If you are looking for adventures and adrenaline-charged outdoor experiences, hiking on Lake Maggiore will let you walk through deep and dense woods; explore unbeaten paths and discover everything about the animals and plants living in the area. There’s one wide natural park that will let you have a multi-sensory experience, listening to the sounds of nature and breathing unpolluted air. Let’s discover together Val Grande National Park and its extraordinary natural heritage!
Discovering Val Grande
Whether you love adventurous tracks or unspoiled natural paths, Val Grande has it all! Enclosed between Lake Maggiore, the Cannobina Valley and the Ossola mountains, Val Grande is considered to be the largest wilderness area in Italy and Europe. Discover the wealth and variety of the lush vegetation and try to spot chamois, deers and foxes into the woods. The outstanding natural heritage of Val Grande perfectly preserves its original environmental characteristics, making the area a must-see for anyone looking for hiking trails on Lake Maggiore.
Until the 50’s and 60’s, the valley was inhabited by old shepherds who, for ages, had been carrying out sheep farming and deforestation, seriously damaging the soil and its natural resources. Fortunately, they abandoned the land and woods and trees could take over again and Val Grande soon became the reign of wilderness where humans haven’t set foot for over forty years.
Take the chance to reconcile yourself plunging into unspoiled nature, in a place where wilderness means harmony, balance and silence. Enjoy listening to the voice of nature with the wind blowing, the leaves crunching under your feet, the embers crackling among the flames and the birds twittering on trees. Let yourself go into the wild for an extraordinary experience engaging all five senses.
Hiking Lake Maggiore: the best hiking trails in Val Grande
Val Grande’s territory has a wild and impenetrable look, made up of mountain peaks, thick forests, green valleys, canyons and precipices. Just keep in mind that the park is an abandoned and inaccessible area, so the best way to explore it is following the hiking trails carefully and always together with an expert qualified mountain guide.
If you are not a trained hiker, though, there are many easier paths that you can choose from. Your expert mountain guide will stand by your side and recommend you every hike trail which is best suited to your level. Discover the charming waterfalls of Val Pogallo, learning about the history of the wood and the river with the useful panels on the route with images and short texts. Learn about the rocks and its features walking through the geological path from Vogogna and Premosello Chiovenda where you will be able to observe the continental crust and part of the mantle, which emerged for the tectonic movements. You may also discover Val Grande by mountain bike, cycling through unpaved ways or ancient mule tracks that will let you sneak through the wilderness of the park for a great outdoor experience.
Hiking Lake Maggiore: Val Grande, much more than nature
Val Grande not only offers visitors an unspoiled environment ruled by the slow rhythm of nature. The vast region still shows evidence of human activities that struggled for centuries for the survival of the mountain community. Here and there you will see rock incisions, abandoned shelters, terracing, handmade systems to cut and transport timber and military fortifications. Every element testifies to the passage of time and reminds us of when men and women could live in harmony with the environment.
If you don’t know where to begin with your hiking on Lake Maggiore and Val Grande, rely on the hiking centers and travel agencies like Il Viaggiatore to get all necessary information to start your adventure. Once you are tired of outdoor experiences, you can stop by one of the museums in the park area. Visit the Soapstone Archeological Museum with a collection of handicrafts of Roman origins made with local stones; discover more about the nocturnal wildlife, the flora and fauna of the park at the Environmental Educational Centre in Cossogno and finally head to the Geological Laboratory where you can become an Earth Science expert with interactive devices and in just a few steps.