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Via del Fiume in Val d'Era

An equipped trail alongside waterfalls and pools, in a valley nestled at the foot of the Grigne.
5:00 h


The River Trail in Val d'Era (or Val Meria) is quite unique in Lombardy. Halfway between a hiking trail and a via ferrata, it serves as a perfect introduction to the world of ferratas, and an ideal outing both in the shoulder seasons (given its low altitude) and in late summer (thanks to the cooling waters of the valley pools).

The starting point is Sonvico (370m) — reachable by car from Mandello del Lario. The River Trail begins approximately 30 minutes' walk from Sonvico.

The River Trail presents itself as a narrow path that follows the deep course of the Meria Stream, leading us to see countless waterfalls, cascades, giant's kettles, and clear pools of water. Occasionally, a chain or some steps help us navigate through the most exposed points or slippery rock sections.

The canyon ends when the waterfalls of Val d'Era rise before us: to exit the canyon, we need to climb steeply to the left. A half-hour ascent takes us to the lush green meadows of Alpe d'Era (850m, 2.15 hours), a tranquil and peaceful basin adorned with a chapel; those who don't feel up to traversing the River Trail can easily access this wonderful clearing via the path to Santa Maria in Val d'Era, which we also take for the return to Sonvico.

This path, at times a bit airy but secured by a solid railing, is mostly flat until the church of Santa Maria (664m, 45 minutes) and offers splendid views of the Northern Grigna in all its grandeur. From the church, a beautiful mule track descends rapidly back to Sonvico (370m, 30 minutes).






The mountains are a dangerous environment: make sure you always have the right equipment — hiking or trail shoes, warm clothes and waterproofs in case of unexpected changes in weather conditions, a small emergency kit.


I've made an Amazon "shopping note" to make sure you have everything — ps if you buy from these links, 3% goes to support the development and maintenance of Hikes of the World 🙏.


  • Breathable t-shirt ( example )

  • Sweatshirt, fleece, or light jacket

  • Waterproof windbreaker (for example: men / women )

  • Gloves and hat (you never know)

  • Backpack with rain cover

  • Trekking poles (not essential, but they help to unload the weight of the backpack and ease the impact on the joints)

  • Trekking or trail running shoes (in great vogue lately because they are lightweight. These Salomon ones - for men and women - are an excellent entry-level, preferably Gore-Tex)

  • For via ferratas: complete via ferrata kit (I have this one , very light and compact, with this harness and helmet — or you can buy complete kits ). Buy in store to receive ad hoc support

  • To sleep a night in a refuge: sheet or light sleeping bag

  • Water bottle or thermos

  • Light crampons if you think you will find ice or snow on the route

  • Power bank or cell phone charger

  • Camera

  • Drone, for those who love to "fly" (used in moderation and at a distance from other people. I have had the DJI Mini 2 for over 2 years and have found myself very happy with it. The DJI Mini 3 also allows you to take vertical photographs)

  • Small emergency kit ( example )

  • Sun cream (essential)

  • Sunglasses


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