The region has an ore mining tradition that reaches back more than 2000 years – thanks to the local geology. The extraction, waste prevention, and trade of iron ore as well as the significance of the district as the "Ruhr District of the Middle Ages" is history now, but it marked the region and left traces everywhere: for example, the Hammerherren palaces, such as those in Theuern or Schmidmühlen, the old ore mines of Maffeischächte near Auerbach or the Maxhütte in Sulzbach-Rosenberg.
The Erzweg (Ore Trail), a peak trail, and the Bavarian Eisenstraße (Iron Street) combine these testimonials to the coal and steel and industrial history.
In the area around Freihung, you can find Europe's largest deposit of lead. Experience live mining in the "Land of the White Earth", the largest china clay deposit in Germany in the Hirschau/Schnaittenbach region. Here, this mineral valuable for paper and porcelain production is mined in great pits. Two geological bike tours combine unique geotopes, mining relics and active mining facilities. Find more information at www.bayerische-eisenstrasse.de or www.geopark-kaolinrevier.de