• Trekking

Following the wolf’s track

Discovering all beauties of the Majella National Park. On walk or by bike, surrounded by a precious microcosm for the flora and fauna. The perfect place to do excursions during all seasons

Fabrizio Lodi

Following the wolf’s track
ADVENTURE IN THE MAJELLA PARK

The Majella National Park in Abruzzo is one of the many underrated naturalistic jewels of Italy. Actually, this wonderful area has a great value thanks to its flora and fauna (here live several rare animal species such as wolfs, bears, otters, roe deers, deers, eagles…), and it offers to bikers and enthusiasts of trekking about 500 kilometers of paths, perfect for excursionists both experts and beginner.

Majella, the second highest massif of all central Apennine, surrounds the whole Park; it is full of hiking and mountaineering paths and cliff walls for the sports climbing.  

The residential areas at the base of the mountains are the most common starting point of the excursions - such as Sulmona - because here there are the ancient paths created by local inhabitants.

Each path is characterized with a letter of the alphabet (that identifies the starting point) and with a number. Some of these paths are thematic and very long, so it is better to divide them in stages.

Anyway, discover the nature and all its secrets is completely free.

ADVENTURE IN THE MAJELLA PARK
DOING TREKKING

For those who like to wear a backpack and walk, inside the Park there are many different and interesting paths to do.

For example, the ‘Anello dell’Orfento’ (Orfento’s Ring) is a round itinerary (about 4 hours walk) that, starting from Caramanico, it branches off in the lower part of Valle dell’Orfento, among forests and streams. This small paradise became Natural Reserve of the State in 1970, and it is the perfect habitat for deers and eagles.

Another very interesting itinerary is the one that goes from the ski station of Majella to the top of the Blockhaus mount. The Blockhaus takes the name from a pillbox built by the army of Piedmont to fight the brigandage in 1866.

The path lasts about one hour and half and it offers to excursionists a breathtaking view above the valleys of Selvaromana, the Orfento river and some peaks like Mounts d’Ugni and Rapina.

 

For athletes, the most famous itinerary of this area is the via normale”, that reaches Monte Amaro (2.793 above the sea level), which is the highest peak of Majella. The trail is very long (about 10-12 hours walk) but not too hard, it goes through the massif from north to south, reaching the highest peaks. “La Direttissima” starts from San Valentino and it goes through S. Eufemia and the Passo San Leonardo, then arrive on the top of Monte Amaro.

All paths are well signaled and often, during winter, this itinerary is a destination for ski mountaineers.

Do not miss the ‘Valle di Femmina Morta’, one of the most spectacular places of Abruzzo.

DOING TREKKING
CYCLING IN NATURE

Majella National Park offers great beauties also to those who ride a bike.

Those who prefer the superlight bike, should not miss the climb of ‘Valico della Forchetta’ (The Fork’s Passage): about 190 km, most of which inside the National Park. The whole difference in height is not that much, 2.600 meters, and it is really worthy for the beauty of the places it goes through.

The beautiful part of the itinerary starts in Fara Filiorum Petri. More or less challenging climbs alternate to easy descents. The itinerary passes through several picturesque villages, until the last part of the road, that reaches the Fork’s Passage and then ‘Campo di Giove’ (Jupiter’s Field), an important Abruzzo’s ski area.

 

The Park is also suitable for mountain bike lovers. At least three tracks are worthy and not particularly difficult.

The first one goes from Palombaro to Sant’Angelo Lake (also said ‘di Casoli’), with a 200 meters difference in height: you will cycle in the Natural Reserve of Feudo Ugni, in the province of Chieti, that presents steep paved parts before entering the forest street, inside a very thick beech trees wood.

The itinerary (28 km one-way) connects bikers to protected flora and fauna, crossing villages and hermitages immersed in a unique landscape. Casoli Lake offers a striking scenery, in the shadow of the east side of Majella.

 

Mountain bike lovers should also try the track that leads from Palena to ‘Madonna dell’Altare Sanctuary’. A 26 km itinerary with a 600 difference in height, that, also in this case, finds his strength in nature: huge grazings, planes, woods and streams. And the usual striking landscape.

The Sanctuary, a sort of fortress, is immersed in a wood, built on the top of a cliff that makes it impregnable from three sides.

 

A third suggestion, among the many that can be given, is that to ride from Pretoro to Colle Sciarrocca. From the picturesque village - that presents important archeological sites - you travel between dirt and paved roads, entering a beech tree wood until Passo Lanciano. Then you continue on a dirt track between sweet climb and short descents, until the last stretch, steep enough, from which you can reach the sea with your look. In this case too, the difference in height is not too much (660 meters), and its length is average (24 km).

CYCLING IN NATURE
A SPECIALIZED TOUR OPERATOR

Wolftour works in this territory (www.wolftour.it). It’s a Tour Operator and Travel Agency that has 920 beds available both on the mountains and at the seaside.

 

Wolftour is specialized in active and cultural holiday, and it organizes guided tour and hiking in the territory. Among the most interesting: the hermitages and canyons of Fara San Martino, Celestino’s Hermitage on Morrone Mount, The ‘People Tour’ with visitors center of Lupo, Sulmona and local shops/companies that produce sugared almonds, horse trekking on the Majella Ippovia (Horse Way), a trip in Orfento Valley, an hike in the Park with activities and overnights in PineCube.

 

SOME USEFUL NUMBERS:

Web site Majella National Park: http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.majella/par.php

- Information Center Bolognano (PE): 085 8880114 / 085 922343
- Information Center Cansano (AQ): 347 1344793
- Information Center Caramanico Terme (PE): 085 922021 - 085 922343
- "Casa del Lupo"  Hostel Caramanico Terme (PE): 085 922343 / 346 2367076
- Visitor Center Fara S. Martino (CH): 0872 980970
- Information Center Pacentro (AQ): 349 8474470
- Residence "Il Camoscio" Lama Dei Peligni (CH): 0872 916067
- Adventure Park “Majella” Guardiagrele (CH): 0871 397843 / 392 0011200  

 

A SPECIALIZED TOUR OPERATOR
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