Tracciolino Trail: path from Verceia to San Giorgio
The path we are proposing today has become an increasingly popular and popular destination over the last few years: it is the Tracciolino Trail path, which extends for 10 km along the route of a railroad narrow gauge Decauville, built in the 1930s to connect the dam of the Val dei Ratti with that of Val Codera, in Valchiavenna.
The popularity of the trail can be attributed to the breathtaking views it offers Lake Mezzola It is on Lake Como as for its accessibility: in fact, the route is mostly flat and absolutely within the reach of beginners and children.
Furthermore, it has recently been secured with steel cables, handrails and parapets in its most exposed points
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Tracciolino path: how to get there
The Tracciolino path it is found at Verceia, in the province of Sondrio. Starting from Como, you can reach it by taking the SS36 of Lake Como and Spluga. Once you arrive in Verceia, you must first purchase the day pass to walk the path, costing 5 euros.
The pass can be purchased at the Municipal Offices or one of the following bars/restaurants: Micio Bar, Bar Miky, Val di Ratt Bar, Bar Pinki, Ristorante Garni Al Sert. Once you have purchased the pass, take via Serti where you will find the signs for the Tracciolino Trail.
The road up alternates between asphalt and dirt sections and does not lead to a real car park: once at the top, you will need to leave your car on the side of the road.
The Tracciolino route from Val dei Ratti
At the end of the agricultural road where you find the no-traffic sign there is a crossroads: the path on the right leads in about ten minutes to the dam of the Val dei Ratti; the path on the left leads to our path instead.
After a few meters, you will find the house of the dam keepers, a bicycle train for the entertainment of the little ones and the first exchange of railway tracks.
From here you continue without difficulty along the ancient rails until you reach the first short tunnel. A little further on you arrive at the second tunnel, as well as the longest: it unravels for 350 m, is about one and a half meters wide and is equipped with timed lighting.
From here on the route continues along the route of the old railway in a succession of passages in the rock, concrete tunnels and various panoramic points over the lakes and valleys below.
About 5.5 km from the start of the route, you will find yourself at another crossroads. Going straight, you will continue along the Tracciolino.
The path on the right, however, will lead you through a birch and chestnut forest to the village of San Giorgio: it is a short route (about a quarter of an hour) but quite steep (150 m difference in altitude).
St. George it is a small town almost out of time, surrounded by lush nature, made up of a few stone houses, a small church and its splendid panorama of the valley and the lakes.
There is also a goods lift, used to bring up groceries and take down rubbish. The village offers the opportunity to refresh yourself: in addition to a small bar, there is a fountain for cooling off and numerous green lawns where you can have a picnic.
The Tracciolino route from Val dei Ratti
From the village of San Giorgio you can decide to return to the crossroads and take the rest of the Tracciolino up to Codera, or to retrace the route backwards and return to the starting point.
The route after San Giorgio, towards Codera, continues along the mountain, first through the wonderful tunnels, then through some open sections and others in the woods, zigzagging along the slope.
Once you reach the end of the path, you can decide whether to go down to Codera, where you will find some refreshment points such as the Capanna Codera and the Osteria Alpina, or return from where you came, following the Tracciolino path backwards.
You can also follow the Tracciolino path through a more challenging route (with a height difference of approx 700 m) lasting approximately six hours.
The departure is at Novate Mezzola, reachable from Como by taking the SS36 of Lake Como and Spluga.
Leaving the car in the car park Lake Mezzola, you need to undertake the trek that leads to the village of San Giorgio and from there follow the path up to Tracciolino.
From there, take the Tracciolino to the right, towards Val dei Ratti. From the Val dei Ratti Dam you descend to Verceia with the forest path that intersects the carriage road that goes up from the town; you then return to Novate Mozzate taking the cycle path.
Another circular route, with a similar difference in altitude and a slightly longer duration (approximately 7 hours), always starts from Novate Mezzola. In this case, it is recommended to park at Mid-level (at 316 m.). Here starts, indicated by abundant signs, a well-staired mule track, which rises to the nucleus of Avedee (at 790 m.) and enters the western side of Val Codera.
A final climb leads to Codera, from which you can take the climb that leads to the Tracciolino path. From there, you will follow the path in its entirety up to Verceia, and then return to Novate Mezzola following the cycle path.
Conclusion and Advice
We conclude with some indications that may be useful to you if you decide to undertake the path.
First, it is recommended to bring waterproof hiking shoes, both because you walk on rocks and because of the presence of pools of water in the tunnels.
Furthermore, we remind you that there are no refreshment points along the route, except for the village of San Giorgio: bringing water and food with you is therefore highly recommended.
We thank the author of the article Giuseppe Fadda.