The county of North Trondelag is located in central Norway. The county makes up the northern part of the Tröndelag region, whose largest city, Trondheim, is found in neighbouring South Trondelag County. North Trondelag is divided into 24 municipalities inhabited by a total of some 127.000 people.
The towns of Steinkjer, Stjördal, Levanger, Verdal and Namsos are the most densely populated areas, with Steinkjer as the county’s administrative centre.
The northern part of the county is called Namdal and the southern part Inntröndelag.
Two major highways and two railway lines meet in Stjördal. The region’s modern airport is also located here, at Værnes. Collectively these transport facilities make Stjördal and North Trondelag an important communications link in central Norway. On the topic of transport; the municipalities of Inderöy and Mosvik are linked by the world’s longest bridge using inclined cable suspension – 1.010 meters long across the Skarnsundet sound.
The lowlands around the Trondheim Fjord are among Norway’s most fertile farmlands. The country surrounding Lake Snåsavatnet, the flat regions of Namdal and the island of Jöa, are all fertile agricultural areas. In general, the entire county is characterised by agriculture, beautiful landscapes and well-kept farms. Dairy production is particularly prominent throughout the county, and large amounts of potatoes and vegetables are grown in the lowlands along the eastern side of the Trondheim Fjord.
The processing industry affiliated with agriculture provides many jobs in the county. In addition, 27 % of North Trondelag is covered with forests, primarily spruce. The forests secure jobs for many farmers and yield considerable employment at sawmills and other wood-processing plants – among them Norske Skog’s plant near Levanger, the third largest papermill in Europe.
Fishing has always played a major role in the coastal municipalities of western Namdal. The Vikna area is the largest fishing community in the county, and each year many tourists visit the old, scenic fishing village of Sör-Gjæslingan in the Vikna archipelago. Tourists will also find deep-sea fishing opportunities in all the coastal communities, where salmon farming is also an important export industry.
The papermill of Norske Skog (in English: “Norwegian Forest”) and the oil rig producer Aker Verdal are by far the largest companies in the county. Industry is generally characterised by small and medium-sized companies, and service industries have experienced strong growth in recent years. North Trondelag has two modern hospitals in Levanger and Namsos .
The county meets its demand for electric energy by hydro-electric power. There are more than 30 hydro-electric powerstations in the county, most of which are located in the Namdal region. In addition, Vikna has Norway’s biggest windpower park with experimental operation of windmills for generating electricity. In the 1990s oil production on the Norwegian continental shelf also began as far north as the Norwegian Sea just off North Trondelag.
In summer, North Trondelag sees a considerable flow of tourists pass through on their way to the North Cape. But the county can also offer tourists many of its own attractions. Since the 1830s, salmon fishing in the Namsen river – The Queen of Rivers – has attracted anglers from both Norway and abroad.
Every summer a magnificent historical play about King Olav the Holy is staged at Stiklestad. The culture associated with this saint spread rapidly across the country following his death in the battle of Stiklestad in the year 1030.
North Trondelag has several churches dating from the Middle Ages, as well as ruins of monasteries. In the Åsenfjord you can see the remains of the fortress of Norway’s last Catholic archbishop, Olav Engelbrektson. The fortress is located at Steinviksholm, from where the archbishop fled when the Danish king instituted Reformation and annexed Norway to Denmark in 1537. The event is commemorated every year with the musical “Lucie”, dramatically staged among the ruins of the fortress at Steinviksholm.
North Trondelag County has a varied natural landscape with abundant opportunities to enjoy the outdoor life. The county’s coast offers many fjords and islands with excellent possibilities for fishing and boat excursions. The inland mountains offer a vast, untouched wilderness for hikers, fishermen and hunters to enjoy. Every year many visitors find their way to the national parks of this region.
The countryside and
wilderness areas are also home to a large variety of animals, birds and plants.
When walking through the forests, you will often encounter hares, foxes, deer
and Norwegian moose. Large predators also roam these areas, but meeting a bear,
a wolverine or
a lynx is not a daily occurrence for hikers. On the other hand it
is quite common to spot reindeer, but these are domestic animals which the Sami
people leave to graze in the mountains.