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Walking paths at Skógafoss waterfall closed due to extremely muddy conditions

By Staff

  • Skógafoss waterfall Becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Iceland comes with some costs: The vegetation around Skógafoss waterfall are getting trampled down by visitors who avoid the walking paths. Photo/Icelandic Environment Agency.

The walking paths leading up to the river above Skógafoss waterfall in South Iceland have been closed down by the Icelandic Environment Agency. The paths have become unusable due to extremely muddy conditions caused by heavy rains, unusually warm temperatures and larger numbers of visitors than the paths were designed to accommodate.

The base of the waterfall can still be accessed, as all walking paths below the waterfall are open. 

Skógafoss waterfall, closed walking paths
Muddy destruction Visitors to Skógafoss waterfall have been creating their own paths, trampling down vegetation and thus adding to the extremely muddy conditions. Photo/IEA

According to an announcement from the Icelandic Environment Agency the unusually warm weather conditions, heavy rains and large numbers of visitors have strained the walking paths around the waterfall beyond their breaking point. In the past few weeks the paths leading up the hill to an viewing point above the waterfall have become impassable due to mud, causing visitors to bypass the paths, finding new ways to the top, trampling down and destroying the vegetation in the process. By closing the paths entirely the Environment Agency hopes to protect the vegetation around the pictoresque waterfall.

Paths on the plateau above the waterfall have also been cllosed down while the Environment Agency works to build new paths which can handle the growing traffic.  

Skógafoss waterfall, closed walking paths

One of the walking paths The walking paths above the waterfall have become completely impassable due to extremly muddy conditions. Photo/IEA

A spokeswoman for the Icelandic Environment Agency told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that the waterfall has seen an explosion in the number of visitors in the past years. In 2008 147,000 foreign visitors came to the waterfall, compared to 555,000 in 2015. The number had cllimbed even higher this year.

Read more: 10 beautiful (and less visited) Icelandic waterfalls 

The waterfall has become one of the "must visit" spots in Iceland: In 2008 only 29% of foreiign visitors to Iceland visitied Skógarfoss waterfall. In 2015 this number had risen to 43%.  

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Skógafoss Located south of Eyjafjallajökull glacier, Skógafoss waterfall is one of the more pictoresque waterfalls in Iceland. Photo/Google Maps

 

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