Beiarn is a quintessential Norwegian inland community, intersected by valleys big and small and surrounded by majestic mountains. The municipality is part of the Salten region, covering the top of Beiarfjorden, extending along both sides of the approx. 50-kilometre long Beiardalen, stretching toward the glacier Svartisen.
Archeological findings show that Beiarn was a thriving agricultural community as early as the Viking era, where the population farmed the land and engaged in animal husbandry. In addition, fishing and hunting have been important staples in the subsistence lifestyle in this region. Forests provided lumber for housing, as well as the materials for building boats. Beiarn was widely recognized as a key sloop-builder community in the height of the Nordland sloop.
Agriculture is the dominant industry. Most farms have forests for logging as well, predominantly pine. Farming is centred on animal husbandry, primarily cattle and goats, whereas some smaller farms keep sheep. Growing berries, vegetables and potatoes is on the rise. Milk and potatoes are key commercial products.
In the past, mining was also common; Moli slate quarry was established around 1900 and was active for several decades. Nowadays there are no mining activities in Beiarn, but there are some lumber companies.
Visitors to Beiarn can enjoy great hiking trails across Saltfjellet from Beiarstua, or spelunking in Gråtådalen, where there are several caves penetrating more than a kilometre into the mountain.
Settlement remains from the Viking era were discovered at Arstad near Moldjord in 1967, and this was the first discovery of its kind in Northern Norway. Beiarn Church from 1873, where the interior is from the 18th century, is also well worth a visit.
Beiarn's contribution to the "Footprints in the North" project is Old Gråtådal Road", a 15-kilometre hike almost to the treeline. Along the trail visitors can enjoy a restored turf hut, as well as caves and rivers moving underground.
Area (km2): 1.226
Administrative centre: Moldjord
Key industries: Agriculture