Hike: Reiseter to Digrahaug

Reiseter, the highest-altitude active farm in the Hardanger region, offers multiple treats. The view is stunning, you can enjoy a meal of filling traditional fare, and this is the starting point of a very rewarding hike.

Getting to Reiseter is easy – a road takes you all the way up to the farm, perched 330 metres above sea level. The host and hostess of Reiseter take pride in serving you traditional fare. If you plan on hiking, consider a light meal or reward yourself with a feast after you complete your walk.

An expanding panorama

The landscape opens as the trail ascends above Reiseter. Gradually more and more of the fjords unfold below. As you progress in a southwesterly direction on the forest roads, you encounter a varied flora, exciting geology and interesting cultural monuments, but you have to know what to look for, as some of them are almost hidden in the landscape.

The walk from Reiseter to Digrahaug takes about 1.5–2 hours each way. For the last stretch, we recommend that you follow the marked path to Håedal, before descending to Digrahaug. In the past, farmers brought their livestock to Håedalstølen for summer pasture.

Varied rock, varied flora

If you are observant, you will see the varied rocks in the farm-building foundations: granite and gabbro. Above the farms are boulder fields, with large blocks of various types of granite that have tumbled from the mountain above. Growing amongst mineral-rich rock debris here and elsewhere are hardy alpine plants. The steep calcareous mountainsides below the glacier also display an amazingly varied flora. Near the Skiparvikelva river is a light-green rock: serpentinite. Near Nonstein is a soapstone quarry where cooking vessels were carved out.

Old trackways

At Digrahaug you can still see remnants of the Ice Road, the road along which horse-drawn wagons brought ice from the glacier above, down through the river valley to Skiparvika. From there, it was shipped to customers along the coast and abroad. In the 1800s the edge of the glacier was lower. On the upper mountainsides above Digrahaug, the snow patches linger even in late summer.

Allow plenty of daylight for your return walk.

NB. Do NOT attempt to reach the Folgefonna glacier from Digrahaug. Today that is virtually impossible – and more than likely fatal!