Spring has finally come and we all feel like walking and spending more time outdoors with our children. Do you happen to be heading to Ticino? Nothing beats undertaking one of the many family-friendly spring hikes that Tessin offers. If you don’t know how to start planning one, we have selected (and tested!) for you 10 family-friendly hikes in Ticino to do with children in the spring.
- Camorino, the Hunger Forts – i Fortini della Fame
How about a gentle walk, which allows you to combine walking with history? This is a suggestive 2-hours hike with low height difference, through woods and vineyards, which leads to discover some forts that were built in 1853 along the Dufour defense line. The five forts look like towers and if you want to know why they were built, you just need to stop and read the educational boards. The route is circular, so on your way back do not forget to stop off at the Parco Motto Grande, a small nature reserve with a playground (never underestimate a playground, it is a universal incentive!) and a biotope. If you wish, you will also find tables and benches for picnics.
2. Aranno, the old water-powered forge and the Trail of Marvels
This is one of the classic spring family-friendly hikes in Ticino. Aranno is the Malcantone area and the hike is a short one. However you can make it longer by continuing along the Sentiero delle Meraviglie (Trail of Marvels). You will see pastures, a beautiful waterfall and a lever forge, the last remaining in Tessin. Your children will especially like to see it in action, when the sound of the hammer on the anvil is deafening. Ask the caretaker to show you how it works! Once back in Aranno do not miss the beautiful shaded playground made of wood.
- For more details, read our post: Discovering Malcantone on foot: the old water powered forge of Aranno (Maglio di Aranno) with kids
3. Cademario, Philosophers’ trail – sentiero dei filosofi
The philosophers’ trail is a beautiful walk in the woods, easy and gently uphill, which starts from Cademario, a beautiful village in Malcantone located at 850 meters above sea level, boasting spectacular views over the Gulf of Lugano. Its highest point is at the Croce di Arosio (the cross at the top of the hill) and it is a nice place for a picnic. Along the way I suggest why not take a detour to the nearby Alpe Agra, so you can visit the Agra pond and its biotope, which your children will surely love.
- For more details, read our post: Sentiero dei Filosofi (Philosophers’ trail) with children – Cademario (Malcantone)
4. Capriasca, easy hike to Monte Bar
How about a nice family outing with a wonderful view over Lugano and Lake Lugano? If the answer is yes, then Monte bar is the destination for you… The trail is all uphill but – good news – is paved and stroller-friendly. Along the way you will find cows, donkeys, horses, goats and chickens all grazing together. Once you reach the top, you will find a brand new and modern mountain hut (built in 2016) where you can have lunch. Board games are available, to keep your children entertained…
- For more details, read our post: an easy hike to Monte Bar (Alta Capriasca, Lugano area)
5. Canedo, all the way up to Medeglia Peak – Cime di Medeglia
A simple mountains hike with a beautiful panorama over the Magadino Plain and Lake Maggiore (or Verbano) as a reward… to reach Medeglia Peak the trail starts in Canedo. The first part is in the forest, then it proceeds through small settlements and pastures and finally goes past clearings and fortifications dating back to the First World War. And then it goes on… Don’t trust the distance signposted: Medeglia Peak has a cross on the summit! This is one of Alexandra’s family-friendly hikes in Ticino.
- For more details, read our post: Cime di Medeglia, a hike overlooking Lake Maggiore
6. Lugano, Monte San Salvatore
The Gulf of Lugano as seen from Mount San Salvatore? What a sight! And the best part is that you don’t have to walk all the way up it, if you don’t want to – there’s the cogwheel railway! Once you reach the top and have taken in the views (head up to the small church in order to take the best pictures), then it is time to walk – downhill to Paradiso. The trail, however, If you want the longest one, go back to Paradiso; remember, however, is very steep and not suitable for young children. A shorter alternative is to walk to Carona (and see Parco San Grato, as spring is its most beautiful season). If you prefer to walk uphill, it takes one hour to reach the top of Monte San Salvatore from Carona.
- For more details, read our post: Monte San Salvatore with children: what is Lugano without it?
7. Sementina, the suspension bridge of Curzzutt – il ponte tibetano
Are you looking for something more than a simple hike? Maybe some adrenaline rush? Then look no further than the suspension Bridge of Curzutt in Sementina-Monte Carasso is for you. It is 270 metres long and 130 metres high, so if you are scared of heights, you’d better give it a miss. The hike up is pretty long but you can make it shorter by using the cable car to Mornera or the shuttle to Curzutt. However, do keep in mind that it is best to book them in advance.
- For more details, read our post: The Tibetan bridge, a thrilling adventure near Bellinzona
8. Carona, a family-friendly hike to Alpe Vicania
A nice spring hike that the whole family will enjoy is the one to Alpe Vicania, above Vico Morcote. Forget picnics, the restaurant there is amazing and you can eat outside with tables on a grassy lawn. While you enjoy your coffee (or an aperitif), children can climb the big boulders and run through meadows. There is also a stable where you can take riding lessons or pony rides. The easiest trail starts from Carona and passes in front of the Sanctuary of the Madonna d’Ongero; the trail takes about an hour. Alternatively, you can walk along the road to Vico Morcote and stop at Parco San Grato (where there is a beautiful playground and green maze).
- For more details, read our post: Spring Sunday at Alpe Vicania
9. Comano, Colle di San Bernardo
The walk which leads to Colle San Bernardo is one of Jenny’s favourite family-friendly hikes in Ticino. It starts in Comano and takes you through a beautiful forest, along the beautiful via Crucis made by the famous artist from Tessin called Nag Arnoldi. At the top of the San Bernardo hill, you will find a pretty little church and a large meadow where you can have a picnic and let the children roam freely. If you do not want to walk back along the same route, continue north towards San Clemente, then on to Torre di Redde, and finally follow the signs saying Tesserete.
- For more details, read our post: Walking to the colle of San Bernardo – Comano
10. Melano, a family walk to the Botto waterfall – cascata del Botto
Would you believe it if I told you that there is a waterfall which almost 70 meters high in the Mendrisio area? Of course you would (not!)! But there is, and you can reach it from Melano (uphill, about 45 minutes) or from Rovio (downhill, only 15 minutes). We chose to go uphill, crossing a beautiful stretch of wood filled with fun boulders covered in moss and lichens. Let the kids climb them and have some fun before proceeding to the Cascata dl Botto, originating from the Sovaglia River. The waterfall, “tall and slender”, left us speechless. If you continue to Rovio, head above the village and see if you can find the “hole” in the mountain where the Sovaglia comes to light. This is Augusta’s latest discovery regarding family-friendly hikes in Ticino.