The Arena Forest Reserve
Walk at a slow pace, understand the mountain wood.
Hike over a wood with silver fir, spruce fir, larch and beech. Among the jewels in the crown: the mountain elm, the fir forest with rhododendron and the still hidden island with Swiss pine. The action of the snow on the forest structure is evident.
The excursion lasts approx. 4.5 hours (elevation gain: 650m) and leads through the silver fir forest with spruce fir and beech. Larch forest prevails in the upper part of the forest zone and it is attributable to the management of ancient wood pasture. Today, the return of the silver fir in this area is outstanding. There are several maple wood sites with mountain elm linked to debris-flow and snow avalanche activity. The fir wood with rhododendron is beautiful and the forest landscapes, dominated by imposing columnar trees, are captivating. The itinerary leads to the so-called "wood with small hills," characterized by a wavy ground that was formed long ago when raging winds uprooted its trees. Just beyond the upper limit of the Reserve there is the Alpe Arena (mountain hut). It offers a breathtaking view on the peaks of the Valle Vergeletto. From here, it is possible to reach Salei (in approx. 2 hours) and Comologno (in an extra hour and 20 minutes).
The enhancement project of the Locarnese Forest Reserves was coordinated by the Locarnese National Park Project along with the expert advice of R. Buffi and the important support of the Canton Ticino Forest Department. Best time to visit: May to October. Best itinerary (offering you a glimpse of all types of trees): Piano delle Cascine - Footbridge on the river Ribo - Valle di Arena - Alpe Arena - Alpe Salei. Warning: mountain gear is compulsory.
Weather dependent? Yes
Does it cost anything? No