Choose a short or long hike starting from the same place in Modalen north of Bergen. Walk 30–40 minutes to Nedstavatnet or 4 hours (one way) to Skavlabu.
Both hikes offer a magnificent view of the Mofjord, and the hike to Skavlabu gives you a taste of the high mountains. Steep, popular and well-marked trail from Mo in Modalen.
Starting point for both hikes:
The trail starts from the main road 569 at the Kleivane crossroad (see map), and is an historic route that was used to bring the cattle and sheep up to the grazing fields in the mountain. The hike to Nedstavatnet is steep, but suitable for most people with a normal fitness level, also for children from 5–6 years of age. As the trail flattens, the blue marked side trip to the viewpoint by Nedstavatnet is heading left, and the red marked route to Skavlabu continues straight ahead.
Season: April–October for Nedstavatnet, June–September for Skavlabu
Tips: Solid and water repellent hiking shoes are recommended. If you choose to go for the longer hike to Skavlabu, you should prepare for the high mountains with extra clothing and enough food and drink for the whole trip in your backpack. Remember that the weather in the mountains is highly changeable and varied.
SHORT HIKE TO NEDSTAVATNET:
Estimated time round trip: 1,5 hours (3 km)
Meters to climb: 240 m.
Nedstavatnet is a short, steep and iconic hike in Modalen. After 35-40 minutes from the starting point, you reach the top of the waterfall Kvernhusfossen where you can enjoy the innermost fjord landscape of Osterfjorden. The viewpoint is by the old, beautifully crafted dam and is a detour from the route that takes you further up and into the mountain and Skavlabu.
LONGER HIKE TO SKAVLABU:
Estimated time round trip: 8 hours
Meters to climb: 960 m.
When you have left the first steep part of the hike behind you, the trail to Skavlabu continues north. The path is clearly visible and waymarked with red painted letter Ts. The hike is tough, and you need good legs and hiking shoes to conquer the 1000 meter long climb. Pick a day with nice weather, prepare and plan well, and you will have a hike from the fjord to the high mountains to remember with a big sense of accomplishment.
The hike to Skavlabu is suitable for adults and children from 10 years of age. The route offers great variation from scenic grazing fields, creeks and waters to steep climbs up to Husafjellet and Storfjellet. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the breathtaking view! From the cairn on top of Storfjellet, you can see the entire length of the Mofjord, and looking east you can spot the settlements of Helland and Farestveit. Follow the mountain ridge from Storfjellet and continue down in Kollebotn. Then the route is heading straight north and up the last 150 meter’s climb to the plateau of Skavlabu. Skavlabu is a self-service cabin operated by The Norwegian Trekking Association. The plateau is called the “Roof top of Modalen”, and here you can overlook a large part of the Stølsheimen nature preserve, all the way to mount Lønahorgi in Voss.
By car from Bergen to Modalen:
The starting point for the hike to Nedstavatnet and Skavlabu is 85 km north of Bergen, and it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive by car. Follow E39 in northerly direction via Knarvik to Romarheim. Turn right at the Romarheim crossroads, and follow the road 569 in direction Mo in Modalen. On your way, you will drive past the beautiful Mostraumen, a strong tidal current where the Osterfjord meets the Mofjord. After 16 km you reach Mo village. You can either park in the village centre or drive 600 m further on 569 to the starting point and park on the left hand side by the road sign Kleivane. There is an information board by the starting point.
By bus from Bergen to Modalen:
You can take the bus from Bergen Bus Station to Mo village centre. Please check the timetable at skyss.no, and enter «Mo sentrum» in the «To»-box. You will have to change bus at Romarheim or Ostereidet. The bus takes between 1 hour and 45 minutes and 2 hours and 35 minutes, depending on how the buses correspond, and there are four daily departures. You can also reach Mo village centre via Dale in Vaksdal.
Information about Modalen:
Modalen is a peaceful pearl at the end of the Osterfjord, one and a half hours north of Bergen. With just about 400 inhabitants, Modalen is Norway’s second smallest municipality. In other words, in Modalen you do not risk having to wait in line or feeling like you are caught in a tourist trap. Whether activities, food or accommodations, all services are unique, authentic and local small-scale experiences. The valley is well known for its untamed nature and many hiking opportunities, and it is a popular starting point for longer hikes in the national park Stølsheimen.
If you are up for another hike in Modalen, then why not try the hike to "The Castle"? It's not an actual castle, but a mountain rock resembling a pulpit, ascending 200 meters straight up from the Mofjord.
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