National Scenic Hikes

As a small country of 5 million citizens and with extensive nature, Frilutsliv (directly translated to outdoor life), is an essential cultural aspect of Norway’s people. This concept is essentially the Norwegian’s right and enjoyment in connecting to nature. Children start experiencing the outdoors before they can walk, and as they age, outdoor activities and time in nature is a part of their daily life. With this experience and devotion to natural places, Norwegians tend to have mountain experience, knowledge, and ample room to find solitude in the Norwegian wilderness. In order to keep this ritual alive for Norwegians, as well as share the experience with travelers, the National Scenic Hikes initiative was born.

How is Norrøna Hvitserk Adventure helping?

As the leader of Adventure Travel in Norway, we are responsible for setting good examples for other guide companies and taking care of the places we depend on. Trygve, the former CEO of Norrøna Hvitserk Adventure, worked together with the Norwegian Environmental Agency and other local travel industry companies with the idea of National Scenic Hikes (NSH). We like to see the tourism industry as an opportunity to help find a balance between the economic viability of a destination, environmental protection, and social equity.

Norrøna Hvitserk Adventure has been working in collaboration with NSH and local government through our foundation, the Cairn Foundation (Stiftelsen Varde), to create a sustainable infrastructure for Norwegian tourism. NSH provides coaching on how to create business opportunities from tourism, helping locals create jobs in the area, so they can continue to live in the remote places they love. By developing and helping manage these areas, the local communities can thrive with incoming tourism, creating more opportunities for local businesses and more opportunities for travelers.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Markus Spiske

Photo by Colin Moldenhauer

What is the result?

The investment NSH has done in Trolltunga, Preikestolen, Kjerag, Reinebringen, and Bessegen (and others) has resulted in a significant decrease in rescue operations, saving community resources, and possibly lives. 

Public transport has been created giving incentives to use public transport instead of having the guests drive themselves. Bathrooms and trash can minimize the impact litter and waste can have on our ecosystems and wildlife.

Our preventative “Mountain Guards” can walk the same trails as tourists, watching to see if they are prepared, and giving warnings, help, and advice when tourists are exhausted, lost or ill-prepared for the Norwegian weather.

Just by having these small systems in place, we save lives, help locals and our nature cope with the large-scale changes in their towns and livelihoods, and create a future for our nature by keeping it pristine and healthy.

How does it work?

This financial support is being used to create a sustainable system for the upcoming decades in Norway. Currently, NSH has invested in around 20 different mountain areas that strive to meet a set of 40 criteria working towards goals of sustainable growth and devotion to keeping our spaces clean, healthy and safe. This creates a future Visitor Management Plan that will help ensure the community’s foreseeable future. NHS will support mountain areas by providing a variety of opportunities, including:

  • Public transport schedules allow people easy travel to and from highly visited areas instead of driving personal vehicles and needing more parking lots, which damage the local ecosystems and the global health of our planet
  • Bathroom infrastructure in major parking areas
  • Emergency huts and shelters
  • Supplies and funding to rescue teams in the local area
  • Mountain Guards on highly used trails. Either 24/7 guard placed on high impact areas, or a daily hiker that does a trail sweep in the evenings or in bad weather to make sure people are safe
  • Trail maintenance and signs
  • Warnings to help tourists make good decisions in the mountains
  • Cooperation and workshops with other municipalities to learn from each other

Education on outdoor environments is key to keeping nature alive and beautiful for us to enjoy. We are responsible to take care of our wild places, to ensure future generations can experience the same beauty and joy nature provides us. Join us in exploring Norway, and learn more about how we work to be the leader in the adventure travel industry in Norway, to keep our nature safe and allow people to enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Norway.