Among the trees and clear waters of the river park of Upper Val d’Elsa

An easy trek to discover a unique place, definitely magical, which hides adventures and surprises behind each curve of the path.


Rafting lungo le acque del fiume Elsa nel Parco fluviale di Colle Val d'Elsa

Tuscan wilderness offers many opportunities to spend the days outdoors, with lots of exciting or relaxing activities suitable for all the family. If you are looking for a place where you can combine adventure, play and outdoor activities without too much effort, the River Park of Upper Val d’Elsa is your cup of tea!

Situated in the urban section of Colle Val d’Elsa, the park is one of the protected areas and nature reserves of this territory. In the shade of its trees, the river Elsa comes to life thanks to the inflow from the Vene (a water spring) increasing its water flow rate that becomes turquois and glittery.

“A magical place with a taste for adventure
for your outdoor moments”

The Sentierelsa winds right by the river banks, a route of about 4 km, suitable for everyone both for its easy track and unmissable beauty. Not far from it you can also find the Caldane, hot water ponds that have been known since Etruscan times.

Leaving from the bridge of San Marziale you can immediately see two important hydraulic engineering works: the Steccaia and the Callone Reale; the latter in particular is the sluice gate that regulates the flow rate of the water of the Gore, i.e., the canals that cross Colle Val d’Elsa and were used to take water to the paper mills or the other industries of the town. With an easy trek you can immerse yourself in vegetation and soon after you come to the river: the blue water, so intense that it seems to be under a spell, will leave you speechless!

Here is where the real adventure starts: walking along the bank you come across little wooden bridges and noisy waterfalls, colourful plants and flowers, a small tunnel made of branches and brambles... In some sections you will need to cross the river either by wading or on the stepping stones that only require a little attention and a pinch of courