Tolkien Gateway

Old Forest Road

This article is about the Dwarf-road through Mirkwood. For the Dwarf-road of the First Age, see Dwarf-road of Beleriand.
Old Forest Road
General Information
Other namesRoad of the Dwarves (translation), Men-i-Naugrim
LocationRunning from the Misty Mountains through central Mirkwood to the Celduin
InhabitantsUsed by Dwarves

The Old Forest Road or Men-i-Naugrim (S. men "road, way" + in "the, who" + Naugrim "dwarves"; "Way of the Dwarves") or simply the Dwarf-road[1] was the main route through the great forest originally known as Greenwood the Great and latterly as Mirkwood.


[edit] History

The name Dwarf-road suggests that the road was apparently built or at least used as a trade-route by the Dwarves (who had a tradition of road-building dating back to before the First Age). Indeed in the early Second Age the lands of the Longbeards controlled Erebor, Ered Mithrin, Ered Engrin, and the eastern side of the Misty Mountains as south as Lorien.[2][3]:n. 30</ref>

The location suggests that it carried traffic between the western and eastern clans. The latitude of the road is halfway between the ancient Dwarven meeting-place at Mount Gundabad to the north, and Khazad-dûm to the south.

Near the end of the Second Age, a stone bridge crossed the Anduin over the only point that it could be crossed, as the waters were slower. This was specially enlarged and strengthened to carry the armies of the Last Alliance. By the latter Third Age no such bridge was mentioned and the river was crossed by the Old Ford.[4]

Beorn warned Thorin and Company that it was often used by Goblins and inside the forest, the road was overgrown and disused.[5]

[edit] Route

The road descended from the Pass of Imladris, crossed Anduin, and traversed Mirkwood.[1]

Where the Road crossed the Great River, there was originally a stone bridge, but later it had been lost and the river was crossed by the Old Ford. From there, it crossed some miles of open country before plunging into the depths of the forest Mirkwood. The Road then ran directly east from one side of the forest to the other, covering more than two hundred miles beneath the canopy of trees before it emerged by the banks of the River Running. At the eastern end it led to impassable marshes where the paths had long been lost.[5]

Then it traversed Greenwood (the portion that remained known as "Old Forest Road") and then turned to the north-east towards the Iron Hills.[3]:n. 30

[edit] Etymology

Sindarin from men "road", i "the" and Naugrim "dwarves".[source?]

[edit] External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Index
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes"
  4. , Note 14
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"