The right to roam – a right that applies in the Norwegian mountains

Just like in other Nordic countries, in Norway there is a right to roam. This means that everyone can roam freely in the Norwegian countryside. There are, however, some things to bear in mind before going out to enjoy the countryside at Gausta.

The countryside around Gausta is spectacular, unique, and in many ways magical. Thanks to the right to roam we can really enjoy it. But it’s also our joint responsibility to use the right to roam with consideration – so that we can preserve the magic. Many people are unsure of the opportunities and obligations that come with the right to roam. But hold on – together we’ll sort out what it means.

The right to roam in brief

Essentially, this right means that you must be considerate of nature. Do not drop litter or cause any damage. In Norway, the right to roam always applies in open countryside, which means anywhere that is not built up or is not farmland or similar. The right to roam applies only in part to land with residential buildings.

A few basic rules

Thanks to the right to roam we can walk, cycle, and ride freely in the countryside. However, when we do this there are a few things we should bear in mind 

  • It’s important not to damage forests or other sensitive lands.
  • Be careful not to enter other people’s plots of land so that you don’t disturb the people who live in the area.
  • Do not obstruct landowners in their business activities.
  • When you walk, cycle, or ride in nature, there is a risk of damaging the land. Remember not to go over soft, easily damaged ground.

Camping in the countryside

Sleeping under the stars or in tents in the countryside is fantastic. You can camp virtually anywhere in the mountains, with the exception of cultivated land and rest areas at the roadside. When you camp you must be at least 150 meters from the nearest inhabited house or cabin. This rule applies also to motorhomes and caravans.

In the lowlands, you may camp in the same place for up to two nights in a row. If you’d like to stay longer than two nights, you must ask the landowner for permission. In the highlands, i.e. the mountains, there’s no such restriction.

Read: Camping on the mountain

Lighting a fire in the countryside

In Norway, it’s prohibited to light fires in forests and the open countryside from 15 April to 15 September without permission from the municipality. You may, however, light a campfire where there’s clearly no chance of causing a fire.
This means, for example, where there’s snow on the ground, or if there’s been a lot of rainfall for a long period. If you’re not sure, contact the fire service. In extreme drought conditions, barbecues, gas burners, and camping stoves are forbidden. Find out about the risk of forest fires at


Read more: Rules for barbecues and campfires in Norway

Nature’s bounty

In Norway, you may pick berries, mushrooms, and wildflowers in the countryside. Some plants are protected, in which case they may not be picked. Also, do not break off twigs, branches, birch-bark or other bark from growing trees as this can damage them.

To fish in Norway’s lakes, you must have permission from the owner – for example, in the form of a fishing permit.


Read more: Fishing at Gausta

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