There are many famous hiking destinations and trails. There are global bucket lists, national icons or must-sees, and regional/local highlights. You read about them in hiking magazines, destination marketing organization websites, or blogs like this one. However, there are also many hiking trails that are not so known, sometimes not even by locals. Maybe forgotten, or worse – overgrown. And often, actually, you can find a few of those in your own region.
We decided to hike in the mountains near Hjelmeland – Hjelmelandsheiane. Fair enough: the trail to Trodla-Tysdal is quite known – at least locally. But most people hike here for a day. Some spend a night at Trodla-Tysdal and return the next day. Very few hike further into the valley, and even fewer hike up the steep, almost treacherous trail up. We hiked up, further into the mountains, camped in the wild, ate cloudberries, and explored the mountains just a stone throw away from home. We hiked in the middle of July, in fantastic weather. Except for the trails to Trodla-Tysdal, and at the end at Ritland Crater (some Norwegians know about it) without meeting a single hiker.
We started at Kleiva Parking (reachable from Hjelmeland) and hiked to Trodla-Tysdal, further south towards (but not down to) Viglesdalen, eastwards past the compass rose of Klinkehorten (google it) to Stakken, north to Grasdalen, steeply up westwards (could not find any trail here, despite what our map told us) to Melandsgrønaheia, past many cloudberry fields and the mentioned Ritland Crater (again, google it) back to the car.
We enjoyed nature, each other’s company, the silence, camping, easy but good meals, and our daily brownie dessert. You should try it too!