Cycling in protected areas

A cycling trip to Vålåsjøhøvegen, July 2008. Cycle is permitted here but only in the period 1 June to 15 July. (Photo: Carl S. Bjurstedt ©)
A cycling trip to Vålåsjøhøvegen, July 2008. Cycle is permitted here but only in the period 1 June to 15 July. (Photo: Carl S. Bjurstedt ©) , Foto: Carl S. Bjurstedt

Brochure (2019) on cycling in the Park...

The Outdoor Recreation Act sets out the rules for cycling on uncultivated land outside protected areas. In a report on outdoor recreation, the Norwegian parliament (Stortingcalled for the rules on cycling on uncultivated land to be more practicalSection 2a of the Regulations on motorised traffic on uncultivated land (No) was therefore amended to allow power-assisted bikes to be used on uncultivated land. This applied to bicycles with a maximum auxiliary engine of 250 W, which cut power gradually to 0 at a speed of 25 km/h, and maximum speed of 6 km/h using electricity alone (EU standard)Such use is, however, still classed as motorised traffic  in the nature. 

Despite this amendment, the regulations for the protected areas have not been changed. In most cases they prohibit motorised traffic, including electric bicycles, and this will remain in force until such time as amendments are made to the individual regulations. To date, no modifications have been made to conservation regulations that apply to us or elsewhere. 

In national parks, cycling is normally prohibited outside of specified routes. The Norwegian Parliament wants to relax this rule, with possible exceptions for parks with wild reindeer (like ours!). The preliminary efforts to revise conservation regulations have stalled. There is unlikely to be any change for national parks with wild reindeer, and certainly not in our case. The expansion of the national park and a new Hjerkinn protected landscape area (PLA) with biotope protection are subject to ‘old’ provisions on motorised traffic and bicycles. 

 

Since electric bicycles are classed as motorised traffic, they are not permitted on Snøheim and Vålåsjøhøvegen (Hjerkinn PLA with biotope protection) during the periods when cycling is permitted (1 June–15 July). This also applies where motorised traffic is prohibited in the other protected areas, i.e. in cross-country terrain, on paths, driving tracks and roads during the periods when motorised traffic is prohibited. Motorised traffic on roads in the other areas (i.e. except the national park and Hjerkinn PLA with biotope protection) is permitted, including electric bicycles. 

Cycling is only permitted on two routes in Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella national park: 

  • Dindalen-Åmotsdalen (the driving track from Dindal cabin to Søndre Snøfjellstjønn and on to the T-marked track to the Kjerrevegen road in the Åmotsdalen valley.) 

  • At the Drotningdalsvegen road (Ryin at Vinstradalsvegen-Vårstigen and from this on the path over to Bekkelægret, where there is a road to Folldal). 

  • (The Management Plan for 2006 also allows cycling at Gamle Snøheimvegen, but this only applies to the last 500m of the road before Snøheim. Since the extension of the national park and the creation of a new PLA, the rest of this road is now located here, where cycling is not permitted.) 

In other protected areas (excluding the national park and Hjerkinn PLA with biotope protection) there are no provisions for cycling. The rules for uncultivated land in general apply here, except that electric bicycles are not permitted where motorised traffic is prohibited. 

In Fokstugu PLA, there are no provisions for motorised traffic, but the Act relating to motor traffic on uncultivated land and in watercourses appliesElectric bicycles are therefore permitted here in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the Outdoor Recreation Act. 

It should also be noted that the definition of electric bicycle in the Act relating to motor traffic on uncultivated land and in watercourses corresponds to the definition in the bicycle regulation in accordance with the Road Traffic Act (No). More powerful electric bicycles (max 250 W, disconnection at 25 km/h, max 6 km/h without pedalling) are defined as ordinary (electric) mopeds and motorcycles. These vehicles require registration and insurance in the same way as for other motor vehicles. If you are injured as a result of riding a moped or motorcycle without registration/insurance, you will not receive any compensation. If you are responsible for injuring a third party, you will receive a demand for recourse, which in the worst-case scenario will have a detrimental effect on your finances for many years to come. 

(Publisert:29.01.2019 Sist endret:26.06.2019)