Idyllic hamlet on the lake
The original village was destroyed to make way for the construction of the reservoir in the 1950s. Even today, the tower of the former chapel protrudes from the lake in early spring.
In the idyllic village of Vernago/Vernagt, numerous hiking paths begin, leading through light forests up to the glacier, and passing centuries-old farms. An archaeological hiking trail runs along ancient places of worship to Oetzi’s place of discovery.
Merano/Meran - Naturno/Naturns - Schnalstal Valley - Vernago/Vernagt
With the SAD bus nr. 261 to Vernago (bus stop Vernago/Vernagt)
Looped trail around Vernagt reservoir
The looped trail around the lake is well worth the effort because a pastoral pathway runs directly along the waterfront and is, of course, particularly beautiful from about mid-July when the reservoir is full. In the winter, water is released from the reservoir to generate electricity and, depending on the water level, the tower of the immersed church may be visible. There are some photos on display in the new main church in Vernagt of the flooded plain and farms.
We walk across the dam wall. At the end, keeping to the right, we take the steps to the left along a narrow path that has signposts with “Seerundweg” all along it. From here, the trail is almost exclusively just above the lake, right to the end, and is beautiful but shady. About half way along the trail, there is an abandoned lumber hut, affectionately referred to locally as the “Hotel Scrawny Branch”. The path to Maso Corto starts at the end of the lake and slopes upwards to the left, however, we continue to follow the signpost “Seerundgang” to the right. We then arrive at the gorge in the Senales stream that flows into the lake. We cross the hanging bridge to get to the sunny side of the lake. Soon after, a plaque reminds us of the woman farmer who plummeted down the slope when picking berries in this steep terrain. We carry on through a sparse forest, across a second hanging bridge over the mouth of the Finailbach stream, before crossing meadows to get to the exit point.
Start and finish: village Vernago
Duration: 2 h
Length: 5,7 km