locality

Løtoft

58°21’00.7”N 6°18’38.2”E

Løtoft

A site of geological interest in Sokndal, moderate hike

How to get there

From Egersund, follow RV44 to Hauge i Dalane. Follow signs to Sandbekk and Mydland right after bridge, turn left. Follow FV1 for several kilometers and take the exit to Løtoft. Follow the road until the end and park at a designated area by the information poster.

Accessibility: Moderate hike. Marked trails.

Duration: 3 hour roundtrip, 9,2 km, increase 482 m above sea level.

Special conditions:

  • Park at the parking place and show respect for private land.
  • Show respect to animals along the trail.
  • Don’t forget to close gates behind you so that animals would not get away.
  • Dogs have to be on leash.
  • Leave nothing but footprints!
What Three Words

unwraps.material.sunk

Geology and nature

This walk offers a chance to see varied and interesting geology. The walk starts at the car park at Løtoft on norite (the name of which derives from Norway). You are almost on the border between the anorthosite rock in the south and Europe’s biggest layered intrusion in the north and north-west. You can see that this type of rock contains iron bars, you will see some lovely small veins of ilmenite right in front of you on the path. Similar, but thicker, veins of ilmenite were mined at the Florklev mine. If you look back towards Løtoft when you walk over the hill (Upsene) towards Elgjestraum, you will see clear differences in the flora. The land is cultivated in Løtoft, while the landscape is more barren where you are standing on the other side of Steinsvatnet lake. This rugged landscape is due to the harder rock mangerite in the layered intrusion. South of Løtoft on the eastern side of Steinsvatnet lake, you can see that the cultivated land comes to an abrupt halt, where the lunar rock anorthosite starts.

At Elgjestraum and on the way south to Hølen, you walk on mangerite rock. From Hølen and through Toska-Rossdal, you follow a basalt path with anorthosite on both sides. This basalt path is the same pathway that forms St. Olavsveien, which goes all the way until the shift between fertile (norite and basalt path) and infertile rocks (anorthosite and mangerite); in many places there is also a lot of gravel and sand that were deposited when the ice melted at the end of the last Ice Age (around 10,000 years ago).

Culture and history

Parts of the path follow the old road from Elgjestraum, via Vassenden and down to Bakka bridge (for approx. 6 km). This is probably one of the oldest roads in Dalane. In 1838, the stretch Fidja – Vassenden received public funding as one of the first rural roads in Stavanger Amt (county). The road was a link between the coast and the Western Norway Trunk Road, and the posting station Eide in Heskestad.

Along the road (at Hølen), we can find the remains of an old cotter’s farm and a wadmal stamp mill that fell into disuse between 1850 and 1900. The stamp mill was powered by hydropower, and was used to felt and strengthen woollen clothes.

If you would like to find out more about the geology in the area, you can book a tour with Magma Geopark’s guides. You can also download Magma Geopark’s app and hear a local guide tell about the exciting geology on the way to the lighthouse. Information about the local birdlife can be found at the local team at the Norwegian Ornithological Society.

Pictures from Løtoft

Book an activity related to this location

Download our brochure of locations

All locations in Magma Geopark: