The Valtellina Orobie Mountains Park covers an area extending from Monte Legnone (on the western side) to the Aprica Pass (on the eastern side). It is a slope of the Alps with parallel valleys and, with respect to the Rhaetian mountainside, is much smoother even if its altitude reaches 3,050 meters.
Lush broadleaves woods at lower altitudes and conifer forests at higher altitudes represent the great botanical richness of the park, favored by the northern exposure of the slope and to the significant rainfalls.
The red pine, or spruce, is the most common tree in the park, replaced by white firs and beeches on the western side and larches and stone pines at higher levels.
Rhododendrons, alders and junipers mark the transition from forest to alpine prairie that during summertime begin to be colorfully flowered. The rarity in this park is the flower Viola Comollia, which grows just in the high altitude screes and represents one of the uniqueness of the park.
Many native animals of the Alps call the Orobie Mountains their home, including deers, chamois and the recently reintroduced ibexes. Even the black grouse, that has become the symbol of the park, has found here the right place for breeding.
Precious is the presence, in the conifer forests, of the black woodpecker and of two kinds of owls, the dwarf and the Tengmalm, as well as the marten. All these animals are very demanding and could live just in well-preserved habitats. Some rocky walls are the house of the royal eagle, while the marmot, its favorite prey, lives in the high altitudes prairies. If you are lucky and really patient, you can spot the ermine coming out from the rocks or a rock ptarmigan camouflaged in the snow.
Finally, the abundance of paths and unpolluted places make the park an ideal destination for all trekking and mountain sports lovers.
As the black grouse is one of the most characteristic animals of the Valtellina Orobie Mountains Park, it has become its official symbol.
In March, the mating season starts and the grouses challenge each other as if in a dance: it is an amazing show in one of the most beautiful natural settings of the Alpine area.
The grouses inflate their chest, show their purple-red crests, and then they turn around each other, studying the rival and ready to strike. Meanwhile, they sing loud to frighten the enemy and look bigger, more hostile. It is the moment to attack in a whirlwind of feathers and peaking. The females watch carefully the unfolding of the battle. The males know that just the winners could claim their rights.
On the background the snowy mountains are waking up from their winter sleep, the first buds begin to bloom and the trees are coloring again.
A breathtaking scene that our Alps share with those who have dare to go into an untouched nature, through paths surrounded by a lush flora.