Public right of access

Public right of access to the outdoors is part of Norway's cultural heritage, set forth in the Outdoor recreation act of 1957. The Act permits various activities on untilled land (not cultivated fields, pasture or new stands of trees) and also imposes obligations. Observing its straightforward provisions ensures continued public right of access.

You are allowed to:

  • Walk and hike in summer and ski in winter on land and sail along the coast year round.
  • Pick berries, flowers and mushrooms.
  • Pick nuts eaten on the spot.
  • Camp for two days at one place.
  • Bathe and swim in the sea and in lakes.
  • Ramble on foot or cycle on trails and roads.
  • Build a fire in winter (15 September - 15 April).
  • Children up to age 15 need no licence to fish in fresh water and, with some restrictions, may fish with tackle in salt water.
You should not:
  • Litter or discard rubbish outdoors.
  • Break off branches or otherwise damage live bushes or trees.
  • Cross or stay on tilled land, meadows, garden, house plots or farmyards in summer.
  • Build a fire in wooded areas in summer (15 April - 15 September).
  • Disturb animals or birds, including nests and nestlings.
  • Take eggs from nests.
  • Protected areas and preserves can have restrictions that protect plant and animal life by prohibiting access or picking.
Contact the landowner

It's wise to contact the landowner if you plan an organized trip crossing or intend to camp several days at one place on his/her land. Several associations have benefited by taking along the landowner as a local tour guide.

Further information

The Directorate for Nature Management website at (click on "English") offers further information on the Public right of access, including seven downloadable (PDF format) brochures in English.