Old Forest Road

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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 namesWay of the Dwarves (translation), Men-i-Naugrim, Forest Road
LocationRunning from the Misty Mountains through central Mirkwood to the Celduin
InhabitantsUsed by Dwarves

The Old Forest Road, also called the Men-i-Naugrim, or just the Forest Road,[1] was the main route through the great forest originally known as Greenwood the Great and later as Mirkwood.


The road ran from the east gate of the underground dwarven city originally known as Khazad-dûm and later as Moria north along the eastern side of the Misty Mountains over the upper course of the river Gladden to the lowest point where a bridge over the Anduin could be built and then straight east across the vale of the Anduin and through Mirkwood forest to a bridge across the River Running and then north-east over open land to the iron mines[2] in the Iron Hills[3]. This part of the road eventually fell into disrepair and the Dwarves of the Iron Hills lost contact with Moria. A road that descended from the Pass of Imladris was also part of the Dwarf Road.[4] The latitude of the eastern part of the road was halfway between the ancient Dwarven meeting-place at Mount Gundabad to the north, and Moria to the south.[5]


The stone-bridge over the Anduin and the first miles of the road through Greenwood were built by the Longbeard dwarves of Moria and the bridge over the River Running was built by their kin from the Iron Hills in the First Age. The road was completed during the early Second Age when many dwarves emigrated from the Blue Mountains to Moria and to the Iron Hills.[2]

The road enjoyed a large amount of traffic until the War of the Elves and Sauron,[2] which began in S.A. 1693.[6]

Near the end of the Second Age, probably between S.A. 3431 and 3434,[7] the stone bridge across the Anduin was specially enlarged and strengthened to carry the armies of the Last Alliance.[1]

By the time of the Quest of Erebor in T.A. 2941[8] the stone bridge over the Anduin had been lost and the river was crossed at the Old Ford. Thorin and Company intended to use the Old Forest Road to travel through Mirkwood, but Beorn warned them that the road from the Pass of Imladris to the entrance of the Old Forest Road at the western edge of Mirkwood was often used by Goblins and that he had heard that the road was overgrown and disused at the eastern end and led to impassable marshes near the River Running where the paths had long been lost.[9] He instead recommended they use the Elf-path, a secret path made by the Elves of Mirkwood.

It is possible that the Old Forest Road was repaired and used again after the War of the Ring in T.A. 3019,[10] because the host of Lórien destroyed Dol Guldur, the forest was cleansed and all the wide forest between the Mountains of Mirkwood in the north and the Narrows of the Forest in the south was given to the Beornings and the Woodmen by Thranduil and Celeborn.[11]


Men-i-Naugrim is a Sindarin name.[12] It means "Way of the Dwarves" or "Dwarf Road".[13] It is a compound of men ("road, way"), i ("the") and Naugrim ("dwarves").[12]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields", "Notes", Note 14
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XX. Note on the Dwarf Road"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes", note 30
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Index, entry Roads (2) (v)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year 1693, p. 1083
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entries for the years 3431 and 3434, p. 1084
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2941, p. 1089
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019, March 25, p. 1094
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", p. 1094
  12. 12.0 12.1 Paul Strack, "S. Men-i-Naugrim loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 9 March 2022)
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Index, entry Men-i-Naugrim