Espen Mortensen

10 things you should know about the right to roam in Norway

Most of Northern Norway consists of unspoiled nature. Here, you can usually go where you want, if you show respect and consideration. Here, we have drawn up a quick overview, which of course must be used with common sense.

Ten of the most important right to roam rules of thumb

These are of course a gross simplification of an extensive legal field. We have written a comprehensive article , and Marianne Reusch, Norway’s leading expert on the right to roam, goes into even more detail on her website.

  • You are free to travel across open land, which basically means the shoreline, forests and mountains, including private land.
  • You cannot walk freely across fields and meadows, in private gardens and industrial areas; in other words, everything that is not nature.
  • Do not damage fences or leave gates open because of the resultant danger to grazing animals.
  • You can only cycle on trails, not on open land.
  • You cannot light fires between 15 April and 15 September, except when it obviously does not constitute a fire hazard.
  • You are not permitted to use motorised vehicles such as snow scooters or four-wheel drive vehicles on open land.
  • You can pick berries and mushrooms provided it does not damage the natural environment or the berry/mushroom population. Cloudberries are reserved for the landowner in some areas.
  • You can camp in the same place for up to two nights as long as you are far enough away from other dwellings not to disturb them; an absolute minimum is 150 metres.
  • You can fish for free in the sea, but you must have a fishing licence to fish in fresh water.
  • Local regulations, e.g. as indicated on signs, and Norwegian law take precedence over the right to roam.