Barefoot trekking in the Orpel natural park

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Orpel: la creatura misteriosa che si nasconde di giorno e si trasforma di notte in un folletto dispettoso che si diverte a spaventare i contadini e i viandanti… è anche il nome di un bellissimo Parco Naturale a due passi da Sesto. Il Parco Naturale dell’Orpel è un’oasi sul Monte Elmo dove si può provare un’esperienza splendida: camminare a piedi nudi in uno dei più bei percorsi escursionistici delle Dolomiti.

It is located at over 2,000 m a.s.l. and it is a real nature park suitable for both children (including strollers) and adults. A thematic tour near the mountain station of the Monte Elmo ski lifts.

The route is only 1.5 km long and starts in the large playground of the mountain station, where in Orpel's honor there are the enclosures of animals to be caressed and wooden huts that allow you to breathe an atmosphere worthy of any pixie village. The mountain is a peak of the 2,434 m high Carnic ridge: as soon as you arrive from the Sesto-Monte Elmo cable car or the Versciaco cable car, you can leave your shoes in closed lockers and walk along the ring path, paved with tiles, pebbles, scented larch wood, sawdust and soft musk.

Touching nature in all its reality is an exciting experience capable of making us feel in communion with all the beauty that surrounds us at this altitude. The path starts at the Malga dei Bambini, a wooden hut with sheep, goats, bunnies and chickens and we can already make a first stop at the panoramic tower which presents itself with a great view of the Sesto Dolomites. Along the various stations, there are areas dedicated to the flora and fauna of the area. Climbing trees, and stories of the wild animals that live in these places such as eagles, chamois and badgers, rest areas with lots of play areas for children. Continuing on the route, after seeking the attention of deer and black grouse, we will arrive at the last stop of our journey: the Orpel hut.

The Orpel Natural Park is a road that takes us right to his home, and welcomes us a little untidily in the front area, as if we had disturbed him! Peeking inside his house, maybe it will also be possible to meet his eyes in the dark ... Just remember that he is a playful and not at all bad pixie!