Family Outings - Belbo Springs Nature Reserve
Easy, relaxing walk in a territory that is full of surprises, featuring pristine nature and stunning landscapes.
Leaving Rifugio Pavoncella behind you, follow a brief section of paved road to your left. When you reach a large, cement pylon (with a big, red “20” painted on it), turn left onto a trail through the field. The trail quickly turns into a cart track and turns markedly uphill. It then becomes a tree-lined trail, initially well-worn and then a bit grassier, and takes you to an old paved road near a few houses. Pass these houses remaining on the paved road.
At the fork in the road (keep this spot in mind for the return trip), keep right and head downhill. Cross a lovely little valley as you continue downhill through pastures and farmland until you reach a paved road. Cross the road as you head to the right to a parking area with a few tables. (You could park here to shorten the walk a bit. Families with strollers will need to start from here.)
Take the dirt road that begins here (sign: “Riserva Nat. Sorgenti del Belbo”) and runs through a lovely meadow. At the following crossroads, continue along the dirt road to the left, where you will find an information panel about orchids. Shortly after, keep your eyes open for a large tree with the forms of a squirrel and an owl. At the next crossroads, head to the right along a flatter section of road, then keep left at the next fork (red-and-white sign) and head slightly uphill. The road steepens as it takes you to the top of the hill, offering occasional views out over the mountains. At the next crossroads (red-and-white sign), keep to the right and head steeply downhill towards a group of houses, which you will get to after crossing the highway.
CAUTION: There are often dogs at this point. They shouldn’t bite, but they do bark insistently. If you prefer, you can continue along the highway to the left. With strollers, you will need to continue along the highway to the left to return to the parking area.
Pass the houses on the paved, uphill road until it becomes a wide dirt road. When you reach a pylon with a big cross at its base, take the trail to the left, which heads gradually downhill through a panoramic area and into the woods. When you reach a house on its own, take the old paved road to the left, which will take you downhill to the crossroads we found on the way up.
Now take the road to the right, which will take you to a grouping of houses. Pass these houses and take the trail to the left, which starts out grassy before becoming more evident. This is the same trail we took before.
Franco Voglino and Annalisa Porporato
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way