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12 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Paths in Reykjadalur geothermal area will be repaired and strengthened to handle traffic

By Staff

  • In need of repairs The path leading to Reykjadalur has been under extreme stress as it wasn't built for heavy traffic. Photo/Icelandic Environment Agency

Walking paths leading to Reykjadalur geothermal valley and natural baths will remain closed for four more weeks to protect the paths and the vegetation along the path from damage. The Icelandic Environment Agency and the municipal authority will use the time to make much needed repairs to the path ensuring it will be able to handle the growing traffic.

Visitors respect the closure
A spokesman for the Environment Agency told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that most visitors have respected the closing. In addition to signs the agency has posted a guard at the beginning of the walking path to inform visitors the site is closed and the reasons for the closing.

Read more: Paths leading to Reykjadalur geothermal area to remain closed until mid-May

The path leading to Reykjadalur was closed on March 31 by the Environment Agency. As frost thaws from the ground and snow melts in spring the ground becomes extremely soggy and wet. Most of the walking path to Reykjadalur is a simple earth path which becomes extremely muddy during the thaw in spring. To avoid the dirt visitors have taken to walking on the vegetation along the path. This causes environmental damage as the delicate vegetation can't take the traffic.

Path likely opened before May 12
The Environment Agency evaluated the condition of the paths on Friday and recommended that it remain closed until May 12, unless conditions improve sufficiently before that date. A spokesman for the Environment Agency told Morgunblaðið that it is highly likely that the paths will be opened before this date.

Repairs of the path will focus on the worst affected stretches, especially a 600 m (0.4 mi) stretch where the path had been completely obliterated by rain and heavy traffic. New signposts will also be added and improvements to the public lavatory in Reykjadalur are also being planned.


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