Regional Nature Park Val Calanca
6 February 2023
Parco Val Calanca (canton of Graubünden) is Switzerland’s smallest nature park. The area borders the Hinterrhein Valley to the north, the Misox (Mesolcina) to the east, the canton of Tessin (Ticino) to the west and the municipalities of Castaneda, Sta. Maria, San Vittore and Roveredo to the south. The current area includes the three municipalities of Buseno, Calanca and Rossa.
The change in the landscape due to the decline of traditional agriculture is unmistakable. However, many elements of this centuries-old landscape are still visible, the farms and settlements, arable terraces with dry stone walls, chestnut pastures, meadows and larch forests.
A unique cultural feature is the well-maintained network of mule tracks (Säumerwege). A well-developed network of paths was necessary for the steep Calanca valley with its scattered farms and hamlets.
While the rest of Graubünden invested in constructing motorways around 1900 (Although the use of cars was forbidden until 1925!), the steep valley remained dependent on mule tracks for longer.
Even at the beginning of the 20th century, a mule track was built instead of a motorway to Landarenca and Braggio! The ViaCalanca (www.viacalanca.ch) from Grono to Rossa goes along these traditional mule tracks.
The citizens of Buseno, Calanca, Rossa, and Santa Maria i.C. voted in a referendum for the “Regional Nature Park” label on 29 January 2023. The federal authorities will formally recognise the park by the end of this summer.
(Source and further information: Parco Val Calanca)