Falcade Geological Trail (Sentiero Geologico di Falcade)
A marvelous experience in the heart of the Marmolada Group
Although we didn’t know it in detail, we already imagined that the Geological Path of Falcade was something really interesting; casually coming across the signs of this itinerary, we noticed how it passed through some of the most evocative and particular places of Falcade and the Val Biois, like the Barezze Waterfall and Bosch Brusà. Frankly speaking, we didn’t expect it to be such a beautiful and surprising excursion: we take this occasion of presenting this cultural proposal by the Municipality of Falcade to inaugurate in the best way the summer season in the Agordino, the Heart of the Dolomites, on our blog with this marvelous walk among the peaks of the Marmolada Group, the 2nd of the 9 officially recognized and protected Dolomites System. Let’s see together what is the Falcade Geological Trail and what it offers to guests of the Dolomites.
The Falcade Geological Trail (Sentiero Geologico di Falcade in Italian) is an itinerary of primarily geological interest (as the name suggests, of course), but not only that: this trail is super fascinating from the point of view of the landscapes and very satisfying for the point of view of the hiking experience. The Falcade Geological Trail goes back along the course of the river Gavon, connecting the historical hamlet of Marmolada to Bosch Brusà, in the territory of the Municipality of Falcade in Val Biois.
The hike is divided in 15 stages, each one has an info panel (unfortunately only in Italian, for the moment) and it is very easy (no particular altitude gaps to be faced, 3 hours and a half to walk the entire path, so almost 5 hours in total). The Falcade Geological Trail is suitable almost for every kind of hiker with a minimum experience of hiking in the mountain; the basic hiking equipment (good shoes, supply of water, warm clothes etc.) is warmly recommended..
The departure of the Falcade Geological Trail can be found rather easily from the hamlet of Marmolada in Falcade: from the main road (SP346) after the hamlet of Caviola you just need to take the right before the bridge on the Gavon river, following the indications to Sappade and Tabiadon di Val. The panels is located on the first hairpin turn you meet driving from Falcade towards Sappade, but in case of any need, remember that you can turn anytime to the Tourist Office of Falcade (contacts below). On site you can easily park the car there, but the starting point of the excursion is pretty easy to reach also on foot from the center of Falcade.
Even if just in Italian, the info panels are full of graphics and drawnings that explain to the visitor what he/she is going to see with the Falcade Geological Trail. So eventually it’s easy also for guests who know anything or little about geology to understand what the trail offers and where to find it. .
In addition to the 15 info panels, the Falcade Geological Trail is marked by several trail signs (the ones dedicated to this route have a red circle inside a wider yellow one) and dedicated stakes spreaded throughout the itinerary. Right from the start, guests find all the indications and sign of the trail very easily, for they have been just renowned completely after the destruction followed to the Vaia hurricane of October 2018.
In a very hot June day we reached the starting point of the trail not far from the hamlet of Marmolada in Falcade. The first info panel presents the proposal in a breif but complete way, explaining the philosophy behind this idea and all the 15 stages, which are:
1. Introduction to the Geological Path of Falcade
2. Upper Permian sedimentation environment
3. Outcrop of interglacial conglomerates
4. Geological Panorama of Sas de la Palazza
5. Val Gardena sandstone – Interglacial conglomerates
6. Ignimbrites (quartz profides)
7. Barezze Waterfall
8. Bridge Barezze
9. Marmoladella torrent
10. Marmoi (accelerated erosion zone)
11. Mount Vallesella – Col Becher
12. Geological view of the Pale di San Martino
13. The landslide of Bosch Brusà
14. The Marmolade erosion basin
15. Paleoenvironmental scheme of formation of the Richthofen Conglomerate on Col Becher
The first part of the trail winds through the nice woodlands at the base of the Cime d’Auta (belonging to the Marmolada group). As said above, the trail appears in very good conditions in each part of it. The info panels make easier for the guests to understand the uniqueness of certain attractions of the trail, like this weird mushroom-shaped erosive phenomenon at the 5th stage.
The 7th and 8th stages are dedicated to the enchanting Barezze Waterfall, one of the most beloved tourist attractions of Falcade and of the Val Biois. In this point the Gavon river meets a layer of soft porphyry which has been dug by the water throughout the geological eras. The Barezze Waterfall is really a fascinating and charming place to visit, in which a very particular atmosphere reigns, probably due to the particular characteristics of the porphyries dug by the Gavon stream. Reaching the Barezze Waterfall from Falcade is definitely easy, and because of this we suggest you not to muiss this attraction if you are planning to pass by.
After the Barezze Waterfall, the trail begins to gain altitude as we get closer to the Sas de la Palaza and to the Col Becher. The ascent isn’t anyway too challenging for hikers (also kids) with a minimum resistance and familiarity with excursions in the mountains. Of this part of the itinerary, we personally liked a lot the 10th stage, which corresponds to the impressive ersion phaenomenon of the I Marmoi, and the 12th, that is the panoramic terrace on the Pale di San Martino Group, which offers visitors a breathtaking view on Mounts Focobon and Mulaz, Agner, Pape and Cimon della Stia.
After 3 hours of slow walk, with several stops and no need to hurry at all, we arrived eventually in one of the most striking locations of this itinerary: Bosch Brusà, where we met the last three info panels. Bosch Brusà appeared to us in its majestic summer dress, a riot of colours ranging from the green tones of the vegetation to the blue of the sky and the bright red of the sedimentary layers of the Col Becher. If you haven’t been there yet, trust us, you should.
Since it was not yet Midday and the weather looked good, we decided to go on with the walk, even if the Falcade Geological Trail end at Bosch Brusà, to reach on of our favourite spots of the Dolomites UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site: Valfredda. In almost half an hour we managed to cross the saddle that divides Bosch Brusà from Valfredda and we enjoyed again the astonishingly beautiful view on this place, a true Paradise on Earth and one of the most iconic places in the Dolomites.
In poco più di tre quarti d’ora superiamo forcella e scendiamo in Val di Forca, ammirando i verdissimi prati e le imponenti cime di uno dei luoghi più magici ed evocativi delle Dolomiti UNESCO.
At the valley floor we followed the signs to Malga Ai Lach and we managed to return to the starting point in 5 hours in total, completely satisfied of the day and of the Falcade Geological Trail.
To sum up, the Falcade Geological Trail is an easy but at the same time striking hiking proposal that offers a lot of information about the origin of the Dolomites and that offers some of the most charming landscapes of this area. It is definitely suitable for sporting families and senior guests (with an average knowledge of mountains, of course) and it can be a very nice way to approache the peaks of the Marmolada Group from Falcade and spend a marveolus day hinking among these peaks as we did. There are two malgas in which to rest and eat, Malga Bosch Brusà and Malga Ai Lach, both open for the whole summer season until the end of September. If you’re staying in Falcade, the Falcade Geological Trail could be one of the things to do before leaving, it won’t let you down for sure! We wish all our readers a very special and enjoyable summer, full of emotions, from the Heart of the Dolomites – See you very soon with new adventures and stories from the Dolomites – Stay tuned!
Ufficio Turistico di Falcade
Tel. +39 0437 599062 / + 39 0437 590116