Akureyri in the North of Iceland is a very popular destination for anyone traveling around the country. This beautiful town has 18.000 inhabitants and is very lively and energetic. Akureyri offers many great places to run with quality paths in and around the town, and Kjarnaskógur forest especially is a must-visit for any enthusiastic runner.
Kjarnaskogur is located 5km south of Akureyri and is Iceland’s most visited forest. The recreational area is approximately 600 ha.
It is easy to get to the trails of Kjarnaskogur by car if you only want to run on trails but another option is to follow the coastline and Eyjafjarðará river path from the harbor alongside the affectionately named “Pollurinn” (“the Puddle”) towards and past the airport.
The entrance to the Kjarnaskogur area is clearly marked with big signs, but the last time we were there (September 2015) the path ended about 100 meters from the entrance.
Last summer the path along the Eyjafjarðará river underwent some dramatic changes. The path has been extended and beautified. The path is now lit with light poles carved from the woodland of Kjarnaskópur. There is also artwork by the path and more changes are planned, all part of an ambitious program to recreate the coastline.
From the parking lot of Kjarnaskógur there is a 2 km long marked circle but that is only one of many possible routes to take with over 12 kilometers of gravel trails, and numerous other forest trails.
The forest administration site has a map of the trails.
The photo below shows a 14 km route from the swimming pool down to the harbor and to Kjarnaskógur and back.
It is also possible to take another route back to Akureyri and run on the trails above the town instead of going the same way back.