When the landscape turns white and the paths are softly carpeted in candid snow, the mountains come into their own. It would be a shame not to enjoy all this through fear of not being able to move comfortably. No fear: this is what snowshoes are for.
Oasi Zegna is an ideal place for snowshoe hiking, having a network of easy trails and activities led by nature guides from OverAlp. Outings suitable for everyone and others requiring experience but always well signposted: all designed to reveal the spectacle of nature in a simple but also educational way.
Of the many routes available, the longest is 10 km, from Bielmonte to Alpe Artignaga via alpe Piane and La Casa del Pescatore. Of the shortest, there’s one that goes up to Rifugio Monte Marca, with a breath-taking view across the plains of the Po Valley. OverAlp’s hiking calendar has both daytime and nighttime walks and various other activities that make an outing even more enjoyable: star gazing, treasure hunts and lots of other recreational pursuits for kids and adults alike. Oasi Zegna’s “family-friendliness” in fact makes it even more unique and hospitable.
Hiking on these routes on your own is totally free of charge. You can bring snowshoes from home or hire them here. The start points for the outings, all interlinked, are Bocchetto Sessera, Piazzale Due in Bielmonte, Piazzale Uno (by the Palasport), Bocchetto Luvera, Bocchetto di Margosio and Bocchetto di Stavello. Along the way, you can enrich the experience by stopping off at one of the many places that offer local food specialties and original recipes, like those of chef Ernesto Tonetto at Albergo Ristorante Bucaneve.
Here are just three of the main snowshoe routes that we’d like to recommend.
BIELMONTE – ARGIMONIA
Distance: 4 km. Difficulty: medium.
Starting from the village of Bielmonte, the trail climbs parallel to the ski slopes on the south side of the ski resort. There’s a panoramic view of the plains of the Po Valley and, weather permitting, you can see as far as Turin and Milan. It’s possible to go back the same way or, for the more expert, cut through the pine forest. Hiking time depends on how fit you are. Non-expert snowshoe hikers should take around 2 hours.
PIAZZALE 1 – PIAZZALE 2 – MARCHETTA
Distance: 5 km. Difficulty: easy.
This route is suitable for anyone wishing to try out snowshoes for the first time. After an initial section without snowshoes, you reach the path linking the two Piazzali in Bielmonte and put your snowshoes on. On reaching the stables there are two possibilities: the first, and easier, is to follow the groomed trail to the top of the Marchetta, from which the upper Val Sessera can be admired. The other, more demanding but without obstacles, is an ungroomed trail, this too to the top of the Marchetta. Back to Bielmonte the same way.
Time: 1.5 – 2 hours.
BOCCHETTO SESSERA – MONTUCCIA
Distance: 8 km. Difficulty: medium.
A nicely varied route also including some fairly demanding ups and downs. The landscape alternates between beech woods and views across the upper Val Sessera. On arriving at Montuccia, after around two hours, you can admire the splendid alpe Artignaga, the valley below and, in the distance, the Campeggio Verde (camp site).