Foliage in the Dolomites bursts with fall colour

Excursions in forests and valleys reveal multiple hues


Visitors to the Dolomites during the fall season can enjoy the stunning foliage that the area has to offer. Far from the summer crowds and before the chill of winter, visiting the Dolomites this time of year is a showcase of earth tones, from ochre to brown to red, before the leaves fall from the trees. The province of Belluno offers some of the most spectacular events and places to experience fall foliage. Cansiglio, the high plain between Alpago and the province of Treviso, has a forest that has for centuries served as the "factory" for producing the traditional oars of Venice. The beech trees this time of year are tinted with hues of red, and stand out against the brilliant green of the fields and the dark green of the fir trees. The smell of the wood and the silence within is broken only by the mating calls of deer. Yellow is the dominant colour in the forests of larch, the only conifer that loses its needles and sheds for winter. The majestic tree rises to high elevations and can be seen in the areas of Cortina d'Ampezzo and the Boite Valley, between San Vito and Pieve di Cadore, and on summits such as the Pelmo, the Antelao, and the Cinque Torri. One can walk in the forests from Rio Gere, climbing to the Meitres refuge, above Cortina, to the Palmieri Refuge, where the yellow of the larch trees reflects on the Croda da Lago mountain chain. Other areas for excursions in the foliage include Lake Ghedina, through forests of fir, larch, and poplar; and Lake Bai de Dones, through old maple trees, larch, and stone pine. Spectacular larch trees also dominate the area of the Marmolada, in Alto Agordino. Definitely worth a trip is a walk to the high plain of Laste in Rocca Pietore, from the town's main square to the Migon refuge. The Val di Zoldo offers walks such as that of the Fagaré forest, in the Val Barance, towards the Alpine lake Vach, and the Val Pramper, where the larch trees make their home in the soft autumn sun. The Valle del Mis is off the beaten path, with its side valleys that run through "a tangle of wild and glorious mountains", as Dino Buzzati wrote. The Belluno Dolomites offer colourful excursions among the chestnut trees of the Feltrian countryside near Pren, among the beechwoods of the Val Vescovà, from Cordevole to the Bianchet refuge. Last but not least is the Cajada forest, which dominates from high above the Piave Valley, among the plants of the Grappa and Val Canzoi massifs.

In collaboration with:
Provincia di Belluno e Consorzio DMO Dolomiti