Bymarka, Trondheim's main city forest park, covers just 80 km2, but offers remarkable variability in its trails and terrain, both summer and winter.
Bymarka is criss-crossed by 200 km of hiking trails and 250 km of ski trails, of which about 25 km are lighted at night, starting in October.
Skiing or hiking in places like Bymarka is a distinctly Norwegian experience: when you're out in the higher areas of the park, it's hard to believe that you're just a short bus ride from Norway's third largest city. The vistas out over the fjord and down to the farmland in Byneset, the area of Sør-Trøndelag that's west of Bymarka, are truly spectacular.
Waffles and coffee good cheer
Bymarka has something for everyone, including cosy mountain cabins, called huts, which are typically open weekend days and often one night a week. Unlike the DNT huts in Norway's national parks and public lands, the huts in Trondheim's city forests do not have places to sleep. Instead, they sell hot and cold drinks, hot dogs and often offer a warm meal, along with traditional Norwegian "tour food", such as waffles with brown cheese, boller (cardamom-spiced white rolls, with or without raisins), and the ubiquitous Kvikk Lunsj, a popular cookie sandwich wrapped in chocolate.
Bymarka's most moderate hikes are up wide gravel paths that lead to Elgsethytta and Grønlia, two of the area's more popular huts. These paths are also suitable for an easy mountain bike ride, although cyclists should be aware that they will have to share the road with families with young children.
Rønningen hut is operated by the Trondhjems Turistforening, the Trondheim Trekking Association, and is a 2.5 km walk from Granåsen, the area of Bymarka that includes several ski jumps, a stadium and a network of cross-country trails specifically developed for World Cup ski races. The No. 19 bus from downtown Trondheim stops at Granåsen.
Skistua, at the terminus of the No. 10 bus route from downtown Trondheim, is owned by the Trondheim Ski Club, and includes meeting space and a public cafeteria that is open weekends and sometimes one night a week, depending on the season. Bymarka is also accessible from Lian, a private restaurant on the eastern fringe of the park, by taking the Gråkallbanen tram from the city centre.
Finding your way
There are eight parking lots along the road from Sverresborg into Bymarka, along with lots at Granåsen, Lavollen, Lian, Saupstad and Nilsbyen. During the winter ski season from Dec. 30 to April 15, the city charges a 30 kr. per car parking fee which is collected by volunteers from the Trondheim Ski Club, which is given half of the parking fee by the city to help support club programmes.
Maps of Bymarka are available at all the huts, at most outdoor equipment stores. But don't worry if you don't have time to get a copy of a map before you head off for a hike: large print versions of the Bymarka map are posted at all parking areas and at strategic points along the trails.
Studenterhytta is owned and run by NTNU's own student sports organization.