Footpath 7 From Adrara San Rocco to Colle Dedine

Once you have reached the car park in Piazza Papa Giovanni XXIII (Adrara S. Rocco), you cross the square and walk along the road that goes to the Dumengoni and Martinelli quarters, following the first part of footpath no.744. The narrow lane leads to the river, where splashing trout can be seen in the clear waters. After the little church dedicated to the Morti in Valle (Dead of the Valley), you cross a characteristic little bridge and leave the banks of the river to take a steep mule-track that climbs and turns up towards the terraced meadows and farmhouses above. Once you have passed several steep and twisting stretches, just above the steep slope where you can glimpse the deep ravine below carved out by the River Guerna, the mule track goes into the woods where there are mainly chestnut, beech and hornbeam trees. The path crosses several little valleys with rivulets whose flow of water varies considerably according to the season. You come to an old and abandoned district called Bariletti (690 metres and one hour from the start of the walk). Just a bit further on, before the next district known as “Piei”, now empty, another little valley boasts a delightful series of small waterfalls, surrounded by luxurious vegetation typical of these shady, damp areas.
The path becomes more narrow and less well-trodden, whilst the conifers on the slopes, in particular Val Cantiere, are desnser as a result of a reforestation program. As you go up, the path hugs closer to the banks of the river, which has cut deeply into the land and is now nearly level with the path. The vegetation is studded with fi ne alder and beech trees, whilst the footpath increasingly becomes a thin track. The effort required to go on is repaid by the chance to cross through countryside that has been left to its own devices for decades and has almost returned to a virgin state. Many parts are close to the water and in some sections it is possible, and at times easier, to follow the rocky river bed if the water level allows. After about a halfhour walk, the path ends and you have to wade across the river to join it on the other side. After about another 15 minutes, near a clearing where the valley gets wider, the footpath is clearer and continues to follow the river. Here, the river is wide and flat and flows over horizontal slabs of rock. After a few hundred metres, the path turns abruptly left, leaves the valley-bed and heads up towards a group of farmhouses (the sources of the river, known as “Fonti di Zandét”, are to be found in this area). You follow the path with ancient cherry trees to the right; it then joins up with a wide, unsurfaced road. You leave the road at the first hair-pin bend to take the path that crosses a little valley on the right, and you continue into the dense wood that covers the valley. The path becomes increasingly overgrown and the plants make the walk harder. Continue following that track until you reach and cross a small valley. Then go up until you reach the junction between two footpaths: take the path that goes up to the left until you come out in the field below a farmhouse (1081 metres, 3 hours from the start). The footpath crosses the pasture from the farmhouse, where a majestic Turkey oak – a species of oak not commonly found in this area – rises up, and you continue in the woods. There is another section of path that is hard-going due to thick vegetation; it comes out in a steep clearing near a fenced farmhouse. Cross the grassy slope, and you will find yourself on the unsurfaced road of the TCP/701, one of the principle routes for hiking in the area. This is in the Galena area (1160 m). The route is much simpler from here on; you follow the TPC/701 back on a part-unsurfaced, part-tarmacked road until Colle Dedine (995 m, 4 hours from the start), which has magnificent views over the two valleys that it divides. On one side there is Vigolo and Lake Iseo with Monte Guglielmo and Montisola in the distance, and on the other are the Colli di San Fermo, Adrara and Foresto Sparso.
After enjoying the panorama, you return back down over the fields to the right of the hill until you reach the mule-track that will take you back towards Adrara along its steep and twisting route. After crossing the last wooded slopes, taking care on the stony lane, you re-join the mule-track that leads once more to the little bridge over the River Guerna and to your starting point, after about five hours’ walking.Photos and text by:
Gruppo Sentieri Adrara San Martino e A.S.D Nordic Walking Lago d’Iseo – Paratico

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