Walk in Cortina: the loop of Pian de Ra Spines

The walk of Pian de Ra Spines is a family-friendly forest stroll. This hike takes place in the Ampezzo Dolomites Park, on the banks of the Boite River.

Overview

Starting point: Fiames
Destination: Pian de ra Spines
Total length: 7 km (4.3 mi)
Height gain: 30 m (100 ft)
Round trip: About 1 hour and a half

Map

Map of the hike

Introduction

The loop of "Pian de Ra Spines" is a relaxing stroll, with a length of about seven kilometers, four miles and a half. It is a loop, so it starts and ends in the locality of Fiames.. This walk should take about an hour and a half, with practically no elevation gain, making it suitable to anyone, even mothers with strollers or people who are not very fit.

Panorama of Pian de Ra Spines

This hike can be found on Tabacco Map 003 "Cortina d'Ampezzo e Dolomiti Ampezzane" and goes along Path 417, returning along Path 10. Alternatively, you can see our route on Google Maps by clicking here .

Tabacco 1:25.000 Map 003

The loop of "Pian de Ra Spines" is enjoyable both in mild and warm seasons. Thanks to its proximity to water and the abundance of trees that cast their shadow on most of the route, it is perfect on hot summer days. In winter it is not accessible, as it is crossed by cross-country ski trails.

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Path of the hike

The walk of "Pian de Ra Spines" starts from the free parking lot of Belluno's Dolomites Park . If you are unsure of how to reach it, we will describe it in depth down on the page in the chapter "How to Get There."

The car park of the Dolomiti park in Cortina

From the parking lot, walk towards the tourist information wooden hut , cross the bar which blocks the passage of cars and walk along Path 10. On your right you can see a suggestive gorge, dug by the flow of the river, which is called "Forra del Felizon."

The information point hut in the Cortina park

After about one hundred meters, three hundred feets, you will find the intersection of the "Felizon" Bridge. Take the road to the left, indicated by the Path 417, which goes down in the direction of the river. Be careful not to get confused with the loop of "Pian de Loa," which has a vaguely similar name and also starts from here.

Pian de Loa intersection in Fiames

You will end up on a very pretty white road, which goes along the shores of the "Boite" river. After about a hundred metres, three hundred feets, you'll reach a small wooden bridge.

The road toward Pian de Ra Spines

Here you can see some very suggestive waterfalls and an enchanting view, perfect for taking some photographs or relaxing to the sound of flowing water.

Panorama of Pian de Ra Spines from the Boite river

After the bridge the road turns south, in the woods, for almost three kilometers, a little less than two miles, along Path 417. The walk continues pretty flat, without significant climbs or descents.

The road of Pian de Ra Spines

During the walk you will encounter a curious wooden column, with some books in it. This is the "Librasción," a bookshop in the woods based on book-crossing, where you can read a book immersed in nature. The word has no meaning in Italian, it is the merging of two words: book, "Libro," and "Brasción," that means tree in the local dialect.

The Librasción of Pian de Ra Spines

The road continues flat as expected. At a certain point, looking to the left, you will see the chalet "Spiaggia Verde," which is very close to where you parked your car. On the way back you might stop there for a drink or to eat something. It is also possible to rent a sunbed, to relax on the banks of the "Boite" river. We have never tried the restaurant under the new management. Although it is always crowded during peak season, it might be advisable to read some reviews first.

The Chalet Spiaggia Verde in Cortina

The walk continues, flat and relaxing, for half an hour, first skirting the "Boite" River and then entering the forest.

The road that runs along the Boite river

While walking you could have noticed some artistic installations, among the trees. These artworks are part of the "Sentieri d'arte" project, created together with the students of the Cortina Art Institute. Those wishing to have more information could consult the official webpage of the project, but it's written in Italian .

One of the stones painted by the students of the art institute

Proceeding the walk, on your left, you will see the Camping Olympia . It is easily recognisable by the caravans and the fence. Continue walking until the end of the Camping.

The road towards the Camping Olympia

Once the camping ends you have to turn left, you will see a bridge above the "Boite" river. Cross it, walking in the direction of the state road.

The bridge on Boite river

After the bridge, turn left along Path 10, the path in the woods that runs on the side of the state road. Walk north for a few minutes, until you'll reach a large gravel square.

The road in the forest beside the state road.

From here there are several ways to return back to the starting point. You are in a strip of land between the river and the state road, you can't take the wrong direction even if you'd want to.

You could stay at the left of the woods, moving towards the Fiames Airfield , to walk along the runway of the former airport. Consider that it is a long stretch of asphalt without even a tree. It might be interesting, but it's definitely not the ideal choice on hot sunny days. At the end of the airport you will have to continue straight, along the path in the woods that will bring you to the hut "Baita Spiaggia Verde," after about half an hour's walk.

Alternatively, you can stay closer to the state road, continuing along Path 10, for about ten minutes, heading towards the Hotel Fiames , where you can eat or drink something.

Continue past the hotel, keeping it on your left, walking on the side of the state road. After a few meters you will have to take the dirt road that goes into the forest called "Bosco dell'Impero," that means "Forest of the Empire." It is just after the bus stop and is delimited by a car barrier. From here the road continues in the woods for about twenty minutes, ending at the hut "Baita Spiaggia Verde."

The pole on the forest of the empire

The walk, which should have taken you about an hour and a half, ends at the "Baita Spiaggia Verde." It is located just below the parking lot of the Park of the Belluno's Dolomites, where you can take your car and return towards Cortina.

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Curiosities

The former airport of Cortina was built during the First World War, as a makeshift runway for planes engaged in the war. It was expanded in 1962, thanks to the tourist boom of the 1956 Olympics. The airport has never been widely used, and it closed in 1976, after a plane crash where six people died, including some councilors of the municipality of Cortina. Over the years there have been some attempts to reopen the airport, but none of these succeeded. In modern days the airfield is mainly used as a heliport.

If you decide to take the walk of "Pian de Ra Spines" between May and the end of July, observe the green around you. With a little attention you can see one of the many orchids that grow spontaneously in the Cortina area, especially in the areas of "Podestagno" and "Pian de Loa," very close to where you are walking. These are small, but extremely complex, flowers which are worth observing closely. Be careful, as these are protected species, collection of which is absolutely prohibited.

Spontaneous orchid from the Ampezzo Dolomites park

Many beautiful hikes can be taken from the tourist information house where we parked the car. One above the other is the hike of the Fanes Falls. This is a trek with different variations, the one we propose offers a beautiful view of the low waterfalls, with the possibility of walking the optional canyons and waterfalls trail. If you wish you could also do the small via ferrata under the waterfall. We talked about this hike in detail on the following page:

The lower Fanes falls
The lower Fanes Waterfalls A hike to the Fanes falls, with the optional possibility of doing two small via ferratas. 3h 00' - 10 km - Difficult

The "Librasción" that you saw along the walk is not the only one in Cortina. You can also find one on the walk from the car park of "Sant'Uberto" that leads to "Malga Ra Stua" and one near Lake Pianozes. This nice project was born from the collaboration between students of the Art School of Cortina, the "Regole d'Ampezzo" and the "U.L.d'A." the Union of the Ladins of Ampezzo. The concept is the same as book-crossing, so you can bring your books to add to the collection or take one freely.

The Librasción of Pian de Ra Spines

In the forest behind Hotel Fiames, the one called "Bosco dell'Impero" there was a cemetery for the victims of the First World War. Around 1939 the bodies were transferred to the Military Ossuary in the locality of "Pocol," which we talked about on this page:

Pocol Military Memorial
The Pocol Military Memorial An evocative ossuary near Cortina, one less known spot in the town, but of sure interest. Reading time: 6 min
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How to get there

The walk of "Pian de Ra Spines" is a loop, so you can start at any point of the path. If you have the car, the best place to start is the free parking lot of the Belluno's Dolomites Park , near the chalet "Spiaggia Verde." From the center of Cortina you will need around fifteen minutes.

If there are no free parking spaces there is a second parking lot, that might go unnoticed. It is exactly here . Another solution might be to go back to "Fiames" and park your car in one of the many free parking spaces in the surroundings of the airfield , from which you can easily reach the starting point.

SS 51 15 minutes

Another solution might be to take Bus n°1 from Cortina's bus Station and get off at the end of the line , near the Hotel "Fiames." For more information or to purchase tickets, you can contact the ticket office of the bus station . It may be closed during lunch hours.

If you left your car in the locality of "Fiames," or you took the bus to arrive there, you will start this loop walk in a different place than us. It means you will need to read first the last part of the chapter of the path of the walk, and then you have to jump to the beginning.

Line 1 15 minutes

Finally you could take a taxi. From Cortina to Fiames the cost should be approximately €25. Considering that prices could vary by a lot, both for the type of vehicle and the number of people, you should always ask for a quote. Taxis can be found both in Roma Square and at the Bus Station , or you can visit the Taxi official website .

Taxi 15 minutes

If you need any information there is a Tourist information Office . It is located in the town center, near the church.

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Useful information

The walk of "Pian de Ra Spines," in winter, is closed. The cross-country track crosses part of the route and, by regulation, it is forbidden to walk or use snowshoes on the ski slopes.

This walk is really easy, but we suggest using appropriate clothing, starting with your shoes, which should be sturdy. Always carry a backpack with, at least, some water, a snack and a rain jacket. If you are new to hiking, we recommend you read the page we wrote on how to tackle a mountain outing:

Walking in the mountains safely
Safety tips for hikers Tips for safely going hiking in the mountains and prepare your backpack with all you need. Reading time: 8 min

We want to emphasize that, in the Dolomites, there are rules to be followed. The main ones are:

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Conclusion

We hope you liked this page on the loop of "Pian de Ra Spines." Before saying goodbye, we would like to mention that you can find other amazing hikes in Cortina and its surroundings by clicking hereInternal link .

If you want to thank us you can read the page Support usHeart icon . If you only want to suggest a change, propose something or just say hello, in the section contacts and infoEmail icon you'll find all the ways to reach us.