Val Grande Park

Val Grande Park and the Women

The Val Grande Park is wilderness par excellence: it is natural balance and harmony, it is total silence, it is unlimited space, it is a wild and inhospitable place. The Val Grande Park was born in Piedmont in 1992, in the Ossola area, between Val Cannobina and Lake Maggiore. At the end of the Second World War, the area became depopulated, shepherds and woodcutters left the mountains. Here nature has the upper hand and the woods return to cover the slopes. The Women of the Val Grande Park, are a group of women, in typical costumes, who bring to the knowledge of the world the uses and customs of a past Alpine civilization, so closed and hidden. They pass on habits and traditions, of which they are almost the only depositories. In fact the men were forced to emigrate abroad.

Reach the Val Grande Park

To reach the Val Grande Park the most comfortable and suitable vehicle is certainly the car. Take the A8 motorway, if arriving from Milan, the A26 if arriving from Genoa and Turin. The nearest exit is Gravellona Toce. Then continue on the highway from Gravellona to the Simplon Pass. The show is of remarkable beauty, in fact you can admire the mountains that surround the Val Grande. If you come from Switzerland you will go along the SS 34 from Cannobio. There are many dirt roads that lead to access points to the Val Grande Park or to starting points for the various routes. To reach the park by train you must get off at the Verbania Pallanza station or the Domodossola station. You can reach the Val Grande Park also with the Centovalli train, which crosses the Val Vigezzo.

The itineraries of the Val Grande Park

The Val Grande Park, given the characteristic imperviousness of the area, warns hikers that there are often difficult-to-walk paths, some may not be marked and others particularly difficult. For those unfamiliar with the valley there are guides, precious and expert. Furthermore, it is reported that in the Val Grande Park it is impossible to use mobile phones, merit or defect? Among the suggested itineraries there are: The Nature Trails of the Park, easy and accessible to all, accompanied by explanatory sheets. Among these we find: in the shade of the fir trees, the man-tree, the civilization of fatigue, stories of stone, and many others. Much more demanding are the crossings, the one from Cicogna to Finero and from Malesco to Colloro. These are excursions that require excellent preparation for the difficulties they face.

Environmental education of the Val Grande Park

The purpose of the Val Grande Park is not only to preserve an area, but also to communicate and educate. Precisely for this reason, its first interlocutor is the school, both locally and nationally. The proposal is that of an on-site environmental education. With guided tours you can learn about environmental issues related to biodiversity and admire the beautiful landscapes created by wild nature. Among the most interesting proposals there are: The water that turns on: the use of kinetic energy, The walk history: Boscaioli and charcoal burners, Environmental education in the Ecomuseum and Leuzerie and of Skerpelit di Malesco, The return of the wolf: Great predators and value ecological. As can be seen, the themes range from the study of the environment, such as fauna and flora, to the use of natural resources, to the safeguarding of ancient traditions.