Interpretive nature trails
Interpretive nature trail "Pfossental / Val di Fosse"
Texelgruppe / Gruppo di Tessa Nature Park’s interpretive nature trail "Pfossental / Val di Fosse" in Schnals / Senales enables visitors to discover the natural and man-made landscapes of the valley’s Alpine pastures.
On closer examination, this landscape, which was formed by the violent forces of nature, provides insight into a host of topic areas, 18 of which are addressed near the Alpine pastures via interpretive signs and various interactive elements. The trail’s didactic and informational elements focus on flora, fauna, geology, and Alpine pasture agriculture.
Beginning from the parking lot near Vorderkaser / Casera di Fuori, the trail takes you through Mitterkaser / Casera di Mezzo and Rableid Alms to Eishof / Maso Gelato, which is five kilometers up the valley. Beginning at Vorderkaser / Casera di Fuori, the history of Pfossental / Val di Fosse is explored. The first interpretive sign you come upon on the nature trail focuses on cheese making and in particular Vorderkaser’s cheese factory. Signs further along the path tell you about the various survival strategies and adaptive forms that the local fauna have adopted, as well as the particularities of Pfossental / Val di Fosse valley’s man-made landscape.
At Mitterkaser / Casera di Mezzo you’ll come upon a simplified replica of a butter churn that can be turned, and the accompanying interpretive signs explain how butter is made from milk. There’s also a loose-leaf binder containing excerpts from old Rableid and Mitterkaser Alms records.
A refurbished "Waal" (canal) at Mitterkaser / Caser di Mezzo and the interpretive sign there explain how this irrigation system, which was widely used in the region, works.
At Rableid Alm you can learn about the re-introduction of ibexes, and thanks to the telescope that’s installed there you can observe the ibexes deftly scampering up and down the cliffs; or if you wish you can just marvel at the superb scenery. The phenomenon known as synanthropes (animals that adapt to and use man-made structures) is also explored at Rableid, in the guise of birds that breed under building roofs rather than the sides of cliffs.
The main attractions at Eishof / Maso Gelato are the geological features there. Noteworthy in this regard are the signs and photographs that document a 1981 demonstration against the construction of a hydropower dam, which would have resulted in inundation of the entire Eishof area.
The elements at the latter end of the trail revolve around the history and sagas of Schnalstal / Val Senales and Pfossental / Val di Fosse valleys, and seating is provided for visitors who wish to peruse these materials. Visitors can of course also use the seating here to spend a little while gazing at the Pfossental / Val di Fosse valley’s mountains.
As one of the lynchpins of the educational mission of the provincial office for nature parks (today office for nature), the Alpine pasture interpretive nature trail helps to raise public awareness of the interconnection between nature and landscape, and concerning human activities in protected areas.