The Slate Mining Trail (“Grubenwanderweg”)
Educational and Adventure Trail following in the footprints of historical slate mining.
The Slate Mining Trail ...
eads through the scenic Nossern Valley, past the relics of historic slate mining: imposing, terraced dumps, old mine cars, trails formerly used to transport the slate and now nearly completely overgrown, singular and quaint entry tunnels, all of which are a witness to the mining industry and past effigies of Saint Barbara, patron saint and helper in times of need for the miners.
The layout of the Slate Mining Trail was conceived in such a manner, that everyone, depending on their level of fitness and interest, can plan their own individual route. (Complete overall map at the parking area “Grubenwanderwerg” in Fell on the Bachstraße).
In front of the entry tunnels to the mines, ten slate roofed information boards are to be found. The slate roofing was donated and completed by the “Rathscheck Schieferbergbau” company, Mayen and lovingly designed in different roofing styles.
With the mine map on the information board, visitors can gain insight into the size and complexity of each mine system. There is also information on the history of each mine, the periods of operation and the number of galleries etc.
Educational Trail Since 1996
The Fell community, Friends of the Fell Exhibition Mine Association and the mine orchestra are continuing their efforts into the future, in order to make the Slate Mining Trail even more attractive, educational and family friendly. Thus in 1996 numerous resting seats were constructed. In addition to this, the existing information boards were supplemented by a further ten on the methods and history of slate mining and processing to roofing slate.
In front of each mine there is a display of mine cars.
What to Take With You!
The Slate Mining Trail is very rocky in parts and has steep inclines in others (ascent to the “Hofgrube”). As a consequence, reliable footwear is a must.
You should also bring a pair of binoculars. At different points along the path there are interesting views to the opposite side of the valley, the Thommerberg.
The landscape, the mine cars, the dumps and the different entry tunnels are all highly photogenic.
With a torch you can shine into the entry tunnels barred by grates (in order to protect the bats), sometimes you will even still see the pit car rails and with a flash it is possible to photograph into the tunnels. A camera with flash should definitely be brought along.
A trail map (such as the 1:25 000 trail map by VG Schweich, available at book stores or the tourist information office in 54338 Schweich, Brückenstasse 46) simplifies orientation while walking in Fell or any of the other neighbouring communities.