Tracciolino Trail: Val Codera trail and excursion
  • Starting location: Verceia (SO)
  • Length: about 20 kilometers (round trip)
  • Elevation gain: about 920m, constant height difference
  • Duration: about 5h (round trip)
  • Refreshment points: Locanda Codera, Osteria Alpina

Tracciolino Trail: path from Verceia to San Giorgio

The path that we propose today has become an increasingly popular and popular destination over the last few years: it is the path of the Tracciolino Trail, which extends for 10 km along the route of a railroad narrow gauge Decauville, built in the thirties to connect the dam of the Valley of the Rats with that of the Val Codera, in Valchiavenna.

The popularity of the trail can be attributed both to the breathtaking views it offers on the Mezzola lake 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 made safe with steel cables, handrails and parapets in its most exposed points.

Sentiero del Tracciolino: how to get there

The Tracciolino trail it is found at Verceia, in the province of Sondrio. Starting from Como, it can be reached by going along the SS36 of Lake Como and Spluga. Once in Verceia, you must first buy 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, Restaurant Garni Al Sert. Once you have purchased the pass, take via Serti where you will find the directions for the Tracciolino Trail.

The road to climb alternates between paved sections and dirt tracks and does not lead to a real parking lot: once at the top, it will be necessary to leave the car on the side of the road.

The path of the Tracciolino from the Val dei Ratti

At the end of the agricultural road where you find the ban on transit, there is a crossroads: the path to the right leads in about ten minutes to the dam of the Valley of the Rats; the path to the left instead leads to our path. After a few meters, you will find the house of the dam keepers, a bicycle train for the amusement of the little ones and the first railroad track switch.

From here, continue without difficulty along the old rails until you reach the first short tunnel. A little further on is the second gallery, as well as the longest: it unwinds 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 old railway track in a succession of passages in the rock, concrete tunnels and various panoramic points on the lakes and valleys below.

About 5.5 km from the start of the route, you will come across another crossroads. Going straight, you will continue along the Tracciolino.

The path to the right, on the other hand, will lead you through a forest of birch and chestnut trees to the village of San Giorgio: it is a short route (about a quarter of an hour) but quite steep (150 m in altitude).

St. George it is a small town almost out of time, surrounded by luxuriant nature, made up of a few stone houses, a small church and its splendid panorama over the valley and lakes.

There is also a freight elevator, used for carrying up groceries and taking down trash. The village offers the opportunity to refresh yourself: in addition to a small bar, there is a fountain for refreshments and numerous green meadows where you can have a picnic.

Tracciolino path: from Verceia to Codera

From the village of San Giorgio you can decide to go back 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 skirting the mountain, first through the wonderful tunnels, then through some open sections and others in the woods, zigzagging along the slope.

Once you arrive at 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 arrived, along the Tracciolino trail backwards.

Picture of Carlotta Matteri And Carola Romano – Larius Way Creator

Ring route

You can also walk the Tracciolino path through a more challenging route (with a height difference of approx 700 m) lasting about six hours.

Departure is at Novate Mezzola, reachable from Como by taking the SS36 of Lake Como and Spluga. Leaving the car in the parking lot of Lago di Mezzola, you have 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 go down to Verceia with the forest path that intersects the carriage road that climbs from the village; then return to Novate Mozzate taking the cycle path.

Another ring route, with a similar gradient and a slightly longer duration (about 7h), always starts from Novate Mezzola. In this case, it is recommended to park at Midland (at 316 m.). Here starts, indicated by abundant signs, a well-stairned mule track, which climbs to the nucleus of Avedee (at 790 m.) and enters the western side of the 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.

Picture of Carlotta Matteri And Carola Romano – Larius Way Creator

Conclusion and Advice

We conclude with some indications that may be useful if you decide to take the path. First, it is recommended to bring waterproof hiking shoes, both because you walk on the 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 Joseph Fadda.