Hamaren Activity Park by Lake Fyresvatn, Norway, may not look like the most accessible place to visit at first glance. The rugged area has rocky surfaces, steep ascents, and natural forest debris. But thanks to Danish architecture firm Effekt, all you need to do is look up.
Their new treetop boardwalk was specifically designed to be accessible for people with limited mobility and/or who use mobility aids. The two meter-wide barrier-free boardwalk stands fifteen meters off the forest floor, and rises on a gentle slope. It’s the first of its kind in Norway.
Visitors on the boardwalk get to take in a unique view of Lake Fyresvatn, the treetop canopy, and the mountain ridge up to the summit of Klokkarhamaren. At specific points, the boardwalk widens into balconies that function as both rest stops and outlooks. At the end of the trail, a circular viewpoint (50 meters in diameter) offers a spectacular 360-degree view over the forest and natural landscape.
“The real task before us was to reconnect people with nature and create a design that would enhance the experience of the visitors – taking them on a slow and poetic walk through the forest canopy, culminating in a rush of excitement as they take in a scenic view of lake against sky at 60 meters above lake water level. Although it is a small gesture in the bigger picture, we hope that granting people free and universal access to experience the sublime nature of this site, can serve as an example for others,” said Effekt’s co-founder Tue Foged.
The accessible treetop boardwalk is suitable for pedestrians, cyclists, pushchairs and wheelchairs. It’s a shining example of the beauty of universal design, and sure to top the bucket lists of many travellers with disabilities.
Visitor Tips: You can find parking and the starting point at Fyresdal Næringshage, below the church in the center of Fyresdal. Allow 1.5-2 hours to follow the accessible treetop boardwalk all the way to the circular viewpoint. There are tables for resting or enjoying a picnic lunch, and plenty of activities for all ages if you’d like to make a day of it in Hamaren Activity Park.