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Hedmark makes up the northeastern part of Østlandet, the southeastern part of the country. It includes a long part of the borderline with Sweden, Dalarna County and Värmland County. The largest lakes are Femunden and Mjøsa. It also includes parts of Glomma. Geographically, Hedmark is in the traditional sense divided in the following areas: Hedemarken, east of Mjøsa, Østerdalen, north of Elverum, and Glåmdalen, south of Elverum. Hedmark and Oppland are the only Norwegian counties with no coastline. Hedmark also hosted some of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games.
Hamar, Kongsvinger, Elverum and Tynset are cities in the county. Hedmark is one of the less urbanized areas in Norway; about half of the inhabitants live on rural land. The population is mainly concentrated in the rich agricultural district adjoining Mjøsa to the southeast. The county's extensive forests supply much of Norway's timber; logs were previously floated down Glomma to the coast but are now transported by truck and train.
The Hedmark municipality of Engerdal has the distinction of marking the current southernmost border in Norway of Sápmi, the traditional region of the Sami people.