This is a little known park and this is too bad as it is very beautiful and green. Therefore, I decided to create a day hike trail in the park so more will enjoy it.
The trail is based on several of the short hikes listed on this site:
However, these tracks do not seem to be very accurate and are all much shorter.
The starting point of the hike is an intersection on the Calciano side of the Park. The easiest way to reach this point is taking the exit Calciano and drive through the town up the hills. The road up is reasonably good.
From the parking, you follow the road further up the mountain. The road will get narrower and it's quite unlikely you'll see much traffic on this road. In the first almost 3 km, you will gain around 250 meters of altitude, so the paved road makes it easy to gain these height.
Just before your odometer reaches 3km, you have the option for a shortcut through the grassy hills, but you can also follow the road, which adds about 400 meters to your journey, but brings you to the same point. As you get back on the road, you'll pass by a bus stop and a dog kennel (?). When I was there, there was a friendly dog that followed me for a while and one that barked and followed me. They seem harmless. From the bus stop, you can follow a short track past the picnic tables, parallel to the road, or follow the paved road, which will be slightly longer. Either way, you'll end up again on the paved road a bit further. Follow the road up until you reach another bus stop (on your left hand). Opposite, you'll find a track that bring you past a playground and a building. As you leave this garden, you're back on the asphalt road for the last time today and only for a few meters. From here on, it will be small tracks for a while.
Enter the steps leading up in the forest behind the stone building. In the next 500 meters, you'll climb up about 80 meters, but you don't need to do that all at once. Along the way, there are a few things to see, as it's an archaeological site.
At odometer 4.6 km, you'll reach the remains on a stone entrance. Here you either go strait, or follow the steps up on your right hand. Both tracks come together a little further.
Just after you passed the highest point of the track, you'll come to watch tower where you'll get a great view over the panorama in the Northern direction. At the time I was visiting, the nearby forest was green, while the distant farmland was brown.
From the watch tower, the track continues, but is not much used, so it will sometimes be a bit harder to find, but your GPS will guide you as well as the marked trees.
At odometer 5.3 km, you'll come a fence that you cross using the ladder. From there, the track more or less follow the ridge down. By time you odometer reaches 6 km, you will have descended about 150 meters until you get to an unpaved road. Follow the road in Southern direction. In less than 100 meters, you'll come "The Balcony". From this point you get a great view over the valley, all the way to the rocks near Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa. There are benches and binoculars here, so it might be a good point for a break.
From the balcony, you will descend into the forest and you will not long views for a while, instead you will have a quiet forest and with some luck, you'll get to see some dear or other wild animals. Over a distance of about 3.5 km, you'll descend 400 meters. All of it is over a wide, but unused dirt road. The track is easy to follow and you'll need to stay on the track, although your GPSr may not get the best reception due to the thick forest.
Just before odometer 9.5 km, you will pass a small wooden bridge. It's not that significant, but after another 400 meters, you'll leave the dirt road at a not so obvious intersection (see way point). If you happen to miss the intersection, you can continue the dirt road until you get to the gravel road and then go north to catch up with the track. If you take the intersection, you may find it hard to find the track due to the numerous cow trails. Even the GPS might not show you the best trail to follow, but just follow the direction of the trail. After about 150 meters, you will find the trail and can easily follow it to the gravel road.
For the next 1.5 km, you'll follow the gravel road that brings you to the lowest part of the trial. Around odometer reading 12.2 km, you'll come to an intersection where you need to open and close a gate.
From this point, you start climbing again and follow an old paved road through the forest. The trees in this area are younger but closer together making giving more shade. The old paved road winds through the forest up the hills.
As your odometer reads 13.6 km, you'll pass by an old farm house. It seems a bit preserved, but no longer in use. At the nearby fields, I found several horses.
Continue the track and in less than 1 km, you'll come to a slightly larger road and a field. In the turn of the road, you'll see the remains of another farm house.
From this point, the travel road gets easier to walk on as it get levels out and it becomes drive-able.
A little further, you'll see a fence on your right hand. Just continue to follow the road.
At odometer 15.7 km, you'll get to an intersection where you make a right turn. From here, it gets easy as the track is virtually flat.
The last 2.5 km, you will simply follow the gravel road as it makes a few more turns until you get back to the parking.
Enjoy the track and leave a comment on how your experience was on the trail. Any comments, positive and negative, are welcome.
Don't miss this intersection as it's not very obvious
Take the steps up the mountain
There is a great view over the valley from this point
From here you have a great view in Northern direction.
From this point, follow the unpaved road, not the marked trail.