Formofossen was a powerful river waterfall on the Sanddøla River with a reported cumulative drop of 34m over its entire run.
I doubted that the waterfall’s main plunge was that tall based on what we were able to see, which the photo at the top of this page might attest.
In fact, I looked at the topographic maps and measured the elevation drop, which was more like 10m if you only focus on that main drop.
But waterfall height aside, it seemed like this waterfall and the river itself might be more of a salmon fishing destination than a sightseeing attraction.
This was based on some of the infrastructure and signage that we saw during both of our visits – first in early July 2005 and later in July 2019.
Julie and I actually only knew of this waterfall as we chanced upon signage pointing the way to Formofossen.
This was during our first trip to Norway in 2005 when we saw a blue sign indicating its presence as we were making the long drive north along the E6 from Trondheim to Mo I Rana.
From a paved clearing (see directions below), we followed an unpaved dirt path leading downhill towards a sheltered picnic area with a fenced view at the brink of Formofossen.
At the picnic area, we also looked further upstream towards the road bridge, where there were more minor cascades that probably helped to add to this waterfall’s overall elevation drop of 34m.
The trail continued to descend further downstream before reaching a set of steps as well as a ladder leading right down to the river.
On our first visit, the ladder actually dropped right into the Sanddøla, but on our second visit, the river must have been lower because the rocks below were exposed.
Anyways, the steps ultimately led to a rock outcrop giving us a more distant profile view of the falls (as shown in the photo at the top of this page).
However, this stairway and outcropping felt dangerous since the river was flowing hard, and it seemed real easy to fall into the river if one were to slip and fall while on that rock.
Honestly, I couldn’t even believe that the ladder next to this outcrop leading right into the river existed.
That said, this fed my perception that this infrastructure was largely to support salmon fishers wishing to catch the salmon that would likely gather here (even if there might have been a salmon ladder to help them get over this obstacle).
Salmon Parasite at Formofossen
Now something that really got our attention while visiting Formofossen back in July 2005 was the presence of some signs indicating the presence of parasites that were wiping out a large portion of the salmon population in Norway.
Salmon fishing was said to comprise a large part of the Norwegian economy so I’m sure this was a devastating calamity at the time.
To my knowledge, it’s still not known what caused this parasite outbreak, but signage that we’ve seen in 2019 suggested that there were practices that could be done to contain or limit the spread of the parasite.
While it may be controversial, we’ve chatted with random Norwegians on that later trip to Norway where there was suggestion that salmon farming (as opposed to wild salmon) may have something to do with it.
Formofossen was just to the south of the small town of Grong.
From Grong, we drove south on the E6 for about 9km to a signed turnoff for the Fv74 on the left (note that this road leads to the Swedish border).
Once on the Fv74, we then took it for a little over a kilometer before turning left (following the signs for Formofossen).
We then followed this road for about a kilometer before keeping left at the next fork to go past the railroad and drive the remaining 300m to the car park on the right.
This drive would take on the order of about 15 minutes.
Going in the opposite direction starting from Steinkjer, we would drive about 70km north on the E6 before turning right onto the Fv74.
Then, we’d follow the directions as above to reach the car park for Formofossen.
This drive would take about an hour without stops.
For geographical context, the town of Grong was 49km (under an hour drive) east of Namsos, 80km (about an hour drive) north of Steinkjer, 200km (under 3 hours drive) north of Trondheim, 192km (under 3 hours drive) south of Mosjøen, and 279km (about 4 hours drive) south of Mo I Rana.
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