The Coastal Trail - Kirkøy
Coastal Trail at Kirkøy island
The trail starts at Skjærhalden square and runs through a settlement of old wooden houses and westwards to the Homlungen Lighthouse. The lighthouse is situated on an islet just off the coastal trail. It continues downwards to the public area Storesand, which is Østfold's finest swimming beach. There is a beach cafe here during the summer season.The trail continues west and through the old pine forest in the Prestegårdsskogen nature reserve to the next sandy beach and recreational area, Ørekroken. If you walk close to the water's edge on the sandy beach at Ørekroken, you'll find many nice shells. The beach is one of the most popular locations in Eastern Norway for wind-surfing. On the beach meadow there are lots of insects, including butterflies.
Uttermost at Rødshue are old quarries after stone masons. In association with Hvaler Rotary, Hvaler Kunstforening (Hvaler Art Association) has developed an international arts and cultural environment on the site, with a sculpture park. Monuments and installations are put up along the trail.
The Coastal Trail runs along the quarry's old path all the way to the former loading harbor at Grønnebakke and then east towards the Hvaler tunnel. Returning back to Skjærhalden, the Coastal Path runs through the forest. The character of the landscape changes in a snap from windswept coast to a lofty and sheltered forest.
Kirkøy has a rich history with memorials from changing eras, Bronze Age mounds, house foundations from the Middle Ages, a medieval church, nature reserve and remains of masonry.
The coastal path on Asmaløy starts at Åsebu by Hvaler's main road. From here the trail continues along the idyllic Asmal sound and down to Brattestø where we find the first attraction on the trip, the Pikesten Lighthouse. The trail continues past Pikesten and further soutwards. Here is a wonderful public area with lush meadows, coastal heathlands, pebble rocks and one of Hvaler's longest continuous polished rock areas.
Along the entire Fredrikstad coastline are all the ingredients we desire for the vacational menu. The sound of slapping waves and motorboats, sheltered bays, beaches and islets you can have all to yourself if you're lucky. The summer day can be started with a morning swim in the salty sea, and when the sun bakes a brown back, shrimp may taste delicious on the wharf, or a boat trip in the archipelago may seem just as tempting.
Bring your bike! Here, on the car-free island there are so many wide and narrow paths that it would take days to get to know them all, so here the bike comes in handy. The coastal trail om Søndre Sandøy is just a tiny part of the large network of paths on Norway's most forested island.
About the coastal trail in Hvaler
The official Coastal Trail presently only exists on the Hvaler islands Søndre Sandøy, Kirkøy, Asmaløy and Vesterøy. The official coastal trail network doesn't consist of as many kilometers as one would expect in such a large open air paradise. There are footpaths on the Hvaler islands which have been there for several hundred years. It's probably of minor importance for your open air experience whether the path is marked with a blue sign or not. Please, help yourself to the most marvellous hiking landscape you can imagine.