Umbria is home to Parco Nazionale dei Monte Sibillini as well as six regional parks that all offer something for everyone. Many parks have trails suitable for children and some are handicap accessible. Umbrian parks today protect about severn percent of the region and can be divided between mountain parks, those built around the mountain ranges within Umbria, and water parks, those that focus on preserving the lakes and waterways within the region.
The Parco Regionale del Lago Trasimeno – This park covers 13,200 hectares, or 32,000 acres, including the lake shores, the three islands, but not the tourist resorts along the lake. Lake Trasimeno is the 4th largest lake in Italy, and because the lake is so shallow, the ecosystem is particularly fragile. The shores are inhabited by migrating birds (storks, egrets, pochards, bitterns, black winged stilts, and grebes) as well as such permanent residents as cormorant, wild boar, and coypu.
Activities include marked walking trails, horseback riding, cycling, bird watching and ferry boats to the islands.
Headquarters – Parco Del Lago Trasimeno
Viale Europa 4,
Passignano Sul Trasomeno, Ph 075 828059
Parco Regionale del Monte Cucco – Found in the northeast area of the province of Perugia, it extends over 10, 480 hectares, or 24,000 acres. The park was created in 1995 to protect the peak made famous by the subterranean cave system of the Grotta di Monte Cucco. The park covers a section in the upper Chiasco valley between the Apennines and the ancient Via Flaminia. The area is fairly mountainous and almost pristine. Due to the lack of humans living in the region many animals now exist that were all but extinct elsewhere, including the wolf, golden eagle, eagle-owl, and freshwater crawfish. Also found in the park are fallow deer, wild cats, porcupines, martens, and Kingfishers.
Activities include hiking over 120km of trails, as well some trails may be covered by bike or on horseback.
Headquarters – Consorzio Parco Monte Cucco
Via Giacomo Matteotti 50,
Sigillo, Ph 075 9177326
Parco Naturale Regionale Monte Subasio – This park covers 7, 442 hectares on Monte Subasio overlooking Assisi. Although wolf are occasionally spotted, the more common species found here include porcupine, fox, badger, wild boar, and weasel. One aspect that sets this park apart from others is its historical heritage as it has many abbeys, castles, and fortified hamlets within the park.
Activities include marked trails with stopover points and refuge huts. There is a geo-paleontological display about the park at the park headquarters.
Headquarters – Ente Parco
Ca’ Piombino, Assisi
Ph 075 815181
Parco Naturale Regionale Colfiorito – Encompasses 338 hectares in the Colifiorito plateau and wetlands along the border between Marche and Umbria. The park consists of 7 depressions that were once lakebeds and that now sit at about 800 meters above sea level. The most important area is the Colifiorito swamp which is a stopover point for many migratory birds including herons, bitterns, and waterfowl.
Activities include bird watching and hiking on marked trails with observation points.
Headquarters – Consorzio Parco Colifiorito
Via Adriatica, Colifiorito,
Foligno, Ph 0742 681011
Parco Naturale Regionale Nera – This is a smaller park consisting of 2,120 hectares that covers the middle and lower areas of the Nera River, including the Cascata dell Marmore, or Marmore Water Falls. The lower section of the Valnerina is covered in beech trees, and the pastures are full of violets, gentians, and asphodels. Along with the usual expected animals in the area, one may also see the lanner falcon as well as wild cats.
Activities include rafting, climbing, hiking and mountain biking.
Headquarters – Consorzio Parco Fluviale Del Nera,
Via S. Francesco,
Buonacquisto, Ph 0744 389966
Parco Naturale Regionale Tevere – This park covers 7,295 hectares around the Tiber River which runs from north to south. The park protects 50k of the river that lies between Todi and Orvieto where it flows gently into Lake Corbara. The river provides a great habitat to many birds including buzzards, kingfishers, kites, egrets, heron to name a few.
Headquarters – Consorzio Parco Fiume Tevere
Piazza Umberto 16,
Civitella Del Lago, Ph 0744 950732
Parco Nationale dei Monte Sibillini – Extending over 70,000 hectares this immense park crosses regional borders. The Umbrian side is a typical Apennine environment and the countryside consists of peaks as high as 2,475 meters, contains large pastural areas, river valleys, and beechwood forests. Many types of animals can be found in the forest including wolves, wild cats, porcupines, along with golden eagles and falcons. One of the most recent national parks to be established in Italy the large area the park covers includes numerous abbeys and medieval hill towns as well as the natural environment.
Activities include hang-gliding, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, and climbing.
Headquarters – Parco Nazionale dei Monte Sibillini
Piazza del Forno 1,
Visso, Ph 0737 972711