Part of section 41, 2 km. Koppartorp
Start in Koppartorp.  GPS: N 58°38.703'   E 016°53.995'

Demanding mountain walk with steep and wide ascents across flat rock forest. Requires normal physical fitness and sturdy shoes.

The walk takes you up on Simonberget from the main route (section 41) south of Hertighag. After a short, steep walk you come into light, winding flat rock terrain leading to the top of Simonberget, where your efforts will be rewarded. The views are magnificent.

The tranquil agricultural landscape below, now a pastoral idyll, was seething with activities from the early Middle Ages until 1919. The many copper, iron and cobalt mines are now disused. The inn and the shops have long since closed. The beautiful 17th century wooden church is a reminder of the former glory days. The mine galleries ran deep below the fields you now see to the south and south-west. The red cottage, Tomta, to the south-west is the only remaining building from the extensive millworks that operated pumps and machinery. Behind the building is a small stream, which has been dammed up a little higher up the slope. When required, water from the Tomta dam was diverted into flumes to drive the water wheels. The remaining water wheel operated a 600 metre flat rod system, an invention that revolutionised the mining industry. Before then, water for the mines was pumped up by hand or by using so called oxen mills. In the parish of Björkvik, near section 29, an oxen mill has been restored and at Lake Göksjön, north of Skottvång, there is a renovated wheel house with a 13 m high water wheel and some rods. The flat rod system from this wheel house could transmit sufficient power to keep the mines Storgruvan and Magdalenagruvan (165 metres deep) free of water. Here are two more water wheels. One operated the cobalt ore washing plant and the other the stamping plant.

Rock climbers discuss routes. The rock climbing association Tunabergs Högfjälls- och klätterklubb has set up some vertical trails connecting to Sörmlandsleden – perhaps something for the adventurous walker. Simonberget, made of compact granite, offers many of the features desired by climbers: intricate vertical rift systems, steep rockfaces, protruding rock formations and overhang. Simonberget has become internationally renowned in climbing circles.

For us more careful walkers, the path takes us along the ridge and then down to the lush valley to the east of the mountain Kummelberget, which is now a wildlife sanctuary and may not be climbed. The path turns to the left, passes an earth closet and then rejoins the main route.

2016-05-17