Pilegrimsleden | The Pilgrims’ Route from Eidsvoll to Lillehammer

The Pilgrims’ Route from Eidsvoll to Lillehammer

132 KM
2 days
The «Pilgrims’ Route» is a part of the EuroVelo 3 «Pilgrims Route». The route in the Hamar region follows pedestrian/cycle paths and low-traffic roads with mixed traffic, and is mainly easy cycling, with some climbs in between.
Medium route
Situated along Gudbrandsdalsleden
Bente Fekene

From Sunde; the administrative center of Eidsvoll you follow the signed route on the west cycle up a few kilometres uphill before turning left following rv. 177 east of Vorma river and through farmland. At Minnesund, follow the signposted cycle route by Lake Mjøsa to Tangen.

From Tangen the tour will mainly be on gravel and paved roads through forest. When coming out of the few hills in the woods, you reach the rolling countryside of Stange and the coastline of Lake Mjøsa.

The tour can start from Eidsvoll railway station, situated by river Vorma and close to Skibladner's southernmost port of call. From the west side of river Vorma, the sign posted route starts with a climb up to Hammerstad and further on paved rural roads towards Minnesund. After crossing the bridge over river Vorma, you´ll soon enter the disused railway line now a cycleway along the banks of Lake Mjøsa. After 22 kilometres, you see the former Morskogen station, where Hamar&Hedemarken Trekking Association has opened a non-service cabin. You need a special key to lock the house, which must be booked in advance from HHT's office: www.hht.no – tel. +47 625 22 848. The site is also nice as a picnic area.

Continue on tarmac road to Tangen village. Worth a visit is Tangen church, which is summer open.

Soon you are heading into the forest on gravel road. When the landscape opens up, you can enjoy the view of Lake Mjøsa and cycle through the scenic countryside of Stange Vestbygd. In the cultural landscape you can find old grave hills and idyllic country roads. Stange Churchis one of the oldest medieval churches in Norway, first mentioned in sagas from 1225. The curch is summer open.

Here on the western slopes towards Lake Mjøsa is where you find the big farms. Huseby Farm is described as a royal residence in the Old Norse Kings’ Sagas. Ringnes Farm is mentioned in the Saga of St Olav. Some of the farms along the route sell local produce in season, and a stop at some of the farm cafés is highly recommended.

Atlungstad Brenneri is worth a short detour. This historic distillery produces 25,000 litres of potato-based spirit, made into the flavoured Norwegian national spirit of aquavit. During summer season you can take a guided tour or enjoy local specialities in the summer café.

Stange Vestbygd is not far from Hamar city center. At Stange Bridge there is a fine view towards the Åkersvika nature reserve and the Hamar Olympic Hall known as the Viking Ship. The trail follows the beach promenade through Hamar city center, past the pier of the pilgrim’s boat Skibladner and further on to Pilgrim Center Hamar. The center is located at what once was the medieval town Hamarkaupangen, one of the 5 most important towns in Norway for about 400 years. The ruins of Hamar´s old cathedral lies at the edge of the Domkirkeodden headland. At Domkirkeodden you can experience the medieval Hamar, an open air museum, exhibitions, the ruins of the Cathedral and an organic herb garden, inspired by the Herb Garden of St. Olav monastery.

Distance Eidsvoll – Hamar: 68 kilometers.

The trail continues past the Norwegian Railway Museum to Lake Mjøsa and idyllic picnic and swimming spots. After a few kilometres make a left crossing unsecured railway tracks and continue uphill. At the top of the hillside stop for a moment and admire the view overlooking the lake before continuing through the woodland to Brumunddal city centre. Follow the route on the pedestrian street through the centre, on a walking and cycling path and then on a busier road before crossing route E6 and follow the route further north towards Ringsaker Church.

You can make a detour to the right towards Rudshøgda and follow a sign posted pilgrim path called Prestvegen (the priest's road) to Ringsaker Church. Located along the road is the Prøysen Museum, set up in memory of Alf Prøysen. This son of a cotter became one of the most popular and cherished writers and musicians in the post-war period, famous among other things for his depictions of life among poor tenant farmers. The cotters' farm has been restored to how it originally looked.

Ringsaker Church is a stone basilica, most likely built in the middle of the 1100s and became devoted to Saint Olav. The church is open weekdays during summer season.

Continue north on gravel roads towards Moelv. You will pass the Mjøskastellet citadel, said to have been built by King Håkon Håkonsson in 1234, and it was strategically located here at the point where Lake Mjøsa is narrowest.

Soon you will reach Moelv, which originated as a village with mills and sawmills. Moelv also houses Norway's oldest distillery; Strand Brænderi, founded in 1843. Seven burial ruins from the

Iron Age and one of several cultural monuments in Moelv, are located at the estate of the distillery. On Smestadsletta north of Moelv lies the Tolvsteinringen (the Twelve Stone Ring) consisting of 12 boulders placed in a circle with a cross-section of 25 meters.

From Moelv to Lillehammer the first part is on asphalt on Rv. 213 before you turn left towards Lake Mjøsa following a gravel road into the woodland. After a few kilometers you will see the St Olav's spring, which is a source of constantly open and running water, that was one of the holy springs that people went to in the Middle Ages to be cured of various illnesses. At the end of the road and after a short climb you reach Rv 213 and the last 6 kilometers to Lillehammer will be on asphalt.

Distance Hamar - Lillehammer: 64 kilometers.

Experiences along this route

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