The path ofalso know as “tracciolino”, simply known as Tracciolino is a connecting road built around the 30s of the last century. Thanks to this route, a dam was connected to the Val dei Ratti and one to Val Codera.
We can still see the tracks of a narrow-gauge railway along the route between the two dams. The tracciolino is almost flat (runs at an average altitude of 920m).
We decided to start with our excursion from Vico, a small fraction of the Municipality of Verceia.
Parked the car in one of the few places available, we started the climb (the last part of via XXV Aprile) towards the entrance of the path. In this first stretch we are in the presence of a wide road and in continuous ascent, being carrable you have to pay attention to the cars and the bikes.
When the winding part begins, it is possible to shorten the road passing the paths through the woods. After the monotonous climb (about 1 hour from the start), you are in an area with tables where you can catch your breath before you get to the beginning of the tracciolino. Once the table area has been laid down, continue for about 10 minutes and you will reach the beginning of the path. At this point it is also possible to arrive by car, but a pass issued by the municipality is required. Arrival by car is recommended for those with very young children or those with a bike who want to make their way flat.
We start at a junction to which on the right we went to the Moledana lake dam and on the other we continued towards Codera-San Giorgio. The route that we will describe is the one considered most Our advice is to go first to the right and take a look at the lake (being private property, we could not get too close). Seen the lake, you return back in and continue towards Codera-San Giorgio and all the tunnels. In the first part the foliage of the trees covers the surrounding landscape. After a few hundred meters, you arrive at a stretch where the single track divides and the path widens. We are near the dam’s caretaker’s house, a nice bicycle with wheels suitable for the rails is parked outside the house. Going beyond the caretaker’s house, all the splendor of Val Chiavenna and the plans of Spain appears before our eyes.
Continuing along the path as if we were on a balcony above Lake M, we follow the progress of the railway. You get to a junction, turning left you go down towards the village of Campo.
Go through on the right you leave the tracks and you enter the first gallery, the longest. Before the entrance, on the right there is indicated by an arrow an switch that allows to light the tunnel.
The alternative is to enter the bowels of the mountain with a torch. Once past this long tunnel, the landscape changes radically, what was a large window on Lake Mezzola, for the first stretch becomes an alternation of tunnels of various lengths. The road is always flat and passable by everyone, there are no dangers for the little ones.
The high Valchiavenna and the final part of the trail
After the tunnels, we can admire the details of the high Valchiavenna and the mountains on the border with Switzerland.
At this point we are in the most monotonous and less interesting part of the path, a long steep road that leads to Novate Mezzola, before get to the destination, it is worthwhile to spend time visiting the villages of Cola and Codera.