One of Norway's finest technical and historical monuments
The Halden Canal, part of the Halden Watercourse, is one of Norway's finest technical and historical monuments.
The canal makes it possible to travel between Tistedal and the village of Skulerud by boat, canoe and kayak - a distance of 80 Kilometres. The navigational channel is signposted, and a boating and recreation map can be purchased at the Halden tourist office.
The Halden Watercourse consists of a sequence of large lakes connected by short rivers or straits. Starting at the southern end, the lakes are as following: Femsjøen, Aspern, Ara, Øymarksjøen and Rødenessjøen.
Originally the waercourse was developed for transporting timber, and the last log was lifted out of Lake Femsjøen in 1982 - a six hundred year old timber floating tradition coming to an end.
The underlying motivation for the construction of the Halden Canal was the need to transport timber to the sawmills at Tistedalsfossen - the waterfall in Tistedal. Canal inspector Engebret Soot initiated the building of the canal and work began in 1852 with the construction of Brekke Locks. Krappeto, Strømsfoss and Ørje Locks later followed.
D/S "Turisten" and M/S "Strømsfoss" The legendary old canal boat "Turisten" made its final journey in 1963. Since then, "the swan of Lake Femsjøen" was replaced with a new passenger boat that went by the same name and ran between Tistedal and Strømsfoss in the summer months.
The old "Turisten" was raised from the bottom of Lake Femsjøen, and after 12 years of restoration, "the Swan" was made ready to serve the channel. The new "Turisten" was then re-named M/S "Strømfoss", and the Canal saw both boats trafficking together for a couple of seasons.
The future of both passenger boats is yet to be determined in 2017.
The Brekke locks The Halden Canal has three sets of locks with a total elevation difference of 39 meters. The Brekke Locks are the biggest tourist attraction along the watercourse. With its four chambers and a total elevation difference of 26.6 meters, the Brekke Locks are the highest locks in northern Europe. Brekke hydro electric power station is situated next to the locks.