The Nature Reserve of Orientata delle Baragge comprises several smaller reserves belonging to Piedmont region, designated as protected areas. This huge zone covers the hill territory of 28 administrative districts in the provinces of Vercelli, Biella and Novara, and is perfect for walking, cycling and horseback riding.
What is striking about the “Baragge” (which means an environment characterised by heath and grassland) is its uncomplicated yet harmonious landscape, with vast meadowland and heaths alternating with sparse trees and wooded valleys. The views are spectacular, especially in spring and autumn, when the colours of nature are breathtaking: the gold of the grass punctuated by the pink heather and brown bracken.
The grasslands and woods of the reserve are home to a large number of bird species, many of them quite rare, such as the white stork, the hobby, the European bee-eater, the lark and the northern lapwing. Hares are quite common and revel in the open habitat. Some rare species of insect may be glimpsed: beetles typical of heath/grassland environments, and thus difficult to find elsewhere, and a butterfly, the False Ringlet, which is an endangered species in Europe.
At the foot of the most ancient terraces, along the hill streams, you can see deltaic and marine geological deposits, evidence that once, around 2 million years ago, the area was covered with a huge sea gulf.
The “Baragge” offer a large number of easy paths and trails with modest elevation gains, many suitable for mountain biking or horseback riding, and all crossing the most attractive and varied landscapes. The seven sections of the Baragge reserve are easily accessible from a network of roads and cycle tracks.