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  • Grisjað í Vaglaskógi, haust 2009
  • Grisjað í Vaglaskógi, haust 2009
  • Grisjað í Vaglaskógi, haust 2009
  • Grisjað í Vaglaskógi, haust 2009
  • Í Vaglaskógi
  • Í Vaglaskógi
  • Í Vaglaskógi
  • Í Vaglaskógi
  • Í Vaglaskógi
  • Kurl í Vaglaskógi
  • Næturgestir í Vaglaskógi
  • Tjaldsvæði í Vaglaskógi
  • Tjaldsvæði í Vaglaskógi
  • Starfsstöð Skógræktar ríkisins í Vaglaskógi
  • Timbur í Vaglaskógi
  • Timbur í Vaglaskógi
  • Trjárækt í Vaglaskógi
  • Trjásafnið í Vaglaskógi
  • Vaglaskógur
  • Vaglaskógur
  • Verkefnið Hringt í skóginn í Vaglaskógi
  • vaglaskogur

Vaglaskógur Forest

(Camping, in Fnjóskadalur Valley, 35 km E from Akureyri)
One of the most eye-catching forests in Iceland. The native Icelandic birch doesn't get much nicer and taller than here. Popular area for recreation with a variety of hiking trails and recreation possibilities.

A great place for camping

Vaglaskógur forest is located in Fnjóskadalur, the westernmost valley in Þingeyjarsveit district of Northeast Iceland. The valley is green and fertile with extensive woodlands.

Vaglaskógur forest boasts some of the tallest and most beautiful native birch trees in Iceland and is among the most popular forests in Iceland. Every year thousands of guests enjoy a stay in the forest which is ideal for outings. Vaglaskógur has well organized camp sites and recreational areas. Guests come from far and near, and some even camp for the entire summer on long term caravan sites available in the forest.

Points of interest

Sevaral marked walking trails provide various options for exercise and sightseeing. Among points of interest is the arboretum above the tree nursery and Arnþórslundur grove. A short walk from the grove are some old ruins with beautifully laid walls of turf and stone.

Iceland's longest spring fed river, Fnjóská, runs through the valley alongside Vaglaskógur forest. It is considered among the most beautiful fishing rivers in Iceland. Crossing the river at the northern perimeter of the forest is an old stone arch bridge, built in 1908. It was the first of its kind in Iceland and the longest stone arch bridge in Scandinavia at the time. It has been restored to its original state and now serves as a walking bridge only.

Located centrally in the forest is a service and information centre with a small convenience store which is open during the summer months. Directly across from it is a bridge crossing the river.

One of Iceland's largest continuous forests

Vaglaskógur is one part of a bigger forest area, one of the largest continuous forests in Iceland which covers most of the eastern side of Fnjóskadalur valley south of Ljósavatnsskarð pass. Extending north from it is Hálsskógur forest and to the south are the forests Lundsskógur, Þórðarstaðaskógur, Belgsárskógur and Bakkaselsskógur. The different names are due to the traditional farm names although they are in fact one continuous forest.

Conservation and forestry work

The two northernmost forests, Vaglaskógur and Hálsskógur, lie within a forest conservation fence which spans about 690 hectares. Conservation of the forest dates back to 1905 and Vaglir has been the residence of a forestry ranger ever since 1909. North Iceland is the district of the ranger at Vaglir on behalf of the Icelandic Forest Service.

No birch forest in Iceland has been the subject of strategic conservation as long as Vaglaskógur and the results of this conservation work is evident as you walk through the forest. The birch trees in Vaglaskógur have a distinctive character. The trunk is notably light in colour and they grow straighter and taller than the native birch usually does elswhere in the country. The Vaglir birch can reach well over 10 metres and the highest birch presently in the forest is about 14 metres tall.

Utilization

There is a long history of forest utilization in Vaglaskógur which is not a common tradition in Iceland. Charcoal pits found in Vaglaskógur and Hálsskógur, are evidence of charcoal production from birch which was used for smelting iron and a large heap of slag found in Þórðarstaðaskógur suggests extensive iron production.

Today, there is seed production at Vaglir, an experimental tree nursery run by the Icelandic Forest Service. Christmas trees are harvested here and wood processing is an increasing activity. The birch is a popular craft material commonly used for making kitchen utensils as it does not splinter nor give flavour. It also serves well as firewood in fireplaces and wood stoves. Birch kindling is also widely used for smoking foods.

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