The stream originates in the wide basin, shaped in part by ancient glaciers, that extends between the Corno alle Scale and Mount Spigolino, where the various water courses travel across undulating grassy slopes to meet just upstream of the falls, creating a voluminous waterway that plummets into the depths of the beech forest. The existence of the falls is due to a number of factors, one of the key ones being the significant vertical distance between the mountaintop basin and the valley areas below: in fact, from the highest point of the falls to the plunge pool at the bottom, the waters have an overall height difference in excess of 100 m. The Dardagna Stream continues beyond the park’s limits and winds westward after Mount Capel Buso at Rocca Corneta to end its course in the Leo Stream, a tributary of the Panaro River, which, in turn, is a tributary of the Po River.
The Dardagna Falls and Valley are two of the most stunning and distinctive areas of the park: immersed in beech woods, they are home to numerous rare grass and fungal species and to a typical Apennine mountain fauna. The first cascade can be easily reached from Madonna dell’Acero, on a trail that travels in large part along a forest road. A trail with steps and protective railings allows visitors to climb up to the various cascades and admire the spectacular progression of tumbling water up close.