Waterfalls 2019-09-12T12:34:52+00:00

The waterfalls of the Reserve

A hundred spectacular waterfalls up to 100 meters high are immersed in a setting of lush subtropical vegetation, where one can be involved  in the unique experience of a bath in clear and uncontaminated waters, fed by torrents that descend impetuously along the mountain slopes until they reach the crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea.

The Inferno Waterfall is one of the most suggestive of the Reserve since it is set in a narrow gorge with a very deep pool.

Many are the waterfalls of particular naturalistic value such as the Rupe Waterfall, a spectacular water jump carved into granite rock, enriched by the presence of two very rare tropical ferns (Cheilanthes marantae and Pteride of Crete) and the Gorges of Crocchio River, in the mountain trait of the ancient Arocha River, where, among other things, it is possible to admire the royal fern, a precious and rare plant of ancient origin and of great botanical value.

The Inferno Waterfall is set in a narrow gorge with a very deep pool.

Near the waterfall, the rare oriental plane tree finds its perfect place, with its roots almost immersed into the water. Before reaching the waterfall, a grove of laurel oak needs to be crossed which is a rare vegetable association.

The gorge acting as gateway is made by huge granite boulders, from the top of which the gorge itself takes shape. In turn, it creates the waterfall flowing into the large pool, particularly appreciated by fans of river bathing and known as the “vullu dell’Inferno” –  Gorge of the Hell. This name is related to the ancient popular belief, widespread above all among the shepherds but not yet verified, that it deals with a deep pool more than 100 meters (right until the Hell).

The waterfall, around 27 meters high, is surrounded by walls covered by maidenhair and acanthus. The path ends with a wonderful natural rock arch under which the water of the torrent flows.

With an overall height of 57 meters distributed in two levels, the Rupe Waterfall turns out to be the highest one along the whole course of Campanaro torrent.

At the feet of the first level there is a majestic dip that allows nature lovers to plunge into the limpid and fresh water of the torrent for a regenerating bath. It’s here that the rocks – dug and shaped by the ceaseless flowing of water – draw wonderful portraits and arouse humans’ deep appreciation towards the action that Mother Nature is carrying out over the millennia.

Walking down the river, along a footpath partly excavated in the rock, the Salice Waterfall will be reached and it will bring to a basin of water where a population of Italic frog is present. The name of the waterfall comes from a very old white willow tree placed between the two banks.

In this site, particular interest is given by the presence of small colonies of the tropical fern (Cheilanthes marantae) and the clay Pteris (Pteris cretica), rare ferns – typical of tropical environments and probably relics of ancient populations – that are still found in very few areas of the south of Italy.

The Waterfall of Campanaro is located in an uncontaminated area, whose aspect is certainly wild although it is easily reachable as it is right next to an important and connecting foothill road. The most widespread impression among visitors is of incredulity and astonishment in seeing how much naturalistic beauty is well preserved and harmoniously balanced at the same time in a context where human intervention is clearly visible, as evidenced by the presence of important infrastructures.

The footpath leading to the waterfall is full of attractions, such as crystalline and fresh water springs which allow a live teaching on the precious gift that originates from the mysterious ravines of the earth; a “vullu”, a dialect word to indicate the small pools of water that are formed along the course of the streams and rivers in the mountain traits, where the light – filtered by the dense vegetation – creates wonderful colors and extraordinary reflections on the water; a “pagliaro”, that is to say a traditional hut of shepherds, peasants and woodsmen, used as a shelter (for cooking, eating, sleeping) and built with wooden poles, fagots (locally called “frasche”) of myrtle and common broom.

Of significant interest is the masonry arch bridge that crosses the Campanaro River. Built in the previous century and partially destroyed by aerial bombardments during the Second World War, it was rebuilt without modifying its original architecture. Today it represents an admirable engineering work carried out by local craftsmen, notoriously skilled in the art of building constructions.

Along the path, partly dug directly into the rock, characteristic wooden bridges allow to cross the river, whose banks are rich in vegetation (willow, manna tree and many other species not only of floristic interest but also of historical and cultural concern). On the rocky walls the presence of intertwining holly oak roots creates fascinating anastomosis.

The waterfall is about 22 meters high and of modest flow rate. It is immersed in an idyllic environment, similar to the one that characterizes humid forests, made enchanting by the reflections of light on the water and on the rock and also enriched by the presence of beautiful and rare ferns, like the Pterid of Crete.

The widespread presence of red algae that covers the boulders placed on the bed of the stream makes it a distinctive trait of this corner of nature.

The deep Gorges of Crocchio are excavated among suggestive rocky slopes dominated by a rich forest mantle. The wild course of Crocchio River forms spectacular jumps of water, interspersed with deep and large pools – known with the dialect word of “vulli” – where, those who love the thrill of contact with the clear waters and mountain torrents can take a refreshing and healthy bath, at least in summer.

On the  river banks there is a rich riparian vegetation zone with alder, willow and some laurel, accompanied by a luxuriant presence of the rare royal fern (Osmunda regalis), which surrounds huge boulders and slabs of granitic stone.

Among the most beautiful waterfalls in the Reserve there are many others such as the ones of Allori, Salice, Tiglio, Chiusa, Chiusetta, Rovetto, Raga, Muschi and Cavallopoli.

The other waterfalls

Near the Reserve, especially inside the National Park of the Sila Mountain, there are many other noteworthy waterfalls, including the Waterfalls of Ninfe, Tronco, Pietra, Anemone, Frassino, Faggio, Lamponi, Lupo, Aquila, Grotte and Paradiso. The latter, with its 100 meters, is one of the highest waterfall in the whole area.

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