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Welcome to the rime frost, petrified gum, twisted pine and the intense cry of the black-throated loon at dusk ...
Ånderdalen National is centrally located in Senja and represents the North Norwegian nature in miniature. The area was protected to preserve a diverse North Norwegian coastal landscape. The bedrock consists of hard granite, while the landscape offers an exciting impression of the glaciological forces that have impacted on Senja. The coastal pine forest in Ånderdalen includes areas of virgin forest with twisted pines that are more than 600 years, countless pine growing on marble and coarse wood debris. Lush birch forest and riparian woodland grow along parts of the Ånderelva river. The national park has a varied fauna with several species of nesting wetland birds and birds of prey. The national park forms part of the natural habitat of a local elk population in South Senja.
It is highly probable the area that is now Ånderdalen National Park has been important for human activity ever since the Stone Age. Most of the registered relics of culture are in the western part of the national park relatively close to the sea. These are rare and extremely valuable. Several bowmen’s hides, remains of turf huts and houses, sacrificial sites and remains of boat houses and boat landings demonstrate that Sami and Norwegian people lived in this area. There is currently no permanent settlement in the national park.
Many call local historian and nature enthusiast Hans Kristian Eriksen the “Father of Ånderdalen National Park”. In an article in the Senja i mitt hjerte (Senja in my heart) yearbook for 1972, he describes Senja and in many ways also Ånderdalen National Park:
Senja in the interior: valleys with rivers and lakes, plains of
marsh and soil, forests of pine and coniferous. An idyll in-
nenfor protective mountains to the sea and powers of the west
and north. And farms along the beaches, hamlets inside
Facts about Ånderdalen National Park
Where: The municipalities of Tranøy and Torsken on the island of Senja in Troms County
Established: 1970, expanded 1974 and 2004
Area: 125 km²
Main characteristics: Alpine coastal scenery, large and small fjords, ancient coastal pine forests with rare and vulnerable species of mushroom and lichen, traces of Sami cultural heritage and reindeer herding
Outdoor recreation: Ånderdalen National Park has excellent opportunities for hiking, cross-country skiing, summit climbs, hunting and fishing. There are several marked trails in the national park. The hiking route Senja på langs (Senja from north to south) runs through the national park, while there are also several marked connecting trails. If you are not familiar with the area, it’s a good idea to talk with local people or study the map.
Hunting and fishing: There are good opportunities for hunting and fishing in the national park. Statskog – the Norwegian state-owned land and forest enterprise – is the largest landowner. The normal hunting and fishing rules apply, and you may purchase fishing and hunting licences online at www.inatur.no. You can catch salmon, sea trout and char in the Ånderelva river. Remember to purchase a fishing license and to obtain information about fishing regulations that apply for the river.
Accommodation: The gamme (turf hut) by lake Åndervatnet is only unlocked hut in the national park. There are many good places to camp near the hiking trails in the national park. Tranøybotn Camping, which is located right opposite the national park, rent out cabins and is an excellent base for hiking in the national park.
Reindeer herding: Ånderdalen National Park is used as a grazing area for reindeer year-round. Calving takes place in May/June. It’s important to be considerate and don’t scare reindeer unnecessary, especially in the spring and early summer when the reindeer are adjusting after the winter and the females have calves. Dogs must be kept on a leash from 1 April to 20 August, but it’s important to show consideration at other times too.
How to get to Ånderdalen National Park:
Fly to Bardufoss then travel to Finnsnes by bus or fly to Tromsø and take the express boat to Finnsnes. From Finnsnes, drive on route 860 to Tranøybotn. Alternatively, drive on route 86 in the direction of Gryllefjord and turn southeast and continue up the Kaperdalen valley.
There are several gateways to the national park, which serve as good starting points for hikes in the national park: Hyttekroa in Tranøybotn, Gjeska or Kaperdalen. If you wish to walk Senja på langs (Senja from north to south), it’s natural to walk through the national park.
Administrative body: Ånderdalen National Park Board. The County Governor of Troms (Fylkesmannen i Troms), tel. +47 77 64 20 00
Supervisory body: Statskog – Fjelltjenesten i Troms www.statskog.no/fjelltjenesten