Our fairy tale visit to Maridalsalpene continues and this time it takes us to Furumokollen. Furumokollen can be translated to Pine tree hill and during this blog post you might get an idea why its called exactly that. The height of this hill is about 396 MASL. The trip itself to the hill can be classified as quite easy, with moderate elevation along the entire way. Sadly there are no 360 degree views as the top of the hill is surrounded by dense forest or to be honest not exactly dense forest but trees covering the view to south. Towards the west you have other hills blocking the view, but that being said you still have some nice views of Maridalsvannet along the way. You can either continue to north and end up on the track towards Raudløkkollen or you can choose to go west to climb up to Øyungskollen. Turning back after being at the top of the hill is also an option as you get the beautiful Maridalsvannet, fields and farm houses views to round off your trip. You do also get a view of Øyungen(lake) but rest assured, you do not want to put you through this hiking trip to get a view or Øyungen, then you would rather want to continue to Øyungskollen. Okay enough with the recommendations and tips. Lets get down to business, but just before that, if you are a camper type who likes camping in the woods, there are some nice spots on Furumokollen for you to camp. No water will be available for you, so you should be aware of that.
The hiking trip along Skarselva
The journey starts at our usual starting point at Skar. We will be going downwards towards the Skarselva (Skar river) to follow it upstream from the east side. From the buss stand you just follow south, when you come to a trail or rather call it a road you just follow it. For a more detailed description view the section at the end of this blog post showing both the map and guide to get here using public transportation.
As you might know during my trips to the Oslomarka I try to search for Trolls. And I just keep on getting disappointed as all the Trolls have vanished and are nowhere to be found. May be they really are only to be found in Bergen town as they portrayed in #Trolls movie. Or may be Norway having Trolls has just been exaggerated throughout the centuries. But then again, I do believe that stories normally stem from something so there has to be something out there, some place. We are not giving up hope, hope is a good thing to have, at least not yet anyways. Back to the reality, following along Skarselva you get some nice views and hear the water flowing along side of you and giving you company that is of course if you already do not have company.
Having company or not having company can have such a huge difference, for me it really depends upon my mood whether or not I want to have company on a specific journey. Most of the times I tend to travel alone, and that is just because you get some alone time with mother nature. You get all the therapy in the world that you could ever need and besides that you do not have time press or schedule to keep up with. Life is busy and racing along in our daily routines as it is, so it is nice to have a day off from the so called “normal day”. But by no means do I suggest that you should or must do the same. Everyone is free to have their opinion and make their choices, that is at least what we believe in here in Norway.
Skarselva has a lot of wonderful views to offer along the way. You also find some ruins along the way belonging to old buildings. The old ruins yet again affirm that there is some reality in old folktales. Actually when I think about it, I have not yet really shown or shared any good picture of Skarselva. This too can be an attraction for some people not so profound of forests, who need to get rewarded just by spending 40-50 calories. For those, a trip just along Skarselva could be a nice hiking opportunity. As it is on the way to Furumokollen we will not be going off topic.
So again, starting from the buss stop and parking, going down hill or in the direction of Skarselva you find a hiking sign pointing downwards. If you follow that you will end up here…This view is showing the way you came from, leaving the parking spot behind you.
You certainly get amazed as you do not expect such an idyllic place so close to the bus stop. I know I was amazed the first time I came here. Just keeping in mind that we are under 30 minutes away from Oslo City centre. Looking towards your left you see the trail that we are suppose to follow.
The arrow is showing you the direction and concealing a random fellow explorer. If it is the first time you are visiting Skar area you should take the time exploring the riverbanks, especially if you have nice weather. If you head in the north direction you soon will see that trees are marked by #DNT, who just do a wonderful job of marking and maintaining these trails both in summer and winters alike.
The reason why I advised you to take some time will be apparent during the next few pictures. There are several small trails that lead to Skarselva. Even prior to these trails you see what you are up against.
Sights to be grasped and ingested are plentiful. The water flow might fool you too as the flow does not seem as fierce as it will become while moving up hill.
