Take the five-minute suspended cable car ride from Orselina to Cardada and find yourself immersed in a striking alpine setting. Follow the short paved path through the pines until the chairlift departure to Cimetta. From here start your ascent toward Cimetta, passing by Alpe Cardada as well as a low vegetation area and some pastures. Along this stretch, there are two facilities where you can stop to eat or have a drink.
In Cimetta, at an altitude of 1'670 meters (ideal starting point for this hike - the distances indicated on the website consider only the stretch Cimetta-Mergoscia), there are an alpine hut and the geological observatory, with a red line that symbolizes the Periadriatic Seam. From here you can enjoy a stunning 360° view of the lake, the Magadino Plain, and the surrounding mountains, including several Alpine peaks.
Leave Cimetta to ascend until Cima della Trosa on a leisurely path with a steady gradient. After admiring the view, take the same path back to Cimetta and then Cardada. Alternatively, continue the hike down to the beautiful village of Mergoscia, in Valle Verzasca, reachable in less than three hours of walking from Cima della Trosa (more than 1'100 meters of altitude gap). Going down the sunny side of Valle di Mergoscia, pass by Alpe di Bietri (known for its fresh cheeses) as well as a few small clusters of stone houses. The last stretch is mostly wooded until you reach the village of Mergoscia, nestled above Lake Vogorno and known for its beautiful church of the Saints Gottardo e Carpoforo.
From Mergoscia you can take the bus back to Locarno.