Lago Ancipa

Lago Ancipa

A 12km hike around Lake Ancipa in the Nebrodi National Park of Sicily offers a wonderful, relaxing and often unpeopled trekking experience.

Steven Lee Gilbert

Lake Ancipa, also known as Lake Sartori, is an artificial basin in Sicily, located in the Nebrodi mountains, between the towns of Troina and Cerami. It was created following the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the years between 1950 and 52, eventually forming a reservoir with enough capacity to supply water year round to most, if not all, of the area towns.

The Italian environmental association, Legambiente, which was developed in the second half of the 70s to bring people closer to nature, manages 17 hectares—or about 40 acres—of territory around the lake upon which it organizes various initiatives in their fight for a wiser and more balanced relationship between people and nature.

With that in mind, Lake Ancipa offers a 12km (7.5 miles) hiking trail around the lake, through beech and oak wood forests, offering many opportunities to view the lake and encounter various plant and wildlife. On our mid-day hike we came across only these gentle, free range horses, but the plant life we saw is rich, diverse and important in ways we’d never imagined. This rose, for instance, from what we’ve been told, is the rose from which all other roses in the world propagated.

While the trail could benefit from better markers or some sort of guide offering information such as this, it is, for the most part, well marked, maintained and other than a couple of gates, and one small boulder-crossing, very easy to navigate. It includes plenty of incredible views and comfortable pits stops. Perfect for an afternoon siesta.

But don’t take our word for it! Come along, see for yourself.