Sentierone of the Verzasca Valley
Verzasca Valley is crossed by a wide network of paths, the most important of wich is certainely the "Sentierone" (Long Trail), the mule track that in ancient times enabled the valley dwellers to travel towards the plain. Today, it is a very popular walk with hikers because of the beauty of the landscape through the woods and along the river’s emerald-coloured waters. Also groups and families appreciate very much this trail because it is easy and adaptable to different needs: in fact, it can be walked along its entire length or only a part of it, with easy access to the numerous public transport stops for the return journey.
Itinerary: "Sentierone" of the Verzasca Valley (see map)
The itinerary (details) can start either in Mergoscia or at the Verzasca dam. In the first case you get to Corippo by walking halfway up the hillside above the artificial lake; in the second case, you go through the numerous hamlets of Vogorno before reaching the crossroad “Bivio di Corippo”. From here a flat stretch leads to the village of Lavertezzo, extremely popular for the double-arched bridge and for its wonderful pools of emerald green water.
Continuing to Brione, the route crosses an area where the creation of an art trail ("Sentiero per l’arte") was tried out a few years ago. A few sculptures by contemporary Swiss and international artists can still be glimpsed, set in a truly delightful natural context. Different works in terms of style, technique and materials (ceramics, wood, metal, glass, stone). As expected, some of the sculptures have "fused" with vegetal and mineral presences of the place, while others have conserved their original aspect.
The path continues, past old buildings and chapels adorned with naive frescoes, small bridges, waterfalls and flowering meadows. You might even have a chance to spot some wolf traps on the way, which were used in the past. This leads to the last village, Sonogno, which is home to the House of Wool ("Casa della lana") and the Ethnographic Museum, that collects the memories of the valley and the history of the chimney sweepers.
Accessible in both directions from late spring until deep into autumn, the "Sentierone" does not present any difficulties. The entire trail is however quite challenging for its length (about 8 hours). But it is possible to split it or to walk along it in small segments.
In summer you can benefit of different spots to jump into the refreshing, green waters of the river.
During the winter months and at the beginning of spring, in some parts of the route the terrain can be slippery; while crossing streams can be difficult because of the amount of water due to the melting of snow in the high mountains or to heavy rain. Before leaving, you can enquire at the tourist office of Tenero and Valle verzasca.
For some years now, a new proposal aimed especially at children and young people has been attracting many families. It is called BoBosco and consists of two fun trails through the woods, between the villages of Brione Verzasca and Lavertezzo the first; from Gerra Verzasca to Sonogno the second. With a wooden ball in your hand, in a splendid natural setting, you try to make it follow always new paths between pulleys and cableways, hollowed-out trunks and water games, with a little skill and a lot of fun.