Trails and pilgrimage routesTrails and pilgrimage routes

Hiking Emilia-Romagna | 5 routes you wouldn’t miss

by /// March 24, 2023
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes



Almost 7000 kilometers of path perfectly traced and accessible in all seasons, these briefly the numbers that summarize the hiking routes of the Emilia-Romagna Region.

A huge historical and naturalistic heritage that it is possible to get to know and to walk today thanks to the incessant activity of the local Italian Alpine Clubs in partnership with the Emilia-Romagna Region.

Verso il rifugio Duca degli Arbuzzi, Lago Scaffaiolo
Verso il rifugio Duca degli Arbuzzi, Lago Scaffaiolo | Foto ©

But among the myriad of paths and with more than 6500 kilometers to walk, which one to choose? What is the one that best suits your training and your interest?

As editors of Travel Emilia Romagna, we care that your excursions live up to expectations, so here are 5 hiking paths not to be missed in Emilia-Romagna.

5 paths of varying degrees and difficulty as a symbol of our wide hiking network and which will lead you to the discovery of that naturalistic and climatic boundary line that it is the Emilia-Romagna Apennines.

Climb on the Cusna Mount

Attraversamento Sentiero CAI 607 Monte Cusna
Crossing the path 607 Monte Cusna | Credit: Mauriziogps

With its 2121 meters of height, Cusna Mount is the second highest peak in the Northern Apennines as well as Emilia Romagna.

Moved further north than the main ridge of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, its ascent is very suggestive, thanks to a more natural and uncontaminated landscape area, from which it is possible to look from the Tyrrhenian Sea to North Italy.

We are here in a truly exceptional climatic zone, the Apennine ridge of Emilia-Romagna in fact marks the boundary between the European climate and the Mediterranean landscapes.

You can start the path to climb Monte Cusna directly from the Battisti Refuge where turning left, you can take path 615 (marked with red-white signs) and follow it until you cross the starting point of path 607.

Going up the route 607 along the ridge of the mountain you will arrive under the summit of Cusna on which the cross stands out.

Here the last part of the path takes place on rocks and is therefore recommended for expert hikers, as a simplified variant it is possible to turn right on path 607A until you crossing the path 617 and 619: both of these will lead you to the summit in the easiest way.

Lakes and peat bogs of the Alta Val Parma

Parco dei Cento Laghi
Cento Laghi Natural Park | Credit: Viviappennino

Four lakes and some peat bogs offer a glimpse of the evocative landscape of glacial origin in the upper Val Parma, a territory that still today presents a variety and a unique environment.

The paths number 719 – 715 – 711 will allow you to make a circular excursion around Scala Mount, walking at an average altitude of about 1500 meters.

You can start directly from the parking of the Lagoni Refuge (1341 meters), following the forest road for a few hundred meters until you will find the 719 trail sign at an altitude of 1332.

From here you can go up to Scala Mount through a landscape made of blueberries, peat bogs (the only ones in these latitudes) and ancient tilled pasture land.

We are in fact in the hills used by the shepherds of Parma and Garfagnana, whose summer structures and soils can still be observed.

For the more demanding walkers, we recommend the suggestive variant of Matto Mount (path 715A) which, with a couple of hours of walking, climbs steeply on the path of a centuries-old mule track to reach first the Badignana Pass at 1680 meters high and then, through the Alta via dei Parchi, the top of the mountain.

We are here in one of the territories once most frequented by the Tuscan shepherds to reach the green pastures of Val Parma every summer, but also for trade and smuggling between the two sides during the German occupation.

A natural, cultural and historical itinerary together, on the traces of ancient glaciers and old shepherds’ paths, to discover lost traditions and ancient mule tracks.

Corno alle Scale Ring

Hiking Emilia-Romagna

Along the ridge between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna: Corno alle Scale Regional Park Ph. Matteo Gualmini

The Corno alle Scale Regional Park is the highest park in the Bologna area and also home to one of the most renowned ski resorts in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
Its gentle slopes on the border between the amazing landscapes of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna represent an ideal situation for all novice skiers, as well as for winter snowshoers who want to enjoy whitewashed panoramas without facing prohibitive quotas.

The Corno alle Scale Ring is a famous excursion that, starting from the parking of the Ski Resort, will take you to the Apennine ridge through path 329.

From here the more expert walkers can take the stretch of the Alta Via dei Parchi towards the Passo dello Strofinatoio which, by lengthening the route for a few hours, will take you to the top of Corno alle Scale (1944 m) and then descending through path 129 first and then with path 335 once to Punta Sofia.

The Ring of Corno alle Scale is an excursion classified as Medium-Easy, even if it requires good physical preparation before being tackled and a day of walking.

Monte Mauro Ring

Parco della Vena del Gesso Romagnola, Da Tossignano verso la Riva San Biagio
Vena del Gesso Romagnola Park, From Tossignano towards Riva San Biagio | Credit: Fiorenzo Rossetti

It is one of the most complete and fascinating itineraries of the Parco della Vena del Gesso Romagnola, and has a length of about 11 kilometers for a walking time of about 7 hours.

The path runs along the chalky ridge, between Volpe Mount and Mauro Mount, along the path 511 and requires some attention, especially in case of rain. We are in fact in one of the most important karst areas of Emilia-Romagna, famous for the presence of some of the most relevant and difficult caves in the region.

In any case, you can reach the Mauro Mount by tackling part of the path of the Way of St. Anthony which is much less demanding and well signposted.

For the return, however, we recommend going down the path 513 which, in about 2.30, will bring you back to the starting point.

Given the particular shape of the area, we recommend that you pay particular attention during the journey due to the presence of crevasses and caves on the edge of the paths that are not indicated.

The sources of the Arno River and the ancient Lake of the Idols

Parco delle Foreste Casentinesi
Parco delle Foreste Casentinesi | Foto © Parco delle Foreste Casentinesi

Itinerary that goes into one of the most suggestive corners of nature of the entire peninsula, the Parco delle Foreste Casentinesi, leading you to discover the sources of the Arno River.

From the upper part of the town of Castagno di Sant’Andrea you can climb up into the woods along the path of the Alta Via dei Parchi which cuts through the numerous hairpin bends of the road to the Fonte del Borbotto.

From the Borbotto source, you can continue to rise in the beech forest sprinkled with boulders up to the Gorga Nera pond, then continuing beyond the watershed up to a forest track that leads to the source of Capo d’Arno.

The route of the excursion, which follows almost entirely the Stage 21 of the Alta Via dei Parchi, continues crossing the southern slope of Monte Falterona between woods and marshes up to Lake of the Idols, an important Etruscan archaeological site that recent works have brought back to the original conditions of mirror of water immersed in the forest.

The Montelleri pastures will lead you again to the ridge at the foot of the summit of Monte Falterona, accessible with a short detour.

The journey continues on the ridge to the top of Monte Falco (1657 m), the highest altitude of the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines and an extraordinary balcony overlooking the Casentino and Romagna Region.

From the top you will descend slowly, meeting the antennas of a military installation and then the vast meadows of Burraia, from which you will find the road to come back in Castagno Sant’Adrea.


Walter Manni

Explorer and Adventurer: loves sailing the oceans, climbing the highest mountains and surfing on the waves of the web

You may also like

This article has one comment

  • Keith Wakefield

    Looks superb . Although I have books and maps of Marche ,Umbria and Tuscany , very difficult to find them of Bologna area in England .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *