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64°08'54.8"N 21°42'38.7"W



A holistic vision for a vibrant mountain in an urban setting

Úlfarsfell is a 300m high mountain in the urban setting of the capital area, on the borders of Mosfellsbær municipality and Reykjavik city. It has a gentle shape and is easily accessible for hikers and outdoor activity enthusiasts, making it is a very popular mountain to walk and in the recent years cycling, and even paragliding. Úlfarsfell is also the setting for forestry, land restoration and soon to be a graveyard. So, Úlfarsfell is a vibrant mountain that plays an important role for the citizens as a multi-use outdoor location and a playground.

Due to its recreational importance the main footpaths are worn and battered with footpath erosion frequently visible. The Municipality of Mosfellsbær in cooperation with the local scouting group operate a voluntary footpath team in maintaining the busiest access routes. However, the municipality has greater ambitions to develop a management plan for their side of the mountain including a holistic vision for its path system and use.


By participating in the ASCENT project, the municipality hopes to gain capacity and the necessary path management knowledge to succeed, for the betterment of Úlfarsfell Mountain.

There is no one universal solution to the footpath erosion in our hills and mountains as every site has its unique natural, social conditions and stakeholder issues. At Úlfarsfell, the highly erodible Icelandic volcanic soil washes away any surface material. By understanding the interaction of water, surface material and mountain gradient are key factors in building a sustainable footpath. Taking into consideration the different recreational use is vital and giving stakeholders an opportunity to expressing their views is also very important for the delivery of successful footpath project.

Recognising there are no quick fix solutions in footpath management is important.  The ASCENT project seeks to find site-specific solutions for footpath management. By visiting different sites across the partnership and learning and sharing knowledge, the ASCENT partners are developing a toolkit to guide the future direction for upland sites.  



Did you know?

Úlfarsfell draws it name from the man name Úlfur, meaning wolves, which is strange because there are no wolves in Iceland and there never has been any. Therefore, the name must have come with the settlers, who knew wolves from Scandinavia or perhaps the British Isles.

Mr. David Arnar Stefansson

Ascent Project Partner



Mosfellsbær municipality has great expectations for participation in the ASCENT project in getting assistance and preferably an action plan to build and maintain hiking tracks on mount Úlfarsfell which are under great threat from increased usage.

— Tómas Guðberg Gíslason

Environmental Director at Mosfellsbær Municipality

The project is very important in every way. We are developing a new trail app that will contribute to the project. I am very optimistic about the progress of the project and I am certain that the results will be of great use.

— Björn Traustason

GIS specialist at the Icelandic Forest Servic

ASCENT Partner Sites