Hiking paths with information signs

The hiking and biking path through Mosfellsbær is not just a fine way to get some healthy exercise and fresh air. It also links up a series of information signs highlighting the history, culture and nature of selected places. Locations are marked with numbers on the map. The biking path goes from Úlfarsá river, along the shore at Leiruvogur, past Varmá sports centre and on to Mosfellsdalur, while the path from Álafosskvos to Reykir is a footpath only. 

Map of Mosfellsbær 2007 (.pdf - 3.2mb)

1. Úlfarsá - The river Úlfarsá marks the boundary between Mosfellsbær and Reykjavík. Úlfarsá (also known as Korpa) drains from Lake Hafravatn, and is a fine salmon fishing river. The entire river from source to estuary is listed in the register of natural relics. On the left-hand side on the way to Mosfellsbær from Reykjavík, ruins and stone walls (under a protection order) can be seen at Blikastaðanes, from the time when it was a fishing or trading centre.
2. Leiruvogur bay was a well known mooring point for ships in the 10th-13th centuries. According to the ancient Book of Settlements, Þórður Skeggi, the first settler of Mosfell, found his high-seat pillars washed up here after he had thrown them overboard for the gods to guide him to his new home. Three rivers enter Leiruvogur: Leirvogsá, Kaldakvísl and Varmá. At the Varmá estuary, under a protection order since 1980, there is rich plant life including the rare Black Grass (jucus gerardi), and colourful bird life.
3. Skiphóll - An old mooring point for ships (lit. "Ship's Hill"). The information sign is located just off the path at the Varmá estuary; at high tide, ships could sail as far inland as the hill.
4. Varmá - First mentioned in 14th century sources as farmland with a church dedicated to St. Peter. The land was owned by the monastery on Viðey island until the reformation, when it became the property of the Danish king. Now the location of the town's sports centre, leisure area and campsite.
5. Brúarland - The school built at Brúarland in 1922 was the only one in the town for forty years, and also served as a cultural centre until 1951.
6. Stekkjarflöt - The impressive work of art at Stekkjarflöt is by Magnús Tómasson and titled "House of the Poet - House of Time."
7. Bridge over Varmá - Map of the path
8. Álafosskvos - Where the wollen´s factory Álafoss was once one of the main employer´s in Mosfellsbær
9. Álafoss - The river Varmá, used to be where the local swimming pool
10. Álanes - Specimines of various trees and one of Mosfellsbær´s oldest trees, plantet in in the thirties.
11. Reykjavík Energy pumping station - Geothermal water was first harnessed at Reykir just outside Mosfellsbær in the 1930s, using both hot springs and boreholes locally and in Mosfellsdalur. A concrete-cased pipe was laid to carry water to Reykjavík in 1943.
12. Reykir - For centuries there was a large farm on this land, and in 1922-3 Iceland's first geothermally heated greenhouse was built here. According to tradition, the local clergyman warned against pumping up hot water from the depths of the Earth, since no one could be sure where it really came from!
13. Church Lágafell - Picture from 1901 of all the inhabitans of the county.
15. Tungufoss. A waterfall in Kaldakvísl where a power station was built in 1930.
16. Ásar - British troops who occupied Iceland in 1940 built a huge military camp were an estimated 15,000 soldiers stayed - compared with only 500 residents in and around the town at the time. Ruins can be seen of two tanks used to supply fresh water to the barracks and other buildings.
17. Mosfellsdalur - The sign features an aerial photograph of Mosfellsdalur valley with farmland and place names marked. At the easternmost part of the valley is the farm Laxnes where Halldór Laxness (1902-98), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, was brought up and from which he took his nom de plume. He later moved back to Mosfellsbær and lived at Gljúfrasteinn on the eastern outskirts of the town.
18. Mosfell - A church site since the 12th century. According to Egil's Saga, the Viking and poet Egill Skallagrímsson moved here in his old age to live with his step-daughter Þórdís, and buried his treasure somewhere in the vicinity. 
19. Panoramic view from Lágafell.