The Halden Canal, which is a part of the Halden water course, is one of our country's finest technical, historical monuments.
The Halden Canal, which is a part of the Halden water course, is one of our country's finest technical, historical monuments. By means of this canal it is possible to travel the 75 kilometre long stretch between Tistedal and the village of Skulerud by boat.
The navigational channel is signposted, and a boating and recreation map can be purchased at the Halden tourist office. The Halden water course consists of a sequence of large lakes connected by short rivers or sounds. Starting at the southern end, the lakes are Femsjøen, Aspern, Ara, Øymarsjøen and Rødenessjøen.
From time immemorial the Halden watercourse has born timber down stream on its broad back, but in 1982 the last log was lifted out of Lake Femsjøen, and a six hundred year old timber floating tradition came to an end. Timber is now transported by land. The underlying motivation for the construction of the Halden Canal was the need to transport timber to the sawmills at Tistedalsfossen. Canal inspector Engebret Soot initiated the building of the canal and work began in 1852 with the construction of the Brekke Locks. The Krappeto, Strømsfoss and Ørje Locks later followed these.
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. This is the boat that today is named M/S Strømfoss. The old "Turisten" was raised from the bottom of lake â€œFemsjøen", and after 12 years of restoration, the â€œSwan" is yet again ready to serve the channel. This means that the waterway now has two boats trafficking the route.
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.