected by the National Heritage Board. - "The National Heritage Board has added a clause that the building can only be used as a cafe, it is all about protection through use" - smiles Sverre Oskar Øverby, member of the foundation that runs the business which is open daily during the school summer holidays and elsewhere in the year on Saturdays and by appointment. 


The café, with a history dating back to 1947, has retained its style from the 50s and 60s and much of the furniture from that time can be found there to this day. Something is taken from other places to get it as complete as possible. Jukebox, tubular steel chairs upholstered with skai and nostalgic advertising posters for Tidedeman's Tobacco and South State cigarettes bring enough nostalgic feelings to life in well-adult visitors.

In Kjell Aukrust's kingdom

Alvdal is the village that Kjell Aukrust has made sure to put on the map of Norway with his colorful personal gallery from Flåklypauniverset. Emanuel Desperados, Melvind Snerken Mysil Bergsprekken and Reodor Felgen are just some of the characters you can get to know in Aukrustsenteret, which was established in 1996 and has become the village's major attraction. Drawings, paintings, films and inventions of the curious kind are on display and attract up to 500 people on a good day. New attractions are constantly being added to the center.

moon Ferd

The latest addition is the opportunity to become a Flåklypa astronaut on call class 1A with oak leaves! It all takes place in a lunar rocket on Flåklypatoppen. - "The moon journey lasts for 20 minutes and has room for eight at a time and we constantly experience that there is a queue of adventurers who want to join the journey" -, smiles museum host Klara Skovro Thoresen who does not hide that the innovation has meant a lot to the visit at the center which is open during the school holidays and in the run - up to Christmas.

Cold Records

From Alvdal it is not many miles to Tynset which is the regional center in Nord-Østerdal. Tynset forms the end point of this journey. With a cold record of minus 46,6 degrees, the village and the municipality are known for cold winters. No wonder then that the kicking support has been a favorite means of transportation in the village. The world's largest kick support was unveiled in 2011 and measures 5,4 meters in height, 12 meters in length and weighs two tonnes. It is strategically located in front of the town hall, or "brown cheese" as the building is popularly called. The building was named Norway's ugliest in 2010, so here's something for everyone.

views Top

Tronfjellet literally reigns over Tynset. With its 1665 meters above sea level, it is clearly visible from most places in the village. And the view from the top should be impeccable, since the mountain rises high above the surroundings. In connection with the construction of radio and television transmitters in the top 60s, a road was built. This works today as a private toll road in the summer so it is actually possible to drive to the top. For those who want a physical challenge, there is a path up to just under five kilometers.


Further north is the mountain town of Røros which has its special history and which attracts many visitors. And in the east you will find the magical Femundsmarka which attracts many to active outdoor experiences in seemingly untouched nature. But it will be another toast, our trip ends at Tynset.

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