An easy path for all seasons alongside a beautiful stream, perfect for nature watching, enjoying a relaxing picnic and allowing your inner artist to emerge.
The route starts from Balerna. From here a path makes its way down into the Motta Valley, which you will reach in 10 minutes (large car park). Turn left, towards the valley interior, making your way through a tranquil agricultural landscape along the route of the Roncaglia stream. The first thing you will come to is the Mulino Daniello, a mill at the heart of all the park’s educational activities.
Then follow the Motta Valley nature path, which skirts the stream and crosses through various different watery environments. Numerous nature information boards line the route. The setting could be described as musical too, with the sound of the water and the birdsong that accompany you. The wood is rich in different tree species. It is home to the hop hornbeam, a tree that only grows in the southernmost strip of Canton Ticino. The area is famous for its many amphibians, including the very rare Lataste’s frog and the freshwater prawn which, thanks to regeneration work carried out over recent years, has recovered and now has a considerable population here.
From the car park at the starting point, you could continue down to the bottom of the valley, where you will come to an old clay pit (signposted) in around fifteen minutes. This is where the material was extracted for the production of the bricks and roof tiles that characterise the traditional architecture in the Mendrisio area. Anyone can work the clay here today and make an object of their own.