Åre – Stiklestad

Entering Norway
From the Indalsälven river valley you hike upwards on Skalstugevägen road with stone arch bridges, mountain views and reindeer pastures. The pilgrim trail leads into Norway and Stiklestad where Olav Haraldson died on 29 July 1030 in a field battle against the peasant army. Stiklestad is a peaceful and green place where you can feel the history. Here today’s pilgrims can contemplate their internal and external journey – and share thoughts with others.

By the Indalsälven river the green arable countryside dates back to the iron age. You walk westbound on the old road to Duved and a trail passes Tegeforsen falls. Duved church in the centre of Duved village resembles a wooden Gothic cathedral. After Forsa you come up a hill where you see the valley spreading out before you and a fortification down by the river. After a short stretch of the E14 you turn onto Skalstugevägen road. It is also called Karl Johansvägen road as it was re-inaugurated in 1835 by King Karl XIV Johan. The stone arch bridges still stand, like beautiful works of art. One of the best places of natural beauty along the entire trail is Tännforsen, the largest waterfall in Sweden. The waters are wild and fall 38 meters. It is 60 metres wide. When water levels in the river are at their highest, it would take just fifteen minutes to fill the Globen Arena in Stockholm.

Hostel accommodation

Back in time, Skalstugevägen was heavily trafficked as the main road between Sweden and Norway when the winter market was held in Levanger in Norway. Trading farmers transporting hides could stay and eat at inns along the road. Medstugan was initially an inn for pilgrims, nowadays it is a hostel. Next to Skalstugan, there used to be dairy, a brewery and a sawmill in the 1800s. The road takes you high up, and mountain peaks rise up around you. You are in reindeer pastures where reindeer from the Sami village of Kall spend early winter, later they migrate towards Mullfjället and Sundsvalen. With a bit of luck, you might see reindeer on the Norwegian side. St. Olavsleden leaves the tarmac road and you cross the border on an old road through a sparse birch forest.

Magnificent nature

In Norway the scenery becomes more dramatic with high cliffs. There is a resting place by the second stone-arch bridge crossing the Kvilbekken river. Along the way there are great views of the Indalen valley and the mountains. Ådalsvollen was a border post until 1994 and the trail from here leads on to Sulstua. There is an old St Olav spring in Sul, about five hundred metres from the trail and there are a few more accommodation options here. In Sul you will also find Olavsåkern, a farm field that according to legend was trampled over by St Olav’s army on its way to the battle at Stiklestad. When the people of Sul complained to Olav, he mounted his horse and rode around the field. The following morning the crops had risen again and gave a bountiful harvest, thus starting the myth of Olav.

The trail continues along Karl Johansvägen down towards the village Vuku where there is a beautiful church dating from 1655. You are almost in Stiklestad. The stone church there was built on the spot where Olav fell when he met the peasant army on 29 July 1030. Behind the altar of Stiklestad church there is a stone with a dent in it. According to legend this is the stone that Olav rested his head against at the moment of his death and he left a dent in it.

In Stiklestad there is also a cultural center which is the focal point for activities and information about Olav Haraldson and St. Olav. Try to plan your hike so that you pass Stiklestad around 29 July. On that date every year many activities and theatre plays are held relating to Olav the Holy.

Whole Section: 112 KM

Individual stretches:

Åre – Tännforsen / 21,7 km
Tännforsen – Medstugan / 23,2 km
Medstugan – Skalstugan / 10,6 km
Skalstugan– Riksgränsen – Sul / 21,2 km
Sul – Vuku / 27,3 km
Vuku – Stiklestad / 11,9 km


Tourist information

Åre Östersunds Airport
Trondheim Airport