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Hike the Nature Trail to Samettifjellet

Sør-Varanger, Norway



3.1 miles

Elevation Gain

689 ft

Route Type



Added by Elley Metcalf

A tranquil nature trail through Norweigan taiga, ending with a stunning view of lakes and mountains...truly big sky country!


This walk starts at a wilderness cabin, called Mybrekkoia. It's a red cabin with two further buildings by the side, a sauna and a woodshed, as well as the many black dog houses on the other side of the road. Feel free to park the car along the road or by the cabin itself, there is plenty of space.

The Walk

The trail begins behind the cabin and is marked with blue blocks that hang in the trees. You follow these until you near the summit, where the markers fall away slightly.

After the first few blocks, you will come to a stream. Depending on what time of the year you are walking there, the stream may be fine to cross at the points marked, or you may need to walk upstream a little bit to find a slower and less bursting point. Find a good place to cross and take a little jump over. 

The forest in this area of Pasvik is an old part of the north western great Russian taiga, so the trees are mainly pine, with some aspen too. As you walk you will notice that some of these trees have been here many years, and others not so long. The forest you walk through is reminiscent of a Primeval forest, without actually being one!

Continue to follow the trail markers. This is not a well-worn trail, there isn't much of a trail but don't be disheartened. You might find yourself slightly off track but as long as you keep looking for the blue markers you will stay headed in the right direction.

Marshland and bogs are very typical of the Pasvik area, so the vegetation and wildlife reflects this. There is wild rosemary or labrador tea (wild rosemary wikipedia page) which grows commonly in many places around here, a plant that is rare in many other parts of Norway. You can also see crowberry and cowberry plants all over the forest floor.

In the Pasvik valley there is the highest density of brown bear population more than anywhere else in Norway, so those and moose are residents of this forest, sometimes walking the same trail as you. Seeing droppings from both animal is quite usual!

As you see the tree line getting closer and closer the blue markers start to become fewer.

If you look behind you as you are getting higher you will see the Russian town of Nikel, in the distance. This is a good reference point when coming back down off the summit. 

The trail ends at the summit of Samettifjellet 220 metres above sea level. The best view is on top of a man made rock cairn, so be sure to add a stone! When you reach the summit take a look for that cairn, and if youˈre unsure about coming down due to the fewer blue block markers you can take a back bearing on your compass to make sure you come down the right way. 

Youˈre here! Now for a fire, some coffee, and food. A good idea if you want to camp overnight is to walk up in the evening, then have a fire and relax whilst watching the gorgeous colours of the midnight sun sky, coming back down in the morning.

I think what makes this trail so special for me is the fact that its so remote. I've never met another person on it before, or even really around the area and you are well and truly in the nature! Its a really peaceful, manageable walk and those who are interested in wildlife and plants will have an awesome time trying to identify all that the gorgeous forest offers too.  :)

A piece of useless information

This walk completely embodies one of my favourite quotes, from Thoereau:  

      "If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen."

The reason for this is because as you walk the trail, you might see some signs of logging in the forest from the past. Since then, Norway has become the first country in the world to ban deforestation and therefore are heading in the right direction in my books! 

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