The Cansiglio Forest
The State-Owned Regional Cansiglio Forest is an upland area covered with ancient beech and fir woods that span approximately 7,000 hectares altogether. It is surrounded by mountains, with the highest peak standing in the Cavallo Group (2251 m above sea level). Within the wooded areas there are two vast expanses of grassland at a height of 1000 m: Pian del Cansiglio and Val Menera.
Cansiglio is one of the most beautiful beech and fir forests in Europe. A huge variety of animal species reign supreme here, including deer, lynxes, foxes, badgers, squirrels, eagles, hawks, Western capercailzies, partridges, quails and owls. There are also occasional appearances from bears, wild ducks, wild geese and storks.
Here is a selection of the numerous sporting activities on offer:
- Cross country skiing on established trails and downhill skiing (mainly for children), with two small lifts and a ski school.
- Ski mountaineering (Pizzoc Mount and the Cavallo Group).
- Sledding with dogs in the Cimbrian village of Pian Osteria.
- Mountain biking on the 40 km or so of internal forest roads.
- Ecological and ethnographic excursions.
- Guided visits around historical sites of human settlements in Cansiglio (paleontological digs with finds dating back to approximately 15,000 years ago, Venetian rule from 1450 to the end of the 18th century, and the Cimbrian villages from the 18th century to the present day).
- Caving (the Bus de la Lum and Bus della Genziana caves and numerous karstic cavities).
- Observation of animals (from September to October there are almost 2,000 deers in the forest, with frequent fights between stags during the mating season).
Photo: Francesco Azzalini