Kjærra is a series of small but thunderous waterfalls in the Laagen river that halts the salomon run when the river is low. Historically, the site has been a rich fishing spot and old style fishing methods are now run like a living museum, with some more modern cultural events and festivals added. Seeing the weekly Thursday salomon catch (a trap, basically) being landed is interesting. Occasionally good music and some local food. A wooden footbridge crosses the river from the highway and parking site to the eastern bank where there is a festival ground and the fish traps and a good view of the waterfalls. Supposedly, this bridge impresses woodcraft specialists by its long span, apparently the longest in the world.
Ka Farsken Kro og Landsby Pub, the first two words are dialect for "what the h...", is the village pub of Hvittingfoss. Often putting on music shows, quiz and other light entertainment, what you should come for is beer and pizza. This being a small sort of town, the pub is closed when there are public events that the staff think people should attend rather than the pub. So watch out for competing events!
It's the only place that has late opening hours in Hvittingfoss.
Thursdays and Sundays till 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays till 2am, closed Mon-Tue-Wed.
Favorite Dish: Beer and pizza - or the other way around!
Frakken Spesial pizza, very good. Generous pizzas, good filling.
Furuly serves up quick meals from a moderately interesting menu - to go or to sit down and eat inside or outside. It is basically a local fastfood outlet, no large chain connection.
Favorite Dish: Hotdogs and soft ice during warm summer days.
The main eatery in Hvittingfoss is Nero's Cafe. Very Roman sounding, but actually a cross-breed of Chinese and local Norwegian food.
Børson is the cafe for afternoon and a post-shopping breather (the supermarket is across the road). it is actually an extension of a kiosk, bakery and flower shop.
At the gas station Best1 they have gas station fast food, and a good range of it.
Spiseriet across the street from the gas station similarily has some fast food in a more cafe-like setting.
Brufosskroa and Lindsverk Gjestegård are probably the places to go for best quality, but these places are located south of town in the neighbouring rural community of Svarstad.
The most recent addition is the Landsbypub - the Village Pub. Named so, perhaps after a Bristish TV serial? Beer and pizza.
Anglers retreat to small wooden lean-tos at the darkest hours of night and exchange stories, catch a nap and share food and drink, getting warmed up at bonfires. Nice if you are interested in fishing, otherwise...
These lean-tos are set up along the river banks to accommodate anglers and hikers. Good shelter for rain. If you are not fishing or have a licence for fishing, you must give way for bona fide anglers.
The Hvittingfoss power plant controls the flow of water into the old course of the river, including the Hvittingfoss Falls (20 meters). Just above the falls is a slickrock area and good spots for bathing. Beware that the sluices can open without warning and cause major flooding of this stretch of river. While the rise of the river will be gradual, the current can grow very strong very fast. There is a signboard ask you to be aware of this, but it is easily forgotten when you are out swimming in the large pool and playing on the slick rock!
Along the lågen valley there are two companies that are both specialists as well as local. One has gone national, but their local knowledge is still sufficient to qualify for my tight criteria to be awarded this outstanding recognition by me....he, he...
They offer specialized activities in the fishing realm ( Waterproof Flyfishing) and general outdoors activities across a wide spectre (Opptur Wilderness Experiences). As a semi-local I do not really need their services, but their reputation is good. Check web sites for specific activities.
Equipment: The companies will list any special gear your need to bring as per activity.
The Lågen River (different from Lågen at Lillehammer-Gudbrandsdal valley), is a very productive Atlantic salmon run from Larvik where it enters the sea to hvittingfoss, where a waterfall stops the run.
The fishing facilities are very good and diverse, with lots of side activities if the fish isn't up to it...
The river is divided into several administrative zones, the most prominent twos are Brufossfisket and Sjulstadfisket.
Equipment: Because of fear of parasites destroying the salmon stock, you must desinfect all your water gear.