A report from Mel of MCCCSC during her visit in February 2019 and some additional information.

City Skiing

If you have a stop over in Oslo or want somewhere quick and easy to go for the weekend, here are a few ideas for a short skiing break. It is possible to leave the rest of your luggage at the Railway Station in the arrivals hall of Oslo Gardermoen airport, or with the baggage services at Oslo airport situated in parking garage.

It is possible to go cross country skiing from Oslo city centre. There are 1000s of kilometers of groomed trails in the Oslo region, the challenge is where to start. There are some suggested routes provided by Oslo Tourist Information. 

Getting to Oslo by Train

Cross Country Ski Tracks/Routes

The trails are mapped by https://www.skiforeningen.no/. Their maps are not easy to buy in the city, the DNT store round the back of the cathedral should sell them, but it has very short opening hours on a Saturday. They appear to be very detailed and there are some signposts around on the trails that show the full map. Don’t expect your usual Blue/Red/Black conventions on the trails – you have to be able to read contour lines and understand the terrain.

They have an online route planning website  and an Android app called iMarka which you can download. The main problems I found with the online route planning website was that you needed to be able to enter the name of the place exactly, and as a non-local, I didn’t understand the difference between the multiple places with Tryvann in the name (I assumed Skisenter was where I was picking up my skis, but it seems it was actually much further down the trail, causing me to change my endpoint to Skjennungstua instead of the planned Kobberhaugshytta. ) Also, you need to understand Norwegian to make sense of the trail status reports.

Ski trails have red marks on the signposts, and there are red bands on the trees. There are also hiking trails marked with blue on the signposts, and blue marks on the trees. Some of these ‘Blue’ trails  become ski trails in winter, and are groomed. 

Vinterpark and Frognerseten are served by the Oslo Metro and are in Zone 1. You can buy one-trip tickets or a day pass from machines at the stations. If you plan on taking the metro 3 times in a day, the 24 hour pass is probably more sensible. Some of the routes suggested by Oslo Tourist information are one way, so you’d need to consider this. They are in the Nordmarka map region if you buy one, or download it in the app.

The ski routes around Oslo are for the most part well marked and signposted, but it is still recommended to use a map, especially for long tours. Maps and more information about the sport cabins and outdoor activities are available at DNT Oslo & Omegn (located in Storgata 3 in the city centre). Maps are also generally available in sporting goods stores and in book stores.

Five popular skiing routes in the Nordmarka forest

Be aware that there may be changes in the described routes.

Route 1: Sognsvann – Ullevålseter – Sognsvann

11 km and tracks are Floodlit

Start: Metro (6) from the city centre to Sognsvann station

Relatively short and easy trip, with possibility for a break at Ullevålseter restaurant. The trip starts a little past the bar by the parking lot at Sognsvann station. There are tracks on both sides of the lake, Sognsvannet, and it is possible to go on one side at the way up to Ullevålseter and return at the other side (parts of the rout back is not illuminated).

Route 2: Frognerseteren – Skjennungstua – Frognerseteren

Start: Metro (1) from Majorstua to Frognerseteren station 

Nice roundtrip where you can enjoy a break in the cosy restaurant Skjennungstua, known for its delicious homemade cakes and sandwiches. The trail starts from the other side of the subway station Frognerseteren. Follow the signs to Tryvann and further to Skjennungstua. The restaurant is situated on a hill with nice view over the forest. Take the same way back.

Distance: ~12 km
Floodlit ski trail: From Frognerseteren to Tryvann only

Signs in the Oslomarka forest

Route 3: Frognerseteren – Ullevålseter – Sognsvann

Start: Metro (1) from Majorstua to Frognerseteren station.
Return: Metro (6) from Sognsvann

A route in diverse terrains, with good views along the way. Same starting point as route 2 (see above), but continue on to Ullevålseter from Skjennungstua. Ullevålseter serves basic meals. The last part goes down to Sognsvann station (follow the signs from Ullevålseter).

Distance: ~15 km
Floodlit ski trail: from Frognerseteren to Tryvann, and from Ullevålseter to Sognsvann.

Route 4: Frognerseteren – Kikutstua – Bjørnholt – Sognsvann

Start: Metro (1) to Frognerseteren
Return: Metro (6) from Sognsvann

The trail starts right next to the Frognerseteren station. Follow the signs to Tryvann and further to Kobberhaugen and Kikut (approximarely 11 km). Possibility for a break at Kobberhaugshytta. Kikut is nicely located at the end of the lake, Bjørnsjøen. They offer acommodation and have a restaurant. Return: Cross Bjørnsjøen south to the end of the lake. After some hundred meters you arrive at the idyllic farm Bjørnholt. Follow south-east to Rottungen. Go south to Skjersjøen and continue to Ullevålseter and Sognsvann.

Distance: ~ 26 km
Floodlit ski trail: From Ullevålseter to Sognsvann only

Cross-country skiing in Oslomarka

Route 5: Stryken – Hakkloa – Kikut – Ullevålseter – Sognsvann

Start: Train from Oslo Central Station to Stryken station (approx. 50 min)
Return: Metro (6) from Sognsvann to city centre

From the Stryken station, go over the bridge and follow the trail in the southbound direction Fiskeløysåsen/Bjørneputten /Stålmyra. Note: steep incline in the beginning. After 4 km you hit a trail intersection: follow the signs to the south direction Måsjøen. Continue along the lake, Hakkloa. Possibilty for a break at Kikutstua. From Kikut, follow the lake down to Ullevålseter. From here it is 5 km to Sognsvann station.

Distance: ~ 25 km
Floodlit ski trail: From Ullevålseter to Sognsvann only

Cross Country Ski Rental

I could only find one place to rent cross country skis in Oslo, and that was at Vinterpark Top Center. You can get to here by taking Metro Line #1 towards Frognerseten and getting off at the Voksenkollen stop. It is either a 15 minute walk from here to the Ski Rental place or there is a 48 Ski bus that estops on the road on the ‘Towards Frognerseten, side of the tracks. If you want to walk the signage isn’t obvious, there is a path going uphill on the ‘Towards City’ side of the tracks that leads you to the road towards Vinterpark.

The ski rental shop is mainly geared to dowhnill skis, they rent out Salomon waxless skis, Leki Poles and surprisingly SNS boots! 

Like all downhill focussed places it was tricky to find the start of the trail, I found a trail head at the opposite end of the car park, on the way out loop road. There was access onto the trail from behind Voksenkollen stop, and also from the large car park on the left hand side, opposite the Telenor mast.

There was also a slight negative of renting skis from this location, as you’re on the top of the hill, all routes are down (and some quite steep) so you will have to get back up the hill to return your skis.

Final Thoughts

If you have brought your own skis, you have a lot more choice of start and end points. The trails seemed to be groomed regularly, but heavily used on the day of I went, so they were starting to break up a bit. If you were going to ski for multiple days I think you’d need to invest in a map to be able to select better routes.