Canoeing in the Finnforest

To padle in a canoe is an activity for adults and children. We have light canoes made of aluminium. Solhaug is located right by a water course which runs on the Norwegian and Swedish sides of the Finnforest. It is possible to padle a finnforest round which departs and arrives close by Solhaug. If you want a short trip, a family trip, a weekend-trip, or a long trip, we propose a route to you. We arrange transportation (in our minibus) if necessary. If you are uncertain about what you should pack, we can help you do the packing. It would be smart to closely consider the landpasses that you will face during the trip. If you are an inexperienced paddler you will learn more by reading about facts of paddling: Safety and introduction. Do you wish to stay overnight? Or maybe combine canoeing with other activities?


Welcome to us at Solhaug !!


Finnforest round

This trip is a made for you who wants a wilderness experiences on Finnskogen. Many of the distances are not available without a canoe.

It is all in all 15 passes on this trip. There are not any pass that are difficult even though they can be hard at times. The longest passes are about 1 km along a countryside road. Most passes are short (e.g. between small lakes and canals).

It is many nice locations for tenting. During dry seasons it is not allowed with open fire. By Skålsjøen in the south of Bortan you will find a great "gapahauk" (see picture below) witch is beside the paddle route (and the "Finnforest walking route"). Here, paddlers may stay over night, and there is a fireplace at the shore. These are not marked at the map, because they are new.

It is clean water along the "leden", and also nice beaches many places. In the lake Varalden is the waterstand low at times, and islands out in the lake thus become large. Please do not disturbe the birds during the mateingseason. Among others does the canadagoose mate in the areas along the water course. Show caution regarding eggs and nests. On the other hand there are a lot of deers and moose in the forest, sometimes you may also see bevers (late at night). Pay spesial attention to piles near land and all the trees that have been chopped down. It is a lot of birds in the forests. 


Short trip

This trip may last 24 hours. We recommend paddling down the stream/river across the border to Sweden with Häljeboda as the goal. If you wish to camp there are lots of good places. The trip is considered easy. It is a nice trip for families with children. 



Family trip

This trip has a duration until 3 days and nights with a "treasure hunt" included if that is wanted. We recommend two variants:  


We drive you up north to Mitanderfors. There you will paddle across the lakes Varalden, Møkeren and Fagernessjøen. You will eventually end up in the lake Utgårdsjøen at Solhaug. There are nice canals in addition to the small lakes. If you want to paddle more when you get there, the trip can continue further toward Häljeboda in Sweden. Eventually, you return to Solhaug.


You start paddling at Solhaug (and the lake Utgårdsjøen) and paddle across Vällen, Borsjön, Lilleforsälven to Bortan. There we can pick you up. If you wish to paddle more, we can expand the trip by paddling back to Lilleforsälven and then further in another direction. We recommend no further paddling on the “Finnforest round” because it is a bit more complicated with children.

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 Weekend trip

This trip lasts until 2 days and nights. The canoe are brought on a trolley to the lake Utgårdsjøen, and you padle across the Swedish border. We make an agreement about where we shall pick you up on sunday (with our mini bus). There exist several meeting places which are easy to identify on the map. 

You may padle via Vällen, Borgsjön, to Lilleforsälven. From there you may padle further into the Swedish waters, or you may padle further on the Finnforest round. We make agreements before you start paddling. 

You must bring your own proviant for the weekend. There are no stores along the water course. You may however conduct shopping locally either in Kjerret or in Austmarka. It will of corse depend on your time of arrival. There are several nice camping spots along the route. 

You will paddle in small lakes, rivers, canals; under bridges, along forests, and in open landscapes. The rivers are easy and comfortable. The trip suites bringing children. 

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Long trip

This trip lasts within the limites of 10 days. 

This is a comfortable tour that leads to changeable waters, rivers, and canals. There are also smaller and medium lakes both in Norway and Sweden. The start and the first part of  the course is in the Finnforest where deep forrests reliefs by mild open landscapes.

The trip crosspasses many other water courses. This provides you the opportunity to take detours off the planned rout. For spontaneous people, the detours may lead to suprising results...

There are about 15 crossings where you will need the provided weels. It has to be installed to carry the canoe between waters. Most of the passes, probably all, you would regard as short and easy. 

Along the route there are two shops. There is one in Kjerret and one at Austmarka, so it may be suitable to plan the trip so that the shops are open when you pass. In Kjerret, the store is open until 17.00 pm (13.00), and the store in Austmarka is open until 18.00 ( 14.00). Here you also find a post office.

It is our opinion that the trip is suitable as a long trip where detours can be carried out while still being able to reach at the meeting point in time. It is possible to paddle fast and reach the meeting point faster than 10 days. This depends on your experience and how many detours you make. Maybe you want to fish and relax a bit too?

