The vast route network is developed in part from older thoroughfares and local footpaths as these mountains have been tackled by the Norwegians since the first Norse woman and man followed the reindeer when the ice cap retracted ten thousand years ago. With such an old and strong tradition of hiking in this country, you could also call this gigantic trail system, in part a question of supply and demand, in response to the needs of trekkers, as ensured by their ‘public right of access’. Yes, this law of the land is important for a simple Norwegian - the right to roam if you want to.
In Norway everyone has the unrestricted right of free access in the countryside, including the national parks. So in a way, the trails serve both to guide trekkers, on foot or on skis, and to protect plant and animal life by serving as limited channels for human foot traffic in the outdoors.
All trekking routes are clearly marked at intervals short enough to see from one mark to the next, even in rain, fog or the occasional blistering storm. They are of two types: summer hiking trails and winter cross-country skiing tracks.
It is custom for all travellers to follow the traditional nine-point mountain code ‘Fjellvettreglene’ (Ask a local what they are before you go, we all know them by heart). This set of rules from 1967 was in 2014 supplemented with ‘Fjellsjekkereglene’ – another nine-point guide intended to ‘help people find love in the mountains’. If you are single, remember to wear a green beanie.