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The Ticino River near Castelnovate - Parco Ticino

The Ticino River near Castelnovate - Parco Ticino

Cycling tracks, Naviglio - Archivio Parco Ticino

Cycling tracks, Naviglio - Archivio Parco Ticino

Pinewood - picture by Archivio Parco Ticino

Pinewood - picture by Archivio Parco Ticino

Trail - picture by Cristiano Nericcio

Trail - picture by Cristiano Nericcio

Wood - picture by Cristiano Nericcio

Wood - picture by Cristiano Nericcio

Cycling track - picture by Archivio Parco Ticino

Cycling track - picture by Archivio Parco Ticino

Wood - picture by Cristiano Nericcio

Wood - picture by Cristiano Nericcio

Trail - picture by Cristiano Nericcio

Trail - picture by Cristiano Nericcio

Via del Gaggio - La Dogana - Parco Ticino

Via del Gaggio - La Dogana - Parco Ticino

Tour description

Proceed eastwards from Sesto Calende where the Ticino River flows out of Lake Maggiore. Follow the river towpath to Somma Lombardo by the Panpderduto weir, a long dyke that artificially raises the river level to feed two large canals. The trail follows the river’s left bank, mainly on canal towpaths to Vizzola Ticino where the imposing conduit with its tall cement walls directs the Vittorio Emanuele channel waters to the hydro-electric plant reservoir. This is one of the few complete bike trails in the park making this portion of the park interesting for visitors although its original natural environment has almost entirely disappeared under a complex hydraulic system of canals, conduits, dams, and plants. In Tornavento leave the towpath for a wide 19th century cobblestone road (Via del Gaggio) leading you to a scenic position on the edge of the river terrace where the Park Centre “Ex Dogana Austriaca (“Old Austrian Tollhouse”) is located. The Dogana was built in 1737. In the 19th century, after Italy’s independence it became a farmhand dwelling for the Parravicino family until the 1960’s when it was abandoned. The Park Authority purchased the Dogana in 1997 and turned it into a monitoring, research, and information centre. The Dogana Centre is only a few km away from Malpensa International Airport and houses some decentralized Park offices. Outside the centre there is a picnic area with restrooms.

Trail description: vieverditicino.it and Parco Fiume Ticino.

Landscape, NATURA2000, protected area

The “Ticino River Park” covers both sides of the Ticino river, in Piedmont and Lombardy respectively. The Park territory is managed by two management institutions: Piedmont’s Parco Naturale della Valle del Ticino and Lombardy’s Parco Lombardo della Valle del Ticino. The park in Piedmont is smaller and does not cover urbanized areas. Its activities are therefore restricted to nature conservation. The Park in Lombardy, on the other hand, extends from Lake Maggiore to the Po River, and covers the territory of 47 municipalities. The park therefore has competences not only on nature conservation aspects, but also on historical, archaeological, architecture, and agriculture aspects. The park concept aims at harmonising nature protection and the human presence. (Source: parcoticino.it)

For further information please contact:
via Isonzo, 1
20013 Pontevecchio di Magenta (Mi)
Tel. +39 (0)2/972101 Fax +39 (0)2/97950607
E-mail: info@parcoticino.it
Internet: parcoticino.it

Wildlife, Natura 2000 species

Invertebrates: Lucanus cervus, Cerambyx cerdo, Graphoderus bilineatus
Fishes: Acipenser naccarii, Barbus meridionalis, Barbus plebejus, Chondrostoma genei, Chondrostoma soetta, Cobitis taenia, Cottus gobio, Lethenteron zanandreai, Leuciscus souffia, Rutilus pigus, Salmo marmoratus
Amphibians: Rana latastei
Birds: Caprimulgus europaeus, Alcedo atthis, Lanius collurio, Pernis apivorus
Bats: Myotis emarginatus

Landscape and nature

Plant life in this area of the park is conditioned by harsh environmental conditions: acidic low-fertility high-drainage soils cause water scarcity with profound effects on plant communities. The most frequently found habitat is moor, predominantly colonized by golden haze (Calluna vulgaris).
Moor can in fact arise from two different processes depending on location: final oak woods degradation or pioneer colonization of degraded areas. Typically high mountain pine and birch will be predominant. However aspen pedunculate, durmast, downey oak, and turkey oak also occur. The shrub is predominantly broom.

Protected areas, proposed Emerald sites, Natura 2000 sites

- Lombard Park of the Ticino River Valley
- Brughiera del Vigano Natura 2000 site
- Brughiera del Dosso Natura 2000 site
- Ansa di Castelnovate Natura 2000 site

WWF’s tips for hikers

Plan each stage carefully, purchase a 1:25000 map, use light but sturdy equipment (hiking boots, rain cape, binoculars…). Be sure to carry a small supply of water and food. We suggest you taste local food (possibly organic) at resting places and restaurants.
Do not litter, do not pick up flowers or rocks and in no way disturb the local fauna. It is unsafe for inexperienced hikers to leave the marked trails and it may cause disturbance to wildlife.


To see

- Oriano Park Centre (Nature Sciences Museum) Sesto Calende
- San Donato church, Sesto Calende
- San Vincenzo oratory, Sesto Calende
- Visconti Castle in Lombardo:
- “Monsorino” archaeological digs in Golasecca: Vizzola Ticino castle
- Vizzola Ticino hydro-electric plant
- “Ex Dogana Austrungarica” Park centre in Lonate Pozzolo (Tornavento)
- Piazza di Tornavento Belvedere in Lonate Pozzolo

Further stages

Stage before: Emerald Trail Ticino-Varese Province: Stage 19

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Places along the route: Oriano Ticino - Lonate Pozzolo. Follow officially marked trails.


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Tour history (B01393)

First published: Montag, 7. April 2008

Last updated: Mittwoch, 12. Februar 2014

Tour published by: GPS-Tracks.com powered by GEO-Tracks GmbH

Tour characteristics

Distance: 23.5 km | Time requirement: 7 h
Ascent: 229 m | Descent: 288 m
Highest point: 350 m.a.s.l.

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