Kärrgruvan, Västmanland, Exploring Sweden

Kärrgruvan, Västmanland – Exploring Sweden

Kärrgruvan is a settlement just to the north of Norberg in the historical province of Västmanland. This is the site for a many centuries-long tradition of mining. The mining here was ongoing already in the Middle Ages, but the mines are quiet today. Instead, this is a calm residential area with a few industrial heritage sites.

A Short History of Kärrgruvan

Mining at Kärrgruvan has been going on at least since the Middle Ages. When the last mine closed in the early 20th century it was considered an end to a 800-year-old tradition of mining here. The mines mostly consisted of open pits, meaning that there are still plenty of signs of their presence today.

Things to Do and See

This is in many ways a small residential area with a long industrial heritage. There are plenty of mining areas to explore here, many of the old open mining pits today mostly resemble small lakes.


Svinryggen, “the pig’s back”, is a series of mines, actually 18 open mine pits in two lines. Between them is a narrow stretch of land that has given the mines their name. You can hike between the mines on the narrow path. The hike is only around 500 meters but is unique in many ways.


Polhemshjulet is a flatrod system that was built here in 1876. The wheel itself is 15 meters in diameter and was in use up until the 1920s.

Mossgruveparken & Norberg Mining Museum

Mossgruveparken is a park area containing a lot of interesting sites connected to the long mining history of Kärrgruvan. There are several open mining pits here as well as really deep mines. One of the mines reaches a deep of 114 meters but is protected by a building at its entrance. The building itself dates back to 1876.

ENJ Railway

The railway line to the area opened in 1853 and is today the local railway museum. During the summer there are railway buses going along the line from Kärrgruvan to Ängelsberg, with stops in Norberg and Högfors.

How to Get to Kärrgruvan

  • Flights: Borlänge Airport (BLE), or Dala Airport, is 59 kilometers to the north, and Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST) is 88 kilometers to the southeast.
  • Car: Kärrgruvan is on a countryside road north of Norberg.
  • Bus: Buses from VL connect Norberg with the surrounding region, this is where you will find the best bus options.

The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

  • Stockholm – 176 kilometers (2 h 4 min)
  • Gothenburg – 403 kilometers (5 h 1 min)
  • Malmö – 623 kilometers (6 h 46 min)
  • Linköping – 236 kilometers (3 h 7 min)
  • Kiruna – 1180 kilometers (13 h 33 min)

Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden

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