Greenways are disused railway infrastructure converted into biking and hiking routes. In Goierri, an old road network formerly used to transport ore from the mines in Mutiloa to Ormaiztegi to be transported has been recovered. It runs next to the foothills, and its beauty lies in the panoramic view of the valleys at its feet and the forest mass that envelops it.
Before officially beginning the Greenway, it’s worth it to take a hike on the path known as Troi Road, which ascends from the village of Mutiloa to the Barnaola farmstead. We’ll first climb up a paved road, among green fields and farmsteads. We can leave the road for a stop in the nearby village of Idiazábal, birthplace of the famous cheese of the same name, which has its own Interpretation and Tasting Centre. We’ll leave the asphalt and continue along a path where there are stone mills. We’ll descend and continue along, parallel to the creek, in what is one of the most beautiful stretches of the route. Next, we’ll find the first signs of mining activity, such as the dams of settling ponds.
At the beginning of the Mutiloa-Ormaiztegi Greenway, we’ll find the old mining and processing areas of the Mutiloa mine complex on the slope of Mount Aizpuru. Further below, near the Monastegizar farmstead, are more remains: the landfill, the water tank, ore storage area and washing canal. From the paved road we’ll head to the local road coming from Mutiloa. We’ll reach a junction in the road and then we’ll see the railway car depot and overpass, both in ruins.
The southern slope of Mount Izturi and idyllic surroundings will accompany us along this stretch. Our next important point on the route will be Liernia Hill, where we can enjoy a beautiful view and catch a glimpse of the Aizkorri-Aratz Nature Park. The district of Liernia has a rest area, where we can recover our strength. A few metres from here we’ll have to cross the Liernia Bridge and descend the western face of Mount Mugata. Of note is the mountainous terrain of the following metres, where there are many trees of various kinds.
A bit more ahead, we’ll be able to see the valley of the River Estanda and both of Ormaiztegi’s railway viaducts. The greenway branches off into two stretches: the one on the right at a clearing and the one on the left at a paved trail that climbs Ormaiztegi. We’ll finish off our route with a visit to the Aizpea mining complex in Zerain, a municipality whose history is closely tied to iron and mining. The Aizpitta Interpretation Centre – located in the "English House ", is the heart of Iron Mountain, which has been declared a national landmark. The day ends with a view of the big three calcining furnaces and the Polborina mining gallery.
The greenway’s route is 4.2 km long and if linked with Troi Road would be a 6 km road trip from Mutiloa to Ormazitegi. You can either walk back or leave another vehicle in Ormaiztegi.
Orientation game for families in the Greenway
In the Mutiloa-Ormaiztegi Greenway has opened a circuit of guidance for all people, but aimed mainly at families by proposing a game: this educational itinerary combines orienteering, hiking and fun. Users pick the route map in the tourist office in Ormaiztegi, and to complete the game will have to answer correctly the questions corresponding to each beacon encountered along the way.
This family-oriented educational itinerary is circular with two starting points in addition to the Zumalakarregi museum in Ormaiztegi (tourist office): the town of Mutiloa and Liernia neighborhood. To complete the appeal of the Mutiloa-Ormaiztegi Greenway and complete the already developed infrastructure they will also be used the way Troi (from Barnaola to Mutiloa) and the stretch of the Camino de Santiago that runs from the neighborhood Liernia to Mutiloa.
Those conducting the tour, families in this case, will have to pick up a map with a little pencil in the Zumalakarregi Museum in Ormaiztegi: in this map you will find the questions for each beacon or point you will find in the area, besides the own map and tourist information of interest; in total there are 10 markers distributed throughout the tour, and the different questions are related to topics such as nature, the environment and mining. Download map.