The 2 hour hike to the gigantic block of mountain called "The Castle" is relatively easy and suitable for everyone, including families with children.
You might have heard of Preikestolen (or the Pulpit Rock) in the Stavanger region, world famous for its fjord view. "The Castle" in Modalen is a miniature version of Preikestolen – a mountain rock resembling a pulpit, ascending 200 meters straight up from the Mofjord. From the top you’ll have a magnificent view towards the village Mo. A hike perfect for those Facebook and Instagram posts!
The trail starts from the main road by Stokkeviki and follows a small river up through the pine forest. After crossing the stream, you soon arrive at a crossroads. If you continue to your right, you come to Hestabotn, a nature reserve with natural growing yew. The trail to The Castle (called Slottet in Norwegian) continues to the left. The terrain is hilly, but never very steep, with some marshy areas. When you are getting closer to the top, there are some talus and you get a very nice view of the pulpit from the side. The top plateau is quite wide with several viewpoints. Even though there is no actual castle on top, there is nothing stopping you from spending the night. Bring a hammock or tent and enjoy the silence, the fresh air and the sunrise in the morning.
The hike is relatively easy, suitable also for children from 4–5 years of age, but be careful at the top. You are welcome to write your name in the book found in the letterbox on top
Modalen is a peaceful village at the end of the Osterfjord, one and a half hours north of Bergen. With about 400 inhabitants, Modalen is Norway’s second smallest municipality. In other words, in Modalen you do not risk having to wait in line or trying to time your visit to avoid the crowds.
You will find that activities, food and accommodations are all unique, authentic and local small-scale experiences. The valley is well known for its untamed nature and many hiking opportunities, and it is a popular starting point for longer hikes in the national park Stølsheimen.
Estimated time round trip: 2 hours in total (4 km).
Signposts: Information board by the starting point. Information arrows and blue marks on the way.
Meters to climb: 200 m.
Clothing: Solid and water repellent shoes is recommended as there are some marshy areas to cross.
How to drive from Bergen to Modalen:
It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive from Bergen to the starting point for the hike to The Castle. Follow E39 in northerly direction via Knarvik to Romarheim. Turn right at the Romarheim crossroads, and follow the road 569 in direction Mo in Modalen. On your way, you will drive past the beautiful Mostraumen, a strong tidal current where the Osterfjord meets the Mofjord. After 12 km, you will have the starting point and the information board on your left. Parking: On the right side of the road 20 meters past the starting point.
Public transport from Bergen to Modalen:
You can take the bus from Bergen Bus Station to Mo Village Centre. Please check the timetable at skyss.no, and enter «Mo sentrum» in the «To»-field. You will have to change bus at Romarheim or Ostereidet. On the bus from Romarheim to Mo, please ask the driver to stop in Stokkeviki, approx. 2 km before the final destination Mo Centre. Going back to Bergen you can wait in Stokkeviki and stop the bus when it passes, or walk the 2 km to the centre and jump on the bus there. The bus takes between 1 hour and 45 minutes and 2 hours and 35 minutes, depending on how the buses correspond, and there are four daily departures. You can also reach Mo Village Centre via Dale in Vaksdal, but this bus does not drive past the starting point for the hike.