? Trail of the Week: Vertical Rie’ – Monte Le Croci

CTT  takes you on the trails.

We’ve been using our extra time during the past months of semi-lockdown to reopen abandoned local trails.  We completed our most recent volunteer project last week, the direct route from the village of Groppo to Monte le Croci.  Way back in 2018 we cleared the final, 300 meter segment from Trail ex6A to Monte le Croci, and over the past month we reopened the rest of the route, from Groppo to Trail ex6A.  The full route is comprised of 4 segments: Rie’ Trail -Costela Bassa-Costela Alta-Vertical Monte le Croci.

Starting from Groppo on provincial road SP51, the Rie’ trailhead is about 150 meters from Cantina Cinque Terre in the direction of Volastra.  It begins as a stone stairway leading through cultivated olive groves.  Upon reaching a renovated farmhouse, the trail turns left onto a wide grassy path, then crosses over a stream.  The trail turns right and follows a narrow stone path between a dry stone wall on the left and the stream on the right.  The final step of a short stairway is a large stone that juts out over the stream, known in the local dialect as the “Ciapun” (big rock), and used as a landmark by residents when describing this trail.  The trail recrosses the stream and then heads up a stairway through a dry valley lined by terraced fields, now overgrown with mediterranean scrub and pines.  The final flight of stairs heads right, up onto an abandoned field.  After passing an abandoned farmhouse, the trail continues horizontally through a stand of tree heather, then turns left up another stairway of short, narrow steps.  After a  “U” curve, the trail continues up more stairs, wider and longer than the previous steps.  The final meters are on a dirt path that winds through a mixed forest.  The Rie’ Trail ends on Trail N. 530 (a dirt road), at an electric anti-wild boar fence.

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