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Hallormsstadur forest


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Hallormsstadur forest

Hallormsstadur forest host arboretum a tree collection with over 80 tree species. Around summer solstice (21st June) the National Forest Day is celebrated here with food and fun for the family and the Lumberjack National Championship.

There are two camping areas in the forest: Atlavík which is located in a picturesque cover surrounded by birch woods and Höfðavík that provides a higher level of service for campers.

Hallormsstaður National Forest is considered to be Icelands largest forest. The forest covers an area of 740 hectares most of which is native birch. The forest is a popular recreational area featuring, camping sites, marked hiking trails and an arboretum.

In the forest is a hotel with two restaurants and an ice-cream shop with groceries is open in the summer by the gas station. Great accommodations, restaurants and activities can be found in the surroundings.

How to get to Hallormsstadur forest?

From Egilsstaðir town, the major town of East Iceland located by the Ring Road nr. 1, there are two routes to Hallormsstadur Forest. You can drive on either the west side 40 km or the east side of lake Lagarfljot, 27 km.

If you pick the west side you can expect gravel road for part of route. You will find the junction with Route 1 on the hill north of the timber bridge close to the Egilsstaðir airport. It is marked as Route 931 with signs pointing to Fljótsdalur and Skriðuklaustur.

The route on the east side of the lake is more popular with great panoramic view to Mt. Snæfell, which is part of the Vatnajökull National Park. From the junction of Route 1 and Route 95 in the town of Egilsstaðir, by N1 gas station, follow Route 95 south for 11km, then continue straight along the road as it becomes Route 931 where Route 95 bears to the left just before the first bridge.

From Hallormsstadur forest there are only 7 km to Hengifoss and 12 km to Skriðuklaustur where you can find the visitor center of Vatnajökull National Park along with other places of interest.

There are two camping sites in the forest. One is in Atlavík and the other one is in Höfðavík. Both sites have small and large flat areas in between the trees and are close to the lake Lagarfljót. The foresters will collect the payment for the camping.

Two toilets houses are in Atlavík camping with hot and cold water, facilities for dishwashin and toilet for the disabled. There is also waste disposal for campers, outdoor barbeque, tables, and chairs as well as a playground. But there are no electrical outlets for campers in Atlavík.

There are three toilet houses in Höfðavík camping with hot and cold water and showers and toilet for the disabled. There are electrical outlets for caravans and campers, waste disposal, outdoor barbeque, tables, and chairs as well as a playground.

Lands managed by the Icelandic Forest Service are called National Forests. They are open to everyone, year round, and are located in all parts of Iceland. Many are easy to reach and have a variety of facilities for outdoor recreation. Others require a 4wd vehicle or hiking up steep hillsides in order to enjoy them.

The birchwood remnants at Hallormsstaður farm were protected in 1905 and thereby became Iceland‘s first national forest. Birch forest and woodland now covers about 350 ha within the original fenced area and a variety of tree species have been planted on another 200 ha. Large areas have been annexed to the forest more recently, both to the north and south, and either planted or allowed to regenerate naturally with birch. A total of 85 tree species can be found in the forest from over 600 places around the world.

The Hallormsstadur forest provides food, nest sites and protection from predators for several bird species. Year round residents include redpoll, wren, goldcrest, ptarmigan, and raven. In summer the forest fills with redwings, snipes and meadow pipits along with woodcocks and wagtails. Besides birding, the forest offers opportunities for botenizing and picking berries and mushrooms. Edible mushrooms include larch bolete, birch bolete, and slippery jack. Stone bramble berry is common and raspberries and red currants can be found in parts of the forest. Clear streams form a characteristic part of the forest and the water in all of them is drinkable.