Right to Roam

Outdoor recreation is an important part of our cultural heritage in Norway. Since ancient times, we have had the right to roam freely in forests and open country, along rivers, on lakes, among the skerries, and in the mountains – irrespective of who owns the land. We are allowed to harvest nature’s bounty – which means not only saltwater fish, berries, mushrooms and wildflowers, but also our sensory impressions of the whole outdoor experience.

The main principles of the right to roam are legally enshrined in the Outdoor Recreation Act of 1957.

The right to roam applies to open countryside, where the following activities are permitted:

  • Free movement on foot and on skis
  • Resting and overnight camping
  • Riding and cycling on trails and roads
  • Swimming, canoeing, rowing and sailing
  • Picking berries, mushrooms and wildflowers
  • Fishing without a licence for saltwater species
  • Hiking and Skiing 

General Information on the Right to Roam

To fish in inland waters, you need a fishing permit from the landowner. If you are under 16, you can fish free of charge between January 1 and August 20, except where there are salmon, sea trout and sea char.

To hunt, you need the permission of the landowner, who owns the hunting rights. You also need to pass the hunter accreditation exam and purchase a hunting licence.

Uncultivated land or open country includes most of Norway’s lakes, shores, bogs, forests and mountains and is usually not fenced off. Small uncultivated areas within cultivated land are not regarded as open country.

Cultivated or built-up land: fields, meadows, pastures, gardens, courtyards, building plots and industrial sites. You do have access to some cultivated land, such as fields and meadows, between October 15 and April 30 when the ground is frozen or covered in snow. Please note that cultivated land need not actually be fenced off.

Always close gates and respect livestock, whether you are on cultivated or on uncultivated land. Dogs must be kept on a leash between April 1 and August 20. Be careful around fire – you must not light a fire in or near woodland between April 15 and September 15. Find out about any local bylaws regarding dog leashing and bonfires, which are often stricter than the national regulations. Make sure you tidy up before leaving your picnic spot or campsite. Take any litter away with you, leaving nothing behind. 


You can fish with rod and line for saltwater species year-round, from a boat or from the...

Hiking and skiing

Hiking and skiing are freely permitted in open countryside in summer and winter alike. Y...


Cycling is permitted on private roads and trails in the lowlands, and anywhere in the...

Horseback Riding

Riding is permitted on private roads and trails in the lowlands, and anywhere in the...


In open country in the lowlands, you can pitch a tent and camp overnight for up to 48...

Canoeing, Rowing and Sailing

You are free to travel the sea, lakes and rivers by canoe, rowboat or sailboat, and exce...

Picking Berries, Mushrooms and Plants

Grab your basket or pail so you can pick berries, mushrooms, wildflowers and wild herb...