The Ancient Trail - Articles - Visit Østfold

The Ancient Trail

A journey through Østfold's Bronze and Iron Ages.


Late one summer evening in 1958 the cows at Kalnes in Sarpsborg were returning from the meadow. A group of them took a detour up a slope and one cow slid and fell, scraping away moss that covered the rocks. The man who was herding them rushed over and discovered that the rock face was covered in carved figures of ships, animals, and people. The cow was no worse for wear and had inadvertently exposed 3000 year old rock carvings.

There are many traces of prehistoric people in Østfold’s landscape, particularly near the fertile Ridge. This spine of sand and gravel running through Østfold is formed by moraine from the Ice Age. Today’s E6 motorway follows the Ridge. At exit 4 you will find the Solberg Tower rest area.


This is the perfect starting point for exploring the Ancient Trail, a series of twelve heritage sites open to the public. Here you will find rock art and burial cairns from the Bronze Age, stone circles and burial sites from the Iron Age. Several sites are accessible by wheelchair.




Did you know that..


There are almost 500 rock art sites in Østfold?


Rock carvings are painted red to make them easier to see for today's visitors? Originally they were not painted, the carved grooves standing out against the dark rock face.


The oldest wheel found in Norway is from Sarpsborg and ca. 400 BC was part of a wagon?


Cookies uses cookies, which are stored by your browser, to improve your experience on our website. Continue to use the page as normal if you accept this. Read more about our use of cookies here.