4TH ROUTE: Cartore – Lake of the Duchess – Cartore (12.3 km)
The fourth trekking stage is the only one that is looped. The route enters the highest peaks of the “Duchess Mountains” Reserve, Mount Morrone and Murolungo, climbing from 950 meters in Cartore to an altitude of 1,800 meters, where the real jewel of this section is located: the Duchess Lake. Here, in the typical Apennine landscape, sheep graze serenely in the green meadows, accompanied by shepherds.
More than a hundred years ago, the woods and rocks of these wild mountains were the perfect hiding place for brigands and fugitives from the area, certain that no one would ever find them. From the lake, retrace the outward path for a little more than 1 km, then take the trail to the right at km 7.4, which leads back toward Cartore via an alternate route.
Route type: loop
Length: 12 km
Uphill elevation gain: 870 m
Downhill elevation gain: 870 m
Highest point: 1807 m
Lowest point: 974 m
Type of surface: dirt road
Although the itinerary is easily passable and equipped at the various stopping places, it lacks continuous signage, so it is important to follow the proposed gpx tracks.
Municipality of departure: Borgorose
Starting location: Cartore
Municipality of arrival: Borgorose
Finish location: Cartore
from April to October
The Brigand’s trail is a trekking route between Abruzzo and Lazio, in the setting of the Central Apennines, that traverses wild and unspoiled nature , tackling old mule tracks and taking in the atmosphere of medieval villages. But it is also a border path: the border in the History of Italy, when the House of Savoy entered the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies on the way to unification; the geographical boundary between the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Papal States, where brigands moved from one side to the other on horseback, fighting newcomers; the blurred border between justice and injustice, between the underground chosen by those who could not afford the new taxes and the kidnappings and abuses, made and suffered.
The Brigand’s trail is a 100-kilometer loop trail, divided into 7 stages in this version on foot (but also passable by bicycle), in the footsteps of the Brigantes of the Band of Cartore. We are in the undomesticated wilderness of the Varri Valley, the Salto Valley and the slopes of Mount Velino, a wilderness that continually offers us wonderful views. Along the way we stay at an average altitude (between 800 and 1300 meters).