At the bottom of the Vergeletto Valley, on the very outskirts of the outskirts, in an Alpine setting, is a regal forest. Light years away from the digital world, it safeguards life. It’s another world, a forest Reserve. Other laws are in force here and everything is as it wants to be.
The route starts from the Ristorante Fondovalle Pian delle Cascine, 5 km from Vergeletto. Cross the River Ribo and follow signs for Capanna Arena. After the bridge the path turns right, taking you to the Rifugio Forestale Piano delle Cascine (now closed) in just a few minutes. The edge of the Reserve is just beyond this. A new chapter starts here. We walk beneath large beeches and firs. The higher we climb the more natural the woodland.
Every so often we have a glimpse of the impressive gneiss quarries on the other slope. In half an hour the path veers off in another direction and sharp-eyed walkers will spot a beautiful wych elm and maple wood. Continuing on our way, in ten minutes we come to a fork. The right side leads all the way up to the top edge of the reserve in about half an hour, just beyond the alp and the Arena mountain hut, with its unmissable view over the peaks of the Vergeletto Valley. From Arena, the path leads up to the Alpe Salei in just under two hours and from here you can take the trolleybus back down to the Vergeletto Valley. If you continue along the recommended loop, passing through Cruseta, you will firstly follow an almost horizontal path through a silver fir and Norway spruce forest characterised by the presence of some truly impressive trees with large tops. On the rises you can admire the rare silver fir woods with Alpine roses, while larches grow where the ground is very stony. You will cross several watercourses and gullies, with sycamores, red-berried elders, black-berried honeysuckle and green alder growing on the banks. Lastly, as you descend towards Cruseta, your route will be lined with imposing beech trees.
- Hiking boots
- Sun cap
- Sun cream
- Hiking map
Montagnepulite: This project was born to promote an effective management and sustainable use of mountain huts in Ticino, and in particular the litter management. The responsible management of litter in the mountains is a matter of common sense. We can all contribute: https://www.montagnepulite.ch/en/golden-rules