Responsible for this content Ascona-Locarno Tourism
Vasta zona golenale Giumaglio
Photo: Ivan Sasu
An easy excursion within one of the largest and most vital river ecosystems in Europe: the floodplain areas of the Vallemaggia provide an ideal habitat for various animal and plant species.
Distance 15.2 km
Highest point398 m
Lowest point316 m
The Vallemaggia is the valley with the largest surface area in the whole Locarno region. The waters of various rivers and streams from the side and upper valleys meet in the Maggia river, creating one of Europe’s largest and most vital river ecosystems. In these particularly dynamic environments, you may come across species such as the brook trout, grayling or European bullhead, or small invertebrates belonging to the caddisfly family (assuming they haven’t become prey to the white-throated dipper). Pools and ponds provide reproductive sites for toads, frogs and dragonflies, including the broad-bodied chaser. Lying in wait among the pebbles, you might find the dice snake, ready to catch a passing fish. The stony riverbeds provide space for plant species such as the Alpine willowherb, the German tamarisk or the Salix elaeagnos. Areas that are less regularly flooded are home to carpets of moss and seaberry bushes. The blue-winged grasshopper is also a frequent visitor to these areas, where it is perfectly camouflaged. On the other hand, places less influenced by the influence of floods see the growth of the grey alder, willow and poplar (in wetter areas), and ash, lime and oak (in less wet areas). The soundtrack is provided in the extensive neighbouring agricultural areas by different types of birds (such as the Eurasian wryneck and the red-backed shrike), which live alongside mammals such as the hare.
Discover more walks "Alla scoperta della biodiversità" in the printed guide (in Italian). Information: www.a-pro.ch
From Someo follow the signs for the Vallemaggia educational trail and cross the footbridge over the river. Follow the path on the left and continue into the woods as far as Lodano. Cross the village through the main square and continue back into the woods. At the tarmac road that runs along the valley floor, take the dirt track slightly further up that leads to the town of Torn. Continue as far as Pii, where you will meet the tarmac road to Moghegno. Shortly before the village, cross the river into Maggia, over the footbridge. At the roundabout, climb for around 50m before turning left. Follow the street across the Riale del Salto, past the church of San Maurizio and continue to the underpass beneath the cantonal road. Once on the other side of the carriageway, follow the path that leads to the amphibian site at Salignin. When you get to Lodano, climb the small staircase and continue towards Coglio before returning to Someo.
Bus 315 from Locarno, direction Bignasco. Timetable on www.sbb.ch
32T 473968 5125942
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
Alla scoperta della biodiversità. Escursioni nelle zone naturali protette del Canton Ticino - Salvioni Edizioni, www.a-pro.ch
Ivan Sasu, Eric Vimercati, Marcello Martinoni, SalvioniEdizioni, ISBN 978-88-7967-419-5
Hiking daypack (approx. 20 liters) with rain cover
Comfortable and sturdy footwear
Adequate and durable outdoor clothing in multiple layers