Among the villages of Fornovo and Ponte Taro [internal link], in the province of Parma, there is a small natural oasis that follows the course of the River Taro for over 20 km.
Easily reachable by car, by bike or by bus, it is a great destination to discover if you are fond of green tourism and you are looking for a bit of peace and quiet away from the hectic life in the cities along the Via Emilia.
The environment and scenery
The entire ecosystem of the park is dictated by the river’s torrential course which, due to its continuous and irregular flow, transforms the surrounding landscape as the seasons change.
Willow bushes, shrubs, large meadows, wooded areas and cultivated fields define the flora of the entire area, in which 800 species subdivided into 100 different botanical families have been recorded.
However, it is mainly from the point of view of fauna that the park is so important. Every year, more than 250 species of birds – such as the little egret, the black-crowned night heron, the common tern, the stone-curlew and the sand martin – stop off in this small “green lung” to nest, while many mammals cross the area to reach the Apennines or the surrounding plain. For this reason, the whole area is considered a Special Protection Area (SPA) and is one of the Sites of European Importance in the Natura 2000 network.
What can you do there?
Along the 20 km of the river, on both banks, there are ten well-equipped and well-served paths that allow you to visit the park: an ideal environment for easy hikes, cycling and mountain biking, but also only for some unforgettable birdwatching sessions.