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Kropfmühl EarthCache

Hidden : 09/17/2008
2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The mine

There had been mining activity since 1870 at Kropfmühl. Nowadays it is a visitor-mine with a museum and the only graphite-mine in Europe.
Take your time to see all the things worth seeing: pretty old, nostalgic machines, a video clip, shiny minerals, a living mine.
You will be guided into the fascinating world of mining, dressed like a miner with a helmet and working coat (steady shoes and warm clothes are recommended).
Information about tours and opening hours:

GEOTRAIL Kropfmühl

The GEOTRAIL Kropfmühl was opened in 1984. Thousands of people have hiked it since its completion.
Total distance of the educational trail (“Graphitlehrpfad”) is 4,5 km. There are educational plates at the given waypoints on which you can find the answers to our questions. You can also reach every stop with your bike – preferably a mountain-bike.

N48 37.230 E13 39.604 N48 37.198 E13 39.529 N48 37.219 E13 39.075 N48 37.227 E13 38.977
N48 37.164 E13 38.827 N48 37.147 E13 38.823 N48 37.075 E13 38.794 N48 37.237 E13 38.631
N48 37.298 E13 38.673 N48 37.338 E13 38.725 N48 37.324 E13 38.797 N48 37.343 E13 38.842
N48 37.345 E13 38.909 N48 37.326 E13 39.070 N48 37.298 E13 39.164 N48 37.265 E13 39.244
N48 37.250 E13 39.265 N48 37.235 E13 39.324 N48 37.357 E13 39.450 N48 37.370 E13 39.492

download all waypoints as a zipped GPX-file

Important NOTE:

The geopath is currently closed!

So that the questions asked can still be answered, we have provided a slide show of all information boards on our homepage.


The mineral graphite, as with diamond and fullerene, is one of the allotropes of carbon. It was named by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1789 from the Greek ??afe?? (graphein): "to draw/write", for its use in pencils, where it is commonly called lead, as distinguished from the actual metallic element lead. Unlike diamond, graphite is an electrical conductor, a semimetal, and can be used, for instance, in the electrodes of an arc lamp. Graphite holds the distinction of being the most stable form of carbon under standard conditions. Therefore, it is used in thermochemistry as the standard state for defining the heat of formation of carbon compounds. Graphite may be considered the highest grade of coal, just above anthracite and alternatively called meta-anthracite, although it is not normally used as fuel because it is hard to ignite.

The tasks:

1. How deep is the Erhard-Shaft?
2. How many years has the narrow-gauge railway been transporting the graphite? (Through the Aubach-Valley to Schaibing)
3. What are the mining sinkholes called, reminding of old mining activity?
4. In how many parts is the graphite-deposit split by fault? (Hint: There is a bird's-eye view on one of the plates)
5. (additional logging requirement on voluntary basis) 
Publish, along with your log entry, at least one of these photos:
    - a photo of you in miners clothes
    - a photo of you in front of the „Stollengebäude“ next to the tippers.

Please send the answers per email via my or fill in the online form on our homepage!

A German version of this text is available on our homepage! - Auf unserer Homepage gibt es diesen Text auch auf Deutsch!

Additional Hints (No hints available.)