Located in Eastern Norway, Hedmark borders the counties of Sør-Trøndelag in the north, Oppland in the west and Akershus in the south. In the east, the county borders Sweden.
Hedmark is Southern Norway's largest county, and is renowned for its vast forests and almost 2 000 lakes and rivers. Flowing through the region is Glomma, Norway's longest river, and this is also where you will find the two largest lakes in the country.
The Eurasian Taiga starts between Hamar and Elverum, and is a belt of coniferous forest. Another area rich in forests is Finnskogen, close to the Swedish border. Hedmark is home to Trysilfjellet, Norway's largest winter resort, as well as the cross-country skiing destination Sjusjøen. The most fertile farmland in the county is by the banks of Mjøsa, Norway's largest lake, and this is also the most populated area.
Towns and villages
Moelv, Brumunddal, Elverum, Hamar and Kongsvinger are the five towns in Hedmark. Hamar is the largest with some 38 000 inhabitants, and is also the county's administrative center. Villages such as Løten, Rena and Tynset all have a population of over 2 000, and Hedmark comprises 22 municipalities.
Hedmark has a typical inland climate with cold winters. The weather is calm, and strong winds are rare. Average temperature for January is 21°F to 17°F in the south and 14°F to 8.6°F in the northern dales. In July, the average temperature is around 60°F in the south, but drops to around 55°F further up the valleys. Highest maximum temperature is well over 86°F, and during winter the northern region sometimes record temperatures of below -40 °F.
Evidence of Stone Age settlements has been found almost everywhere in the county. Petroglyphs of elk have been discovered by lake Mjøsa in Ringsaker, and the oldest Bronze Age find in Norway was made at Nes at Hedemarken. Iron Age finds have been made across the county, of which many have been from the Viking era. There are burial mounds from the Bronze Age through to Christian times.
According to legend, Solør in southern Hedmark was a powerful kingdom between year 300 and 800, and in the Hamar area a town-like structure developed with market and temple at as early as in the 500s. In the Viking era, this center moved to Domkirkeodden, the lake Mjøsa headland on which a cathedral was built later on. This was also an episcopal seat from 1152 onwards.
The most renowned Hedmark local is Edvard Munch, who was born in Løten on December 12 1863.