Living on the road has provided me with many magical experiences, but a select few were genuinely life-changing. The opportunity to kayak on the iconic Lovatnet lake was one such moment.
The lake is located in the municipality of Stryn (the closest village is Loen, 1.2 miles), 52 meters above sea level, and is close to 7 miles in length. Lovatnet is fed by the surrounding mountains, including several glaciers, which is why the water is a beautiful turquoise blue. If you plan to kayak, canoe, or paddleboard on the lake, parking and direct access to the shoreline is located at the Kjenndalstova Restaurant (Lodalsvegen 1623, 6789, Loen). A toll is required to access the Fv723 road/parking, but the nominal fee (around $5) is absolutely worth it. If you continue past the restaurant, the road takes you to the breathtaking Kjenndal Glacier viewpoint, which is not to be missed.
I recently featured Geiranger, Norway, and mentioned that while the fjord may look majestic and calm, it poses a significant danger to the surrounding villages due to the risk of landslides triggering tsunamis. It was this same danger that ended in tragedy on Lovatnet Lake in both 1905 and 1936. The first landslide fell from a height of 1,640 feet, triggering three megatsunamis of almost 133 feet that destroyed two villages and killed 61 people. Geologists concluded that the likelihood of another slide was minimal, so the villages were rebuilt. Tragically, in 1936 a second landslide from a height of 800 meters generated three megatsunamis (including one that was a colossal 243 feet high), destroying the villages and killing 74 people. If you paddle on the lake, there are stark reminders of the event—large debris remain on the lakebed. Now, Norway has some of the most advanced mountain monitoring technology in the world, ensuring that visitors to Lovatnet are perfectly safe.
I was fortunate enough to explore Norway with a hero of mine, kayaker, pro photographer, and GoPro Ambassador Tomasz Furmanek. If you’re not familiar with Tomasz, I implore you to check out his photography on Instagram (“tfbergen”), which documents his kayak expeditions on Norway’s most beautiful lakes, fjords, and coastlines (see photo below). While Tomasz’s photography is truly remarkable, it’s his kindness, friendship, and constant efforts to give back to the community that resonate above all else. During our time together, he went above and beyond, taking me hiking, bikepacking, and kayaking in locations I’d never had opportunity otherwise, and Lovatnet was one such experience. I remember one moment on the lake, surrounded by immeasurable beauty, sitting back in my kayak, and realizing this was one of the greatest moments of my life. Tomasz may not know this, but that outing motivated me to live on the road permanently. If you’d like to paddle on Lovatnet, but don’t have access to a kayak, enjoy a guided tour or rent a kayak from Loen Active.
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