At the riverbanks there is some fair amount of vegetation. I guess it is just natural that plants and trees flourish at a places where they get enough of food and water almost the same as other other creatures.
The river is at some point also divided into two or more streams. These point are also reachable if you want to explore the river from that angle. I do suggest wearing shoes that tolerate water or you can just cross over taking off your shoes and socks.
At several places the water level is no more than a few centi-meters and can easily be crossed. If the weather is warm your feet will dry up in no time. Only challenge is if you end up in the muddy area on the other side. Which is difficult to predict as being muddy or dry to heavily dependent on the amount of rain the year or time you are visiting.
Enough exploring this part of Skaselva, lets continue moving north wards. Moving along the hiking trail, several trails towards the riverbank appear and some of these are worth exploring.
As all of them eventually lead to the river a couple of them also lead to the ruins from ancient buildings.
These ruins belong to an old sawmill that was established in the 1870’s and was operative till 1900. You can actually find more picture of this sawmill on internet and see how much has vanished during the last century. I once read that the forest claims themselves. And that surely is true, if you not groom the forest it can swallow a whole sawmill as in this case.
Continuing northwards we eventually get to a bridge. The bridge also seems to be sort of a dam. Calling this a dam would be a bit incorrect description, but you will get my point when you see the place.
Its a nice place to view the craftsmanship of ancient vikings. The banks of the river have been made by large rocks. The bridge is not that old and must have been made as either a replacement or just build new in the more recent times.
On the south side of the bridge you see the purification tools built into the river. That is at least what my understanding of this platform is, the purpose is to trap anything that should not flow downstream and also lift the water so that air travels through it purifying the water from bacteria.
In this picture above you can see some of the riverbank wall that has been built to control the direction of the river. The water is diverted towards east due to this big wall right in the path or the water. I wonder what happen during the rain seasons. But then again, the level of water in these lakes and rivers is controlled and maintained.
So much history, makes me wonder each time about the people who used to live here. The hardships that might had followed with the winters and how independent these people really were given the fact that they had no computers or GPS to rely on.
Crossing the bridge leads to this track which leads to next junction point. Following this track for the next 30-40 meters we get to a road barrier.
Following the road/track for 300-400 meters got us to this intersection, this is actually where the real journey to Furumokollen starts. There is a road barrier on the way to block vehicles from entering this track. We will take off here and follow the track. Following the track for next 300 to 400 meters we get to an entry point where the track starts. I guess the blog post till now could have been filed as getting to know Skarselva and Skar in general, as the focus was on getting to our track, but I do believe it was worth spending some time on Skarselva, this just sets the mood for what is waiting for us next. In near future I will blog about Øyungen (lake) as well which is the source for Skarselva.
The hiking trip to Furumokollen
After you enter the hiking trail after 30-50 meters you get to the famous sign wishing you welcome into the Mellomkollen naturreservat and also providing us valuable instructions. Make sure to follow these at all time while you are visiting #Oslomarka. Or these exact instructions are applicable only to this area, but the general guidelines can and should be applied to all trips in Norwegian woods.
When travelling in the north direction there is not much to see except for the vegetation covering the entire area. On a nice sunny day like this the greenery is refreshing and provides motivation. On a darker day the situation might be a bit different.
As you start to gain some altitude you get an idea of what views might be waiting for you at the summit. I will try not to spoil the fun so lets keep our focus on climbing or should I rather say hiking forwards.
We know for sure that we have Maridalsvannet behind us, so casting a look back provides a rather expected and welcomed beautiful view of Maridalsvannet through the tree tops. This is a promising view which motivates to keep on going.
As you might expect the view keeps on getting better. For being an easy uphill climb this climb turned out to be exhausting. I think it might have some relevance with the fact that I started to push a bit too hard and got a bit too excited to get to a proper view point.
Moving further up the hill we get an even better view. I believe I could see Maridalsvannet as well as Sander gård along with the fields situated in its close proximity.
The same view but just with a slightly different angle. It is quite strange how a slight change in angle makes so much so much difference.
