A long ride among the huts

This hike can be considered as the best of all in the area of this beautiful village. A pleasant walk to the old and new mountain huts (casere and malghe) following CAI and uncommon trails, all of a great impact.

You start from the old Bar da Stale, now closed, along the road from Coltura to Mezzomonte. Here you can see a table by CAI standing under the conifers at the hairpin turn where the building is. From here you follow the signs and the red and white marks along the CAI trail 981-982. Several times You come across the risina, an old canal which was used to transport tree trunks from the Cansiglio to the valley.

You walk up for about 100m altitude, then at the well-signed fork go left towards casera (hut) Costa Cervera.

You are now walking where there used to be an old large mule track, which mainly now has become a trail numbered 981 by Club Alpino Italiano. Here you can appreciate the trail still partially paved as it was in the past. An exceptional work, considering means and tools that were available at the time.

Walking along this trail is very pleasant, and the grade is constant yet not tiring; you again altitude rather quickly. As for a moment you come out of the woods, looking straight to the mountains, you are suddenly in front of a stunning view on Mount Torrione (the mount of Polcenigo). No time to relax, there is more way to go, fortunately in and out of the woods.

As you leave behind a wooden ___ , you are almost on the ridge. No more trees here but mountain pastures and an astonishing view over the plain landscape. When the sky is absolutely clear, from here you can admire the Julian Alps and even Euganean Hills, the lagoon area of Lignano. If you look carefully you will even see the Venetian Lagoon, and the outstanding St. Mark’s Campanile.

Once you get to the pastures, here is the first “blade”, a little ring of water used as drinking trough for animals, and right after it the track what links the Cansiglio to Piancavallo. You need to cross it and continue on the trail. It will not take you a long time to arrive at the malga/casera (mountain hut) Costa Cervera. Here in summer two girls from Polcenigo look after it and and produce delightful dairy products, respecting their family tradition.

Those who are not experts shall stop here and go back home the same way. A good advice would be to stop off at the beautiful malga (hut) Fossa de Bena, which is not too far and easy to reach following the dirt track towards the Cansiglio. Those who wish to continue are more than welcome to do so and will not regret it!

You have to follow the above-mentioned track that passes by the malga. You are now surrounded by pastured; looking at the few old ruined structures spread in the area, you can easily understand that dairy production used to be a vital and lively activity in the past.

A few moments before the big wooden cross, that can be easily seen, as soon as you get to the end of the straight road there is a hairpin bend going right. Here you have to turn left: a little stone man and the red marks will help you to keep the right direction. A few meters ahead you end up in an amazing wide valley, cut in half by a low wall and a few ruins. You are about to cross Busa Bravin and its casera (hut), or at least what is still there.

Follow the faded marks on the right-hand-side of the wall, and you will enter in some beautiful woods. If you come here in spring or in the early summer, you can take some time to look at the marvelous February daphnes (Daphne mezereum), that diffuse their pleasant perfume and their bright violet color blending in the verdant landscape. Still going uphill, but no big effort is required. There are a lot of easily visible marks along the way, please pay attention to all of them.

You come out of the shady woods almost by magic and here you are very close to the Col dei S’cios. You soon see the malga, which is just five minutes away from where you are now. I warmly advice you aim at the top of the hill, yet avoid descending too much. There are not too many marks, although on the top you find a big rock man and a barbwire cross built above it. This is the highest point of this hike, 1342m a.s.l., and the most important thing is what surrounds you: the range of mount Cavallo, cima Manera (mountain top), and the Dolomites and mount Pelmo, the easiest to recognize. Outstanding!
From here you go in north-east direction and few meters past, still on the descend along the hill ridge, you see a well-indicated passage with the usual red and white CAI marks. Once again in the woods, you start descending gradually until you are back on the track you were previously. Although, now you are near the casera Busa Bernart. Turn left to this big building, well maintained by the Alpini.

If you wish, now you may continue further to the casera Ceresera, it will not be too exhausting. You follow the track, at the fork turn right towards Piancavallo. There is a narrow track, closed by a bar, running left in the woods. Within half an hour you get to the Masonil Vecio and after to the casera. The same way backwards takes you to the Busa Bernart.

From the casera of the Alpini you follow downhill on the 982 trail, which runs right below mount Torrione, Toriòn according to the locals. Walk past the Fontana Buset (fountain), a small source of channeled refreshing water. Take a look at the trunk…I will not spoil the surprise.

Going back you get to La Lobia, a shelter where the trail gets split into two. Keep right; after a few plain stretches, the track plunges hence you descend rather quickly.

After about forty-five minutes from the shelter, you are back to the initial fork, where trail 981 goes towards casera Costa Cervera. You are almost there, you just have to walk the same track backwards as at the beginning and here you are at the starting point.

This hike implies 1050m of difference in height and is 10km and a half long (the extension to casera Ceresera in not included). It is more suitable for experts, and difficulty level is not higher than medium (level E). It is a nice hike all year round, but we advise you avoid the hottest season, that is July and August, unless you would like to leave very early in the morning so that you are not in the sun while you hike uphill. You will be certainly amazed by the variety of flowers and plants at any time of the year, peonies, edelweisses, primulas, the rare Giglio Carniolo (a peculiar kind of lily) and many more.

For those who do not feel like walking the whole trail, it is still a beautiful hike to casera Costa Cervera and back; bear in mind that the difference in height is no more than 800m and the total length is no more than 8km.

Finally let me add once again that if you go left once at the first ring of water, you get to the nice casera Fossa de Bena, open in the summer season.

We highly recommend appropriate shoes. Please remember that Fontana Buset is the only stop where you can find drinking water.

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Credit: Andrea Favret