The itinerary that, starting from the chalet of Malga Ces, leads to the marshes of the so-called Piani della Cavalazza (or Cavallazza) is a hike which does not feature an advanced climb while it still allows you to enjoy some incredible views offered by these beautiful and relaxing places. During the winter – as during the summer – the trail is rather unpopular, so the times are also to be evaluated based on the snow conditions that can slow down the pace.
The starting point of the itinerary is by the chalet of Malga Ces (1,660 m asl), which can be approached from the village of San Martino di Castrozza also by car. From the hut, a flat path branches off to the west, initially crossing the ski slope named Val Bonéta and then enters in the forest. After a few hundred meters a sign with directions for Piani della Cavallazza appears (Signpost No. 15, which you take on the left). After crossing the gravel road “Val Bonéta”, the trail goes up towards Piani della Cavalazza, in the only real uphill part of the itinerary, which however consists of an easy path with wide hairpin bends and rather easy slopes. While climbing though the forest, the route alternates between trees and small clearings and, after passing some buildings of the aqueduct, it heads towards the top of Piani della Cavallazza (1,972 m asl), with its small but spectacular flat terraces located close to the peak of Cima Cavalazza. From here, there is a simply beautiful view of the Pala Group, while in some part of the trail it is possible to see the village of San Martino di Castrozza from above. The path then descends slightly, taking you to a semi-open marshy area characterized by sporadic vegetation, with the presence of larches and mountain pines, in a piece of land that is a reserve of the natural park of Paneveggio Pale di San Martino. Once reached a crossroads with a downhill path that leads to Malga Fosse di Sotto; we strongly recommend to continue for a few hundreds meters, always following the Signpost No. 15, taking the path on the left towards Passo Rolle / Malga Fosse di Sopra. This stretch of the Signpost No. 15 allows you to cross the most interesting, panoramic and wild part of Piani della Cavalazza, with the peak of Cimon della Pala in the foreground together with the Pala Group.
The itinerary heads back to the crossroads, where the route starts descending along the path towards Villa Pisoni / Malga Fosse di Sotto, into the beautiful forest above the village of San Martino di Castrozza. This section of the itinerary has some rather steep stretches in descent; therefore, it is necessary to pay attention and keep following the trail. Once you reach the pastures of Malga Fosse di Sotto (1,639 m asl), now almost abandoned – near which (on the other side of the Cismón torrent) the old military cemetery of the Great War lies almost forgotten – the itinerary, instead of going down towards San Martino di Castrozza, continues on a short uphill stretch along the path named after “B.G. Miotti” (stretch of the Caoria – Paneveggio cycle path). You can take this part of the route a hundred meters below the remains of the hut, to the right towards the south. The “B.G. Miotti” path climbs gently into the forest until it reaches the location of Orti Forestali (tr. forest gardens – 1,700 m asl), ancient forest nurseries dated back during the imperial time (i.e., Austro-Hungarian Empire).
From the junction of the gravel roads present by Orti Forestali, the hike ends by traveling towards Malga Ces, following the gravel road “Orti Forestali” which, after a slight descent, flattens out just before reaching the location of Ces. A few hundred meters before Malga Ces, near the so-called “Campìgol”, the route resumes the stretch of flat path traveled at the beginning of the itinerary, which leads directly back to the hut of Malga Ces.
- From the chalet of Malga Ces (1,660 m asl), follow the path westwards, which initially crosses the Val Bonéta ski slope, up to the junction with the Signpost No. 15,
- From the junction, take uphill the Signpsot No. 15 towards Piani della Cavalazza,
- Climb along the Signpsot No. 15 to the top of Piani della Cavallazza (1,972 m asl), then head back to the basin of the Piani della Cavallazza,
- From the basin, descend along the path towards Villa Pisoni / Malga Fosse di Sotto,
- From the remains of Malga Fosse di Sotto (1,639 m asl), continue uphill on the “B.G. Miotti” path (cycle path Caoria – Paneveggio) up to the location called Orti Foretali,
- From Orti Foretali (1,700 m asl), follow the gravel road “Orti Forestali” towards Malga Ces, until heading back to the chalet. ✓