Oslo summits Furumokollen
Calling the next section for Furumokollen summit is a far stretch of the summit, but as I already mentioned in the beginning of the blog post the summit has not 360 views to offer. But still there are some views to the south towards Maridalsvannet and Sander gård. In this trip of #SearchingTrollsinOsloMarka where #Microsoft was my companion as being the drinking water bottle we settled a couple of hundred meters from summit and pretended another spot to be summit point. The reason was quite simple, as this point gave the best view point. Look for your self and be the judge of it.
This is one of the most beautiful spots I found during the trip and provided the photo moment we were looking for! My drinking water showing the source of where it came from in the background – Maridalsvannet.
A close up shows you the wonderful background. View might even had been better if the trees were not blocking it, but again we are sticking to the instructions on the information board and do not interfere with nature. Trackless or trace less hiking is the key word here to follow and remember.
Ascent further is taking us away from this very nice view of Maridalsvannet and more vegetation and trees are blocking the view.
My companion from #Microsoft wanted to get photographed and started posing from yet another spot. I had no choice besides reaching for the camera and take a few snaps.
This is a quite peaceful place, however the only problem was the view and a place to sit. You only could choose one, if you were standing you were getting the view, but then you could not sit down and enjoy lunch. May be if you are very tall, you can manage it.
For a change I tried taking a panorama picture, however, it did not turn out to be as planned or intended. The picture became just fine but when uploaded to the blog it no longer is a surround photo.
From the summit of Furumokollen you have a nice viewpoint towards west showing the hills on the other side as well as a glimpse of #Øyungen (lake). However this peak is not the best view point especially for viewing Øyungen.
As this place is almost flat there are some nice areas where tents can be set up. Only issue is that there is no water available in the near proximity. If you have enough water you can surely spend the night here. I ended up eating my lunch here. With lunch I mean the apple and banana I brought along.
Another panorama picture showing the west facing rocky area with very little to no vegetation providing and ideal location to put up a tent. Well it could also have been a picnic spot. By the way, you also find a campfire spot here. So clearly there has been people here who have had enjoyed warm food here or may be it just was warm hot dogs.
Continue going in the north direction you enter and start following a hiking trail. This hiking trail gets narrow and small at some places and quite broad at other. Almost all along the way towards your right which is east of the hill you have a slope and a valley.
Further along the way you find some signs of water flowing down hill. But this again does not seems to be a permanent source of water as it most probably is a temporary stream of water caused by recent rain falls.
How to get to Furumokollen
You can take bus route 51 towards Maridalen till the last stop. Normally its either 1 or 2 departers each hour. Best option is to take the Metro to Nydalen, and from Nydalen take bus 51.
The green circle is showing the starting point, while the red cirle is showing the stopping point or ending point. For a detailed journey planning you can visit Ruter’s website. They even offer an incredible app where you can buy tickets etc.
To plan other beautiful trips, feel free to visit Ut.no’s site. They too offer an app that includes detailed maps of Norway’s beautiful hiking, skiing, and cycling tracks. In the map above the hiking trip is marked with purple. As you can see on the map as well, there are no water sources on this hill.
As this trip can easily be completed with 3-4 hours there is no special recommendation regarding stays. You do not need to stay in the city center specially if you are planning to visit and explore Oslomarka. I would rather encourage you to stay in areas outside of city center, for example Nydalen. Nydalen area also has a university situated there, which means that you will have all the modern facilities available there. A bit more about Skar bussholdeplass as promised earlier in the post, I did not make any pictures of the buss station, but it now seems to had been good idea to have a couple of pictures so that they could have been used here. But do not worry, we have Google to the rescue, I managed to find a picture on Google and using it. Clearly stating that I am just using the picture to guide other people. If you want to view the picture with a 360 degree view, you can visit Google maps here.
I hope you enjoyed the blog post and got motivated to visit this place. I certainly know that I loved this trip, I did not had much time this exact day and ended up just exploring a single hill. The hill #Furumokollen did not provide the most spectacular views, but as its part of the #Maridalsalpene we have now been here as well.