It is a privilege for the Municipality of Eigersund to be able to offer visitors from near and far a walking or cycling experience on this beautiful and interesting Stretch of railway. Sections of the old Jaerbanen railway and the abandoned Maurholen Station are important national cultural heritage Sites today. More-over, the railway winds its way through a landscape that is dominated by rare and distinctive anorthosite rock, which also makes this an exceptional area to explore.
There are lakes with abundant trout Stocks along the approximately 8 km long trail, and at the highest points there is a wonderful view of the Eigeroy island and Norda Sundet sound. The trail also makes it easier to reach spots for fishing and swimming by the sea, which were almost impossible to reach without a boat betore. A large area between the trail and the sea have by purchased with public funds for recreational purposes. Trails leading to the beach area will eventually be established here.
The trail is also part of the international North Sea Cycle Route (www.northsea-cycle.com). This cycle route passes through all the North Sea countries and represents a continuous route measuring 6000 kilometres.
Enjoy your trip!
THE OLD JAERBANEN RAILWAY
The Stretch of railway from Hellvik to Egersund is part of the Jaerbanen railway, which was built from Egersund to Stavanger between 1874 and 1878.
It was a narrow gauge railway with a gauge of 1067mm, as compared with 1435mm today. Narrow gauge railways wind through the landscape. To avoid building tunnels through the mountains, the tracks were laid around them. After the broad gauge railway opened in 1948, large sections of the old route were no longer needed.
It was not far between the stations and stops along the old Jaerbanen railway. Transport over land was difficult. The road network was not well-developed, and it was important to be close to the train. It was offen hard to travel over land, but easy to transport people and cargo by water. The watchman’s house at Maurholen could accept both passengers and cargo. This meant that people on Norde Eigerory could benefit from the railway. People from Eigeroy rowed to Maurholen. Here they could take the train north or south. After „the people up north“ got their own Station, they could travel from Maurholen all the way to Flekkefjord it they wanted to.
The railway was built at a time when all work was performed by hand and before concrete was introduced. Large blocks of hewn stone were used when walls were erected, bridges were built or culverts were laid. There was
widespread use of stonemasonry in Norway through Norwegian and foreign labourers who built railways and harbours. The foreign labourers were often from Sweden. Stonemasonry work on this Stretch of railway is of excellent quality. There are several impressive examples of stonework between Hellvik and Lauvnessundet in the form of various types of walls, tunnels, cuttings, etc. This work is visible evidence of the nobility of labour even today.
It is the old line from the 1870s that establishes the foundation for this walking and cycling trail. The old railway line winds through a rolling landscape near the sea and is considered by many to be the most beautiful walking and cycling trail in Dalane.
Source: Information board on site