Glacial Cirque Mt Alto - Source of the Secchia


Passo del Cerreto - 42037 Collagna


Piazza Primo Maggio, 3, Loc. Cervarezza, 42032 Ventasso (RE)
0522/891911, 0522 891520

How to get there:

To visit the location you have to go by car to Cerreto Pass which is about 12 km from the administrative capital. You take the SS 63 in the direction of Cerreto pass, here you can also get to the Source of the Secchia on the path 00 up to Ospedalaccio and then the CAI path 671.
Difference in Altitude 1260 - 1550.
Time needed 1.30 hr

Tourist Area:

Tourist Area
Parco Nazionale dell'Appennino Tosco-emiliano

Geographic Area:

Geographic Area

Analytical text:

This path leads to the inside of the splendid glacial cirque which opens on the eastern side of Mt Alto, between the altitude of 1860 m at one time probably occupied by a lake. During the period of maximum expansion the glacier of the High Val Secchia most probably was 3 km long reaching up to 1000 m where the Gabellina del Cerreto is. Glacial morphology
Glaciers in past ages occupied a good part of the Apennine reliefs. Their action of eroding and depositing has modeled morphological characteristics which are possible to admire even today. One of the more evident and important is the glacial cirque. The glacial cirque of the Secchia Springs is one of the nicest in the Apennines: a huge semi-circle shaped niche, with steep walls, carved on the rocky side of the Mt Alto (1860 m) exposed on the north-east. From this area of accumulation the glacier would insinuate itself in the High Val Secchia reaching as far as Gabellina. Geomorphology
The aspect of the landscape is the result of both, processes which have modeled it and that have constantly modified it and of the type of rock present. Where the clay formations, when there are exceptional or seasonal meteorological events, the rocks lose their cohesion and become easily eroded by the superficial water. Thus this creates furrows within this soft soil, the erosion is rapidly accentuated, the incisions become deeper and get longer backwards, branching out and multiplying. Geology
At station # 4 (see nature path #8) there are calcareous rocks which surface, they are light gray and darker in contact with chloridic acid, or lemon juice, you will see that they bubble. They have a fairly regular stratification and were deposited millions of years ago in profound marine basins. Sometimes you can see fossil traces inside them which have a very complex characteristic design, similar to a labyrinth complex.Additional information:
The area which is highly interesting landscape-wise allows you to have a wide view of the Secchia river valley, closed between the massif of Alpe di Succiso, Mt Cassarola and Mountains La Nuda and Maccagnino

Last update: June 13, 2022