Unionsleden stage 2, Askim - Töcksfors
There are two alternative routes you can choose from Askim to Töckfors. New undulating cultural landscape with beautiful lakes and woodlands. You will pass unexpected through towns and beautiful farming villages. Remember to stop and to absorb some cultural heritage and to view the sights. This stretch is relatively flat. The surface is asphalted on the north route, and there are both asphalted and gravelled sections on the main route.
Askim - A Cosy Small Town with Urban Amenities in a Rural Environment
Askimreceived the status of a town in 1996, and it is one of two towns in Indre Østfold. Mysen is the other. Askim was the site of the last major battle between Norwegian and Swedish forces in 1814 - the Battle of Langnes Skanse. The battle marked the beginning of the union era. The town has everything a big city can offer - sidewalk cafés, shops and liveliness. Take a small detour to the great pride of Askim: the Askim fruit and berry press. Take in the older nickel mines from 1866 - the Romsåsen mines, the first industrial enterprise in Askim. Your children with love it if you stop at the Sprett Bowling and Trampoline Park or at the Østfoldbadet water park.
Indre Østfold - The Larger Agricultural Municipality in Norway
On your way out of the town centre, you will pass Askim Museum and Askim Golf, and you will soon discover what is special about the area you are now visiting - a beautiful, large, open countryside with cultivated land. You will be cycling on an asphalted path that gradually transitions into a road shoulder. The road can be a bit busy at times.
Monaryggen - The Largest Formation of its Kind in All of Northern Europe
The next stop is Slitu - a small commercial centre. Here you will find the Morenen Shopping Centre, McDonald’s, Biltema, Scandic Hotel and more. Still, even more exciting are the sand dunes. At the E18, you will see that there are rich sand deposits, this is Monaryggen - a sand moraine - 3-4 km long - 208 m over the sea.
Mysen - Kept its Special Character as a Small Cosy Village
From Slitu, you take the cycle path toward Mysen. Remember to look to the right, as then you will see that you have a good view over Glomma and across the Norwegian countryside. You will arrive at Momarken Trotting Track. This is where the famous Momarkedet festival used to be held. On the hill behind Momarken and above the town of Mysen sits Høytorp Fort, with its lovely outdoor areas, and splendid views of Mysen, among other things. On the other side of the town, just a little way away, is the Folkenborg Museum. This is where the king’s son, Håkon Håkonsson was born. Mysen received town status in 1997, and it is a charming little town indeed, with its cosy specialty shops and eateries.
On the Way to the Lock Town of Ørje
Once out of the town centre, you pass by Bamsrudlåven, and we are very proud of them. They produce fantastic ice cream that you can buy in the farm shop. Right after Hærland church, you will find a gravel road, and once you reach Ørjeveien (asphalt), you take choose to take a left toward Lundebyvannet. This is a popular bathing location with a sandy beach, WC and open kiosks, weather permitting. If you take a small detour from the roundabout with the municipal road - Marker / Eidsberg toward the E18, there is a rest area, Trollbergtjern, with lavatories. The stretch toward Ørje alternates between forested and cultivated land before the beautiful Halden canal appears at your side.
Halden Canal - Locks and the Oldest Canal in Norway
The largest steamboat setting in Norway is to be found in the idyllic lock town of Ørje. If you are lucky, you can join a boat trip aboard the steamship Turisten or the Engebret Soot. Ørje is one of three locations with locks in the Halden Canal. The locks are very busy with plenty of travellers in the summer. The tourist information centre is located on the quay, as well as Visit Indre Østfold, the food court, local food sales and the boat café. You can also ride on the water, since the tourist information office also rents out pedalling bikes and pedal boards. In Tangen, there is also a fine sandy beach and opportunities for swimming. If you want to find out more about the Halden Canal, you can take a tour through the fine museum known locally asHaldenvassdragets kanalmuseum. In the centre of the cosy little village, you will find plenty of places to eat, such as Butt’s Tandori and Bakergaarden, as well as a sports shop and specialty stores. On the ridge over Ørje and the canal lie the remains of Ørje Fort.
Border Crossing - Norway - Sweden
On the other side of the town centre, you cycle over the Gate to Norway - a lovely bridge not far from the Swedish border. The road then continues uphill toward the border with Sweden through a large forest. Here there is quite a bit of gravel cover. At the border, you will find a toll station and a souvenir boutique. From here, it is downhill toward Töcksfors, where you will find overnight accommodation, the Töckfors Shopping Centre and another commercial centre known as Töckfors handelspark.
Askim - Töcksfors via Trøgstad 65 km (north route)
Take the same way out from Askim town centre as for the main route. However, instead of going toward Slitu, you take the road toward Trøgstad. You will eventually pass Mønster bridge. Be careful along this stretch, as the road here is very curvy just at the bridge. Mønster bridge takes you over a small part of Glomma, the longest river in Norway.
When you get into Trøgstad, a cosy little settlement, you will see Trøgstad Church. If you take a little detour at the church, you can get to Gravtjern, a lovely little swimming spot, as well as Trøgstad Fort. At the top, there are some aircraft on display. In Trøgstad you will find pharmacies and grocery stores, if you need any supplies.
Havnås - A Quiet Place on Earth
The natural landscape you are about to cross will be very wooded before it alternates again between cultivated land and forest as you head toward Ørje. Here you just have to have a stop at Havnås old school. It is a very popular excursion site. Here you will find a funny shop with clothes, jewellery, interiors and some simple catering. Further on, you pass by the prison, and not long after Havnås, you can take a little detour on Dillevikveien. This takes you to the bird sanctuary with a bird tower, where you can look out over Lake Hærsetsjøen. If you continue on the road you came from, you will reach Basmo fortress on your left.
Cycling Along the Halden Canal
The Halden Canal will be visible for from time to time as you cycle along Rødenessjøen, which part of the Halden Canal. The area is characterised by forests, cultivated lands and farms. At one of the farm estates, you will find the Taraldrud farm store.
Idyllic Ørje - and Border Crossing to Sweden
From Taraldrud, you take the road to Ørje and onward over the board to Sweden and to Töcksfors.
See the description of the main route.