The Halden Canal was constructed between 1852 and 1860 according to the plans of Engebret Soot (1786-1859), and allows vessels to travel within Norway but parallel to the Swedish border from Tistedal, 4 km. from the sea at Halden, to Skulerud, a distance of almost 80 km. The canal was extensively used for timber haulage, but there were also steam boat passenger services. The canal’s museum is at Ørje, alongside the three locks that link the lakes Rødenessjøen and Øymarksjøen. It is located in a former pulp mill, Ørje Brug, and includes displays about timber hauling on the canal and the subsequent use of the wood for making pulp and paper. The museum also has sections dealing with ecology, and is a centre for outdoor pursuits.
More than 20 steamboats worked on the canal in the course of its commercial history, the first of them starting work in 1861, and six are displayed or under restoration, amongst them the Turisten, a 76-ton vessel built at Christiania (Oslo) in 1887 which was active until 1963, the Thor, of 1903, and the Engebret Soot of 1861, also built at Christiania, which was used on the canal for hauling timber.