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Nature Trail – The Croara gypsum outcrops

Gli Itinerari - Parco dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell’Abbadessa

Partenza: La Palazza parking lot

Tempo di percorrenza: 1,5 hours

Difficoltà: Intermediate

Dislivello: 100 m

Lunghezza: 2 km

This route, perhaps the most classic and well-known of the hiking trails in the protected area, takes you to the karst forms in and around Croara, where extensive chalk outcrops have created a striking landscape of great scientific interest.

Starting at the “La Palazza” parking lot, take Via Palazza and immediately turn left onto the dirt road that, following trail CAI 802A, descends gradually into the doline, where you will be able to admire stunning views of the karst landscape. The trail continues into a forest and descends along a steep set of stairs. At about half way, leave the CAI trail, which climbs to the left, and continue downhill until you reach the original entrance to the Spipola Cave (the Buco del Calzolaio) and, just below, the current entrance.

The bottom of the doline has a cool and humid microclimate, which supports a typical mountain vegetation.

The trail climbs alongside broad permanent pastures, arriving once again at the chalk outcrops on the opposite side of the doline, near the “Il Casetto” locality. Turn left here and follow the indications for “Palestrina”. When you reach trail CAI 817, turn right for the chalk outcrops on the Miserazzano Plateau. Then backtrack just a bit and head down once again on your left towards the Buco dei Vinchi and back to “Il Casetto”. From here, follow the gravel road that will take you back to the point of departure in no time at all.