Linares has six short tracks (PR), with a total of 57.4 Km. Its routes allow us to know the mining heritage and some of the most beautiful landscapes of the district. Most of them begin in the city itself and generally have a circular route.
Apart from hiking, these tracks allow us to combine it with other sports such as long-distance races, mountain biking or horse riding. These tracks are grouped in two open and well-defined areas. The first one covers the area of Arrayanes and La Cruz, whilst the second one shows the surroundings of La Tortilla and San Roque.
(Click on the name of the track for more information)
Paño Pico track begins in Arrayanes neighbourhood and it is one of the most frequented tracks leading to the mine of the same name. It is practically a flat route. After passing by the Acosta shaft, where the house of the extraction machine and the chimney are still preserved, visitors will cross the railway twice and old mining tram, non-existent today.
One of them, when passing by the Restauración shaft; the other, before getting to St José shaft and the power station. The section between the two shafts coincides with the track PR-A 261 “Cerro de las Mancebas” which allows the combination of the tracks. In the Restauración shaft ─opened between 1844 and 1850─, the building which hosts the carport and the garage of the locomotives of the mining railway stands out.
In St José shaft, beside the path, the shaft known as Bajada de la Reina ─created for Queen Isabel II’s visit to the first gallery─ is still visible. The track continues until Paño Pico (triangulation station) and La Mejicana mine. From this point, a path among holm oaks leads to the chimney of La Cruz, one of the highest zones (a hundred metres); today, 57 ─and where the route shares part of the track with the Cerro de las Mancebas track (PR-A 261). The track runs through the Cadenas shaft to surround La Cruz suburb until finishing in La Cruz foundry.
The track begins in La Cruz foundry, coinciding with Paño Pico track. It is necessary to go to the Cadenas shaft, passing by the old Civil Guard headquarters and the Vimora mineral washing place. Once passed by La Cruz chimney, the tracks go in separate ways. The itinerary turns left and goes down among kermes oaks, next to some air transport aerials ─from which you can enjoy some breath-taking views. Once down the route, there is an intersection of tracks between the Cerro de las Mancebas and Paño Pico, next to El Porvenir Oscuro shaft. It is necessary to take the track of the right side to get to the mountain pass, linked to the PR-A-262 track.
The track ascends and leaves at both sides of the Zulueta shaft, St Ignacio shaft, Arrayanes mineral washing place as well as the views of Las Lagunas valley. In the mineral washing place, it is necessary to get separated from the 262 track in order to continue through a ramp as far as St José shaft and the power station. At this point, the route coincides with Paño Pico track until the Restauración shaft, in which it goes apart again continuing the Vía Verde track. This last route goes apart in one hundred metres.
Through the left side, visitors get to La Cruz foundry road. Visitors have to continue twenty metres more to get to a lane on the left, next to some wrecks, which leads to the airfield. At the end, visitors can find La Cruz suburb.
The track starts in La Garza sport centre and goes deep into Las Lagunas valley. It leads to the mountain pass which is formed by El Cerro de las Mancebas and el Cerro Paño Pico through a transversal route which offers a magnificent viewpoint of this area, surrounded by mining remains where slim chimneys stand out.
In the intersection of the mountain pass, the route is connected to El Cerro de las Mancebas track (PR-A-261), ascending together to enjoy the views of the valley. Visitors will leave behind Zulueta shaft, St Ignacio shaft and the mineral washing place ─common point of the track. Visitors will get to the mineral washing place descending through the left side, in an intersection, through an eroded path from which and old railway line links it to Mimbre hill.
This track finishes in a short common point with the PR-A-263 which connects Linares, form the sanctuary of the Virgin of Linarejos, to the Mimbre mine. Descending through the route to the valley itself, the track turns back to La Garza sport centre.
It begins in the sanctuary of the Virgin of Linarejos and it continues through the old railway via Linares-Los Salidos, which, among olive trees, leads to St Luis foundry. Once passed the foundry, this route has to be abandoned and it is necessary to take a lane on the right that has as reference a wrecked house with three eucalyptuses. After a bend on the left, the lane is occupied by an olive tree land which does not obstruct the way. It is compulsory to continue on the right side until getting to the route of the old tram via to the mines, which connects La Cruz foundry to the number 4 shaft and to Linares. This area is known as Cristo del Valle.
After twenty metres on the left side, at the other side of the via, visitors can find an old wrecked house with lots of rocks piled up beside it, obstructing and hiding an old path which descends to El Calvario shaft. This shaft is surrounded by vegetation where the headframe and the chimney stand out. The track goes deep into a narrow path which leads to the Mimbre mine, where you have to avoid some cave-ins; later, the track is connected to the Mimbre hill and La Garza track (PR-A-262).
It is necessary to get over this common point before getting into a sharp bend. This bend leads to the hill where the PR-A-262 track goes in separate ways on the right, before continuing to Arrayanes mineral washing place. Visitors have to continue to the south to get to two big wrecked houses where we abandon the track to go straight on through the same track that leads to St Vicente shaft ─the deepest shaft in the area. The track will continue again through the Vía Verde track, close to St Luis foundry. A wide lane on the other side of the via will lead us to the sanctuary of the Virgin of Linarejos.
An outstanding chimney, located in St Roque estate, welcomes this track which begins in a deviation to the left in 250 metres. Descending through this path, we find La Gitana mine. Visitors will continue until getting to Las Ánimas shaft enjoying an area full of mining remains, trial pits and small exploitations. In Las Ánimas shaft, with its headframe made of brick, visitors can contemplate the landscape of Cerro Hueco, where mining remains lie such as Las Encantadoras, Papá, Santo Rostro or El Nene.
Leaving on the right the track that lead to the Adaro Mines, you get to St Isidro or La Comercial mine. After passing by a small watercourse, the track ascends again. At the beginning of this hill, known as the nun hill, a deviation on the right side lead us to St Francisco number 2 shaft. Previously visitors will have to abandon the intersection that used to lead to El Macho y La Cabra concession. Under its metallic headframe, we can stop and enjoy a breath-taking view of the area of Cerro Hueco and the remains of St Teresa and St Isidro. Back on the track, at the end of the nun hill, visitors will get to the main door of the Solid Waste Treatment Plant and will leave it through an asphalted path, which has to be abandoned in the following intersection to take on the left the route to Siles. At this point, visitors can either come back to Linares, through the PR-A- 265 track (La Tortilla foundry), or continue the route visiting St Adriano shaft, the Vía Verde track or the deviation to Los Quinientos mine before getting again to the chimney in St Roque estate.
This track wanders along La Tortilla track, highly frequented by the neighbours of the city. Two kilometres far away, visitors find the foundry, an intersection of different tracks and several wrecked buildings which highlight the mining past of Linares.
After passing by an alpachinera (shaft to collect the olive oil that is spilled out in its process of extraction) and under an old Roman railway bridge, the track ascends through the stony hill of St Pedro until getting to the Cañada Incosa. From that point on, visitors have to continue on the right side through a section which presents, to the west, magnificent views of the village of Baños de la Encina.
After 1.4 kilometres, this track is connected to the road and through a wooden staircase visitors have to go through the Vía Verde track until getting to the intersection (connected to La Gitana track ─PR-A-264─). Then, visitors have to pass by the Solid Waste Treatment Plant and continue through the old stony path of Siles. This path will get us back to Linares, the starting point of all the shorts tracks of the mining area.