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Nord-Trøndelag covers 22,412 square kilometres (8,653 sq mi), making it the sixth-largest county, and consists of 24 municipalities. The district of Innherred runs along the east side of the Trondheimsfjord, and is the most populated area, with much farming. To the south lays the district of Stjørdalen, while in the north, the larger district of Namdalen stretches from the Norwegian Sea to the mountains bordering Sweden. West of the Trondheimsfjord lays Fosen. Nord-Trøndelag borders Sør-Trøndelag to the south and Nordland to the north. The western part of the county has several large valleys and consists largely of unpopulated wilderness, including four national parks. Snåsavatnet is the largest lake, while major rivers include Namsen, Verdalselva and Stjørdalselva.
Innherred was a important area during the Viking Age and featured the Battle of Stiklestad. The county was created in 1804 and was known as Nordre Trondhjems amt until 1919. Since the 1950s, the county has experienced a population growth below national levels. The axis north–south through the country past Grong and along the west side of Trondheimsfjorden is a main transport artery, including the European Route E6 and the Nordland Line.