Henfallet (pronounced “HEN-fall-uh”) was unlike the other waterfalls we had visited throughout Norway in that this giant wasn’t near any of the famous fjords along the country’s west. In fact, it was probably closer to the Swedish border than it was to the charming city of Trondheim, which was where we were staying on the day of our visit to this falls. Nonetheless, Julie and I made a long detour from the charming city to get to the village of Ås in the Tydal Municipality, which was where this waterfall was situated. Our desire to pursue this waterfall was quite strong since we had known about it from our pre-trip research, which had really built up our expectations.
Indeed, we had plenty of reasons to go out of our way to get here, not the least of which, was that we were witnessing the highest waterfall in the Sør-Trøndelag county at 90m. It also had very high volume for a waterfall so tall thanks to the river Hena aggregating several other large rivers and watercourses further upstream. Because the river and its sources were not regulated for hydroelectric power, we felt like we were witnessing that rare waterfall where we were seeing it as it was supposed to be – natural and wild.
From the little car park (see directions below), which had room for just a few cars, we noticed trails that branched out in several directions across the local county road to get here. That said, we only ended up doing a short scramble on a use trail leading to the view you see in the photo at the top of this page. I’m sure one or more of those other trails might have taken us to closer to the misty bottom of the falls. Nonetheless, Julie and I still felt some drops of mist making it all the way to our somewhat distant vantage point, further demonstrating the sheer volume that the river Hena was putting out as it made its dramatic plunge.
Even though we didn’t have time to go to the UNESCO World Heritage mining town of Røros, I’m sure that it would’ve been a great day-long loop tour from Trondheim and back when combined with Henfallet. We’ll have to do this next time if we are fortunate to return to this part of Norway.
Something interesting about the name of this waterfall was that there was no “foss” in its official name (if it did, I’d imagine it might be called Henafossen). Instead, its name Henfallet was almost like a compound word saying quite literally “the Hena [River] falls”. I’m not sure if there were some regional or cultural variations giving rise to certain subtle differences in how the Norwegian language and its place names were to be used, but the waterfall’s close proximity to Sweden might also have something to do with it. I can’t say for sure, however.
Even though Trondheim wasn’t the nearest town to the falls, we based ourselves here so we’ll give you the directions from the city. By the way, Trondheim was 495km (about 6.5 hours drive) north of Oslo.
First, we headed east on the E6 for about 30km to an offramp that led us to the Route 705 near the town of Hell (yes, it wasn’t lost on me that we quite literally went to Hell). I recalled that we had to go through two toll stations (at 25 NOK and 10 NOK in each direction) to even get to this offramp so that was something to keep in mind as well.
Once we were on the Road 705, we’d follow the signs and continue south on this road for the next 89km into the town of Ås. There was a visitor center in town where we got some verbal directions from the friendly lady working there just before she was about to close the office. It was a good thing she gave us some local hints because we knew to keep driving east of town. Shortly after continuing east on the Road 705, where it next made a curve to the south, we then saw a white sign telling us the way to Henfallet. Next, we turned right and followed a local road due west (ignoring the spur roads on both sides of us). Some 660m from the Route 705, we crossed a bridge over the river Tya where we saw the waterfall Kvernfossen further upstream of us.
Beyond the bridge, the road became unpaved as the conditions worsened the further we went. The road appeared to be an old logging road or something as it seemed like we were driving on grass with tire treads cutting through it. So while the underside of our low-clearance would get tickled by the protruding grass in the middle of the road, we also had to watch out for some potholes as well. Eventually after 7.5km of navigating through this road, turning to the south when it started to follow alongside the Hena River, we finally arrived at the small car park for Henfallet. There was a sign by the car park telling us in Norwegian most of the encyclopedic information that I regurgitated above while also indicating to us we were at the right place. That said, we were also able to see Henfallet even as we were approaching the car park so indeed it was hard to miss.
Just to give you an idea of the time commitment involved, it took us about 2 hours 15 minutes in each direction. So clearly, this would be a pretty long day tour, especially if we would budget time to visit Røros on a future visit. That would suggest that if we were to plan to spend time in this region, we would need at least 2 full days in Trondheim to appreciate the city as well as to do this waterfall and the UNESCO World Heritage site.
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