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We recommend that you pack "lighter" provision as soup, dry coffee, tea, bread, biscuits, mashed potatoes, chocolate, etc. in smaller portions. It is practical to bring a plastic can to store food. You may provide you with a water proof can if you do not have one. You have to remember to bring something against the mosquitoes. It may be smart to bring a little radio so that you can follow the weather reports on the news. You may prefer to bring something that provides you with a good night sleep. Isopor or something light may do the job. We do not recommend bringing air madrasses. It is heavy, unpractical, and not very reliable. 

You will probably not use rubber boots. It is neither very practical; heavy and clumsy. It is after all summer... Light shoes and socks are practical. Wet shoes dryes fast in the sun or by the fire. You have to bring raincoat and a jogging suit, underwear, a sweater and a lamp. NB!! remember to bring  matches. Remember to bring a bag for your garbage. These can be thrown in the garbage cans along the water course or be brought back to Solhaug.



Every canoe trip of a certain distance means several landpasses which need to be crossed. There are approx. 15 landpasses on the "Finnforest round", while a weekend trip only may have 5 (dependent of the choosen route).

It might be short of water in the rivers, dams, and canals. You are however provided with wheels use on land. Sometimes it can be hard to get the canoe with equipment into the water; especially if you bring too much bagage. We would argue that most transport on land are easy.

A precondition is however that you bring equipment which is not too heavy. One idea is to limit the content as if you were going on a walking trip. 

The landpassages are marked on the map with a L (for "easy"), M ("medium"), and V ("hard"). Information about the water stand and other conditions are provided when you arrive at Solhaug. We brief you on the map before the trip starts.  


Facts of paddling: Safety and introduction

(A lot are gathered from "Friluftsliv i nærmiljøet" by the "Friluftslivets fellesorganisasjon")


Everyone in a canoe use a vest. Small children must have a life jacket with collar and large floating elements (chest and the back). To use a vest or life jacket in a canoe are as natural as using the belt in a car. 

We have vests in all sizes. You will receive instructions regarding the use of vests if necessary. 

To go onboard:  

Most accidents happen when we go onboard or on shore. The canoe is not a steady boat. Before entering the canoe you shall put all your stuff on place first. The paddles shall be available when you sit down. The front paddler enters the canoe first while the co-paddler keeps the canoe steady. Hold onto both sides of the canoe, and place both your feets in the middle, and sit down. This process you must do in one movement. Remember to keep your rare as low as possible, and enter with your knees bend. The higher your point of weight comes, the greater the chance for a distaster...When the front paddler is safe, the back paddler enters the scene.  The front paddler must now balance the canoe. S/he may hold onto something at shore (e.g. a tree or the ground) or simply stick the paddle down into the water. 

Be sure that there are no stones or rocks underneath or close to the canoe when entering. 

To sit:

There are several ways to sit in a canoe. The most common position is to sit commonly. We recommend this position on longer trips. Another is sitting on your knees. We are not sure that all canoes are suitable for this position. Anyway, you may sit on the bottom with your knees a bit apart. Lean a bit towards the side which you are paddling. You may lean your rare end to the seat doing this. This way you receive a quite large radius and may work the paddle in long strokes. You have your balance in your hips, and it is easier to paddle when the water becomes hard to handle. You may consider this position when you paddle in rivers. However, it is harder to paddle on your knees than sitting in an ordinary position. 

Steering the canoe:

The easiest way to steer the canoe is often to "put on the breaks". After you have accomplished an ordinary stroke, you may also turn the paddle 90 degrees and adjust the course. The degree and time you hold it in this position will decide how much the canoe is going to change course. You may also change course by forcing the paddle away or toward the canoe.

A better version is the socalled J-stroke. After an ordinary stroke you put the paddle in a bow - as the curve in a J. Remember that the paddle blade is not supposed to be turned this time. If you do this you will halt the canoe instead of just correcting the course. The J-stroke requires a little training, but it is very useful to know.

To paddle:

It is important for the paddlers to balance their paddling. The rare paddler must adjust his or her paddling according to the front paddler. If it is a problem, you may count a certain rythm until you find a rythm that suites you both. It may help to count to four during every stroke.

  1. The paddle is put into the water.

  2. The paddle is pushed backwards.

  3. The stroke is finished and the paddle is held over the water a second. The back paddler may use this "second" to adjust the course.

  4. The stroke is finished by putting the paddle forward again.

We provide paddle instructions by arrival at Solhaug if you need it. The instructions also include the use of trolley and tightening ropes. We also provide details about the route, nice camping spots, use of the map, weather forcast, and so on.