North Mines Trail
The North Mines Trail follows the huge, opencast Cobalt Mines in the area near where cobalt was first discovered in 1772. With accommodating observation points along the way and information boards posted next to the cultural relics, this makes for a fascinating, educational and easily accessible tour through a distinctive mining landscape.
If we stand in the Mining Yard, where the trail begins, and look up at the big cliff faces where we can clearly see the neat rock strata, we begin to realise that this used to be the site of some heavy-duty activity. This cultural trail will take us into the heart of the cultural monuments. Here are the foundation walls of buildings which had various functions for the mines, and other traces of ore extraction from the Cobalt Mines.
If we follow the cultural trail all the way, it will take us to the top of the North Mines. It was here that the ‘silver thief’ Ole Withloch found the first stone containing cobalt ore in 1772. The views from here are fantastic, either looking down across the opencast mines toward the Mining Yard, or looking out over the settlement and Tyrifjord. If you remember to write in our book in the postbox on the little bridge over the opencast mine, you will be entered into this year’s prize draw.
At the top of the North Mines are the ‘royal stones’. Because you are walking in royal footsteps here. Look for the orange inscriptions in the rock, made by King Harald V and Minister of Finance von Stemann.
A short side trail from the cultural trail takes you down to the Norwegian Trekking Association’s Koboltkoia tracking cabin. This is a no-service tracking cabin with 12 beds in a stunning location at the North Mines.
Along the trail we have created special viewpoints which allow you to get right up to the opencast mines. These are also suitable for electric wheelchairs. Because of the terrain and the height difference on this trail, we recommend that you use electric wheelchairs.