Husafellsskogur, Borgarbyggd

Húsafellskógur was first protected in 1974, but the protection was re-evaluated in 2001. Húsafellsskógur is a quite vast birch forest and a popular area for outdoor activities. The distance from the ocean and the proximity to streams and rivers make Húsafellsskógur a unique habitat. Birch is nearly the only indigenous tree species in Iceland that forms forests. Birch forests are believed to have covered up to 30% of Iceland at the start of the Settlement but now only cover about 1.2%.


Húsafellskógur is easily accessible. A hiking trail runs from the Service Centre, where you can also see a map of the area and get information on hiking trails. An old road runs through the nature reserve that can be used for various outdoor activities and is popular with visitors to the area.

Rules of Conduct

  • Construction, ground disturbances and alterations to the land are subject to permission from the Environment Agency.
  • General access and legal stays in the area are permitted provided that visitors conduct themselves properly.
  • It is prohibited to unnecessarily cut vegetation, harm wildlife, spoil water or damage geological formations.
  • Driving is permitted on roads and marked tracks.
  • Livestock grazing is prohibited in the nature reserve and herding sheep through the nature reserve is prohibited.

General access to the area is permitted. Observe good conduct and be respectful of nature and other visitors.

About the nature reserve

Húsafellsskógur is on the Húsafell grounds in the rural areas of Borgarfjörður. Húsafell has been a popular summer holiday destination among Icelanders for years. Húsafell is an old central volcano, and its remains and traces can be found in many places. The area has a beautiful and varied colour palette in all seasons: summer, winter, spring and fall. Many great artists have been inspired by the Húsafell grounds, and within the reserve, you’ll see artwork by Páll Guðmundsson, an artist from Húsafell. Various curious creatures made by Páll can be seen along the hiking trail.

For a long time, there was a lot of sheep grazing in Húsafell and the regeneration of birch was slow and the grounds were in bad shape. With protection from grazing, the forest has rebounded and is now flourishing, birch regeneration is high and the forest has grown steadily.