Stollen Wanderweg – Mine Hike in Bad Bleiberg
Bad Bleiberg is a town located in the Austrian state of Carinthia that is known for its rich mining history. In 1993, the town closed its mining operations and opened some of its mines to the public through the creation of the Stollen Wanderweg hiking trail and Terra Mystica. The Stollen Wanderweg (translation “Tunnel Hike”) is an easy hiking trail that is perfect for families and those visiting Carinthia in search of learning more about the local history.
On the trail, there are 28 mine tunnel entrances, some of which are open and able to be explored. The tunnels are small and narrow, so be sure to be careful and enter them at your own risk. I highly recommend bringing a headlamp or flashlight if you intend on walking in the mines.
My partner and I hiked the Stollen Wanderweg at the beginning of April and we were the only people on the trail. It was a lot of fun to walk around the mines by ourselves while learning about the history of Bad Bleiberg.
My favourite part of visiting the Stollen Wanderweg was a tunnel that had lights. At the end of the tunnel, there was a display of some of the minerals mined in Bad Bleiberg as well as lights that lead down a steep mine shaft. It was very creepy and educational – what more could you ask for?
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
LOCATION: The trail starts at the Terra Mystica parking lot (Bleiberg-Nötsch 91, 9531 Bleiberg-Nötsch), follow signage for “Stollen Wanderweg” when you turn off the main street to the Terra Mystica parking lot. The entrance to the trail is marked by an arch that reads, “Stollen Wanderweg” with mine cars.
DISTANCE: 2.7 miles
WHEN TO GO: April – October
THE TRAIL: the trail is well maintained and marked with yellow signs for the “Stollen Wanderweg” featuring a crossed hammer and chisel. There are six rest places on the trail. The trail is a loop and will take you back to your starting place.
- Bring a flashlight. Some of the mines are accessible from the trail but do not have lights. Remember that you are exploring the mines at your own risk
- Trash cans and recycling are available in the parking lot, be sure to pack your trash with you for disposal
- No bathrooms
- No parking fees