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For the slightly more ambitious, follow the Nidelva river southwards from the Nelaug train station with direction Arendal, through hilly forests.
NELAUG-ARENDAL CYCLE TRIP
The cycle route Nelaug - Arendal was marked in 1990 and since then it has delighted many on trips by train and bicycle. It was the Friends of Arendalsbanen who took the initiative to signpost the cycle route. They look over the route every year.
The cycle tour is around 24 miles long and mostly goes through slightly hilly, scenic terrain on roads with little traffic. The trip can be completed in a few hours, but it is recommended to spend the whole day. Arendalsbanens Venner wishes everyone a good cycle ride from Nelaug to Arendal.
From Nelaug station, the cycle route follows county road 412 for the first two kilometres. At the start there is approx. 800 meters of ascent, then fairly flat terrain. After Smaltjenn, turn right and follow the gravel road towards Vimme. There the road goes to the left, and rises up and over one of the tunnels on the Sørlandsbanen (Southern Norway railway), then steeply down to the bridge over Grytbekken and on to the crossroads at Flatenveien. Turn right down towards the Flat. A couple of hundred meters after the stop there, there are nice swimming and resting opportunities at the rocky outcrops by Nidelva.
The tour continues on the bridge over the railway line with a wide view over the waterway, further past Flatenfoss power station, Kiland and Haugsjå in the direction of Bøylefoss. Feel free to take a detour to Haugsjå's former stop and visit the newly refurbished expedition building.
After Haugsjå you continue down the s-bends past Bøylefoss power station. Then follow Vålandsveien to the right towards Bøylestad. A couple of hundred meters after the truss bridge there is also a great rest area by Nidelva. Turn right and follow the path over the field to get there.
When the Bøylestad farms are passed, the cycle route turns left along the road towards Hersel, then right up the slopes past Bjønnum and on towards Lyngroth. It descends steeply down to Lyngrothgårdene, and rises steeply again in the direction of Bjornes. You then cycle in slightly hilly terrain with idyllic waters along the road towards the turning point on Bjornesveien. From here there is a paved road past the car park to Granestua. A detour to Granestua is recommended.
The cycle route continues down the slopes past the Skjævestad farms to the bridge at Lona. Here you turn off to the right along Longumvannet to Gangdalen, and from there continue the hiking trail to Eskestølveien. Follow this road to Myra, then turn left onto Gunhildsboveien down towards Rånakanalen. Here you turn right over the canal, and follow the footpath and cycle path along Langsævannet back to the railway station.
An alternative route is to cycle from Lona out to Longum, and follow the walking and cycling paths from here along county roads 421 and 420 back to the railway station.
Tickets: Train and bicycle tickets can be purchased in advance in the Go-Ahead app, on the Go-Ahead website www.go-aheadnordic.no, at the machine at Arendal station or from Go-Ahead customer service tel. 61 25 80 00. It is limited number of places for bicycles on Arendalsbanen. Groups must book places in advance with Go-Ahead customer service.
On ut.no they have published a digital map of the Nelaug-Arendal trip.
Arendalsbanens Venner has also made a really nice paper map with a description and pictures, which can be obtained from the tourist office.
Source: Arendalsbanens Venner