Access rights – the freedom to roam

Everyone in Norway can enjoy vast areas of the countryside and engage in a wide variety of outdoor activities, free of charge. Access rights, also called the freedom to roam, are a common good that is an integral part of the Norwegian cultural heritage. They allow us all to visit Norway’s mountains and forests, seashore, lakes and rivers, regardless of who owns the land.

Access rights in Norway are codified in the Outdoor Recreation Act. This Act gives people free access to uncultivated land on foot and on skis. You are also allowed to picnic, put up a tent for the night, and pick berries and mushrooms.

Uncultivated land comprises all areas that are not farmed, meaning you have access to most beaches and rocky shorelines, lakes, bogs, heaths, forests and mountain areas throughout Norway. There is more than enough space for everyone to enjoy a varied outdoor life.

Access to cultivated land is much more limited. You are allowed to walk and ski on farmland that is frozen and snow-covered.

Access also entails responsibilities. You must always show consideration and respect for other people, and make sure that your activities do not inconvenience other users, either visitors or people living and working in the area.

Many of the hiking trails pass through gated pastures. Just open the gate and enter, but please remember to close it behind you.