Discover the World Heritage site Foresta Umbra with some easy hiking itineraries suitable to everyone.
The recently declared World heritage site Umbra Forest (Riserva Naturale Foresta Umbra) is likely to have been named after the Latin word umbra which means shady. It is part of the Gargano National Park, together with the Tremiti Islands. The Gargano National Park includes areas related to several towns, among which Apricena, San Giovanni Rotondo, Monte Sant'Angelo, Carpino, Vico del Gargano, Vieste and a lot more.
Reach this park during yout stay in Puglia, Gargano, in Autumn if you love nature, animals, hiking and taking pictures, as well as meditating in the silence of the unspoiled natural surroundings. Plants and flowers that you may observe include 80 different species of orchids. You might find examples of many species of aquatic birds, mammals and reptiles.
The Umbra Forest area lays on 15.000 hectares of mainly beech woods. Plenty of opportunities to enjoy natural landscapes and silence are given to anyone who wants to take an adventure in the park. In Autumn, a hike or walk along the paths of the Umbra Forest is ideal to see the foliage, as most trees show a stunning palette of colour shades including yellows, oranges, reds and browns, depending of the variety of the trees (beech trees, maples, hornbeams, turkey oaks and other oaks, limes, holm oaks and minor species).
Have you ever wondered why leaves are falling off trees in autumn? Leaves are used to transform sunlight into nutrients for the tree using water. When water is not enough, the leaf can be damaged and stop working. Nutrients from the leaf are taken back into the stems and roots. This way, they can be recycled. The leaf is therefore empty and it falls.
Some itineraries you can follow in the Umbra Forest, Gargano National Park, are listed below. If you are wondering what to wear for your hike in the woods, and what to take with you as you walk along the itineraries in the Foresta Umbra, we suggest you to wear proper hiking shoes, a rainproof jacket and to carry a dry change of clothes (including socks!) to be left in the car or another safe dry place in case you come across some rain during your hike. Before leaving, you may also want to get a paper map at the Visitors center where you may also book an official Guide or rent a Montain Bike. Gps signal may be scarce in some aread of the Forest. Snacks and plenty of water are mandatory. You will not find any during your hike. A camera is also essential if you are here to catch the breathtaking colours of the autumn foliage.
All of these paths are small routes, mule tracks and easy, visible paths, that do not present uncertainties, difficulties or orientation problems. Those kind of itineraries are also suitable for hikers on their first experience.
Lake d'Otri - Murgia
Approximate hike time: 1 hour.
You may reach this from the road that takes to Torre Palermo. A ringh path along beech woods where you may observe holly, butche's broom, brambles and ferns that may vary depending on the season and the amount of light available. Ariund the lake d'otri, a small pond, algae and vegetation create a really lake-like athmosphere
Tavolone - Dispensa
Approximate hike time: 1.5 h
Along the beech trees we reach a thicket with plenty of undergrowth and holly, brambles and ferns. With a short detour you may also reach the Grava (a cave) called Coppa di Stella, 40 meters deep and developing for 22m underground.
The National park Foresta Umbra offers opportunities for bikers and riders.
You may want to take a look at this map or visit https://goo.gl/maps/amxqm1AoS5vmYVzG9 for more information.