Thirty years of the Dolomites Nature Park
The Dolomites Ampezzo Nature Park has existed for thirty years but this 11,200 hectare area has something quite unusual - it is privately managed. The Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti d’Ampezzo to give it its Italian name has together with the adjacent South Tyrolean "Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park" grown to become one of the largest ecologically homogeneous nature reserves in the Dolomites. It captivates with its solitude and natural wonders.
The protected area is managed by the Regolieri, the descendants of the first settlers in the region, who still follow their centuries-old rules and, in addition to protecting their cultural heritage, protect and preserve nature as the basis of their livelihood. No tourist overdevelopment, no crowds that shake the ecological balance: When the area was put under protection in 1990, Cortina d'Ampezzo was planning for the future and laying another cornerstone for sustainability.
Hikers encounter ibex, golden eagle and dormouse on lonely paths, as well as the eagle owl, stoat and ptarmigan. There are 35 orchid species, including the yellow lady's slipper. Among the twelve endemic plants that can only be found in and around Cortina d’Ampezzo, the red-flowering Sempervivum Dolomiticum stands out in particular by the way, it decorates the logo of the nature park.
There are countless paths through loneliness. One of the most beautiful leads to the sources of the Boite River and Lake Fosses. The moderate hike takes six hours, leads along the torrent, which cascades down to the valley, to the mountain hut Ra Stua (1695 m). Take a short break, then continue up to the origin and to the picturesque mountain lake, which shimmers in turquoise blue at an altitude of 1900 meters. And promises perfect cooling.
Silent companions on forays through the nature park with its wild river landscapes are prominent mountains, many of which rise more than 3000 meters. The Dolomite giants Tofana di Mezzo, Monte Cristallo, Cima Fanes, Col Bechei and Croda Rossa d’Ampezzo are those that stand out above all.