An easy circuit through diverse broadleaf woodland, protected and left to grow freely for more than sixty years in order to see what giving priority to nature means and gaining an understanding of how woodland works. A path to be walked in every season, where you can nurture your soul, listen to the birds and contemplate shapes and colours.
The route starts from the bus stop in Arcegno (opposite the church), just a few minutes away from the municipal car park at the entrance to the village. Continue through the settlement before making your way down into the Ortighée Valley. Then follow signs for Maia. In just a few minutes you will come to a small bridge, where an information board marks the entrance to the forest Reserve.
The path climbs gently through a wood with interesting dynamics. You will come to a plateau with one of the many “ponds” that dot the Bosco di Maia, a poetic place. Continuing en route and making your way downhill you will see woods with fallen trees, where young trees have taken root next to them.
You will then reach a large pool with an island and reed bed, which is the perfect place to stop for a while. This biotope features on the list of amphibian reproduction sites of national importance. With a bit of luck, you might see the rare smooth newt here in April and May. As you continue on your way, if it is the right time of year you will see the sage-leaf rockrose (a protected species that flowers in April and May).
Further on, the path skirts a slope covered in chestnut trees. It then climbs again, making its way through various forest formations, some of which include a lot of dead wood. You will soon come to an absolutely fascinating little lake in the wood. The edible frog sometimes puts on a beautiful concert here during the evenings in April and May. It is worth stopping off at Barbescio hill, an important viewpoint. The path then descends through another wetland area, where a chapel dedicated to Mary has been erected. Not far off, on the road above, is Arcegno forest school, home to yet another wetland area, where with a bit of patience you may see the elegant blue-winged dragonfly. As we continue, we can admire various different forest environments, before coming back to the natural road we followed at the start and making our way back to our starting point in Arcegno. This easy route is around 4.5 km long and takes around 2?3 hours. Alternatively, on your way back you can follow the “Strada dei Polacchi”, which leads directly to Arcegno. There is a plaque along the route that was placed there in memory of the Polish refugees who built it during the Second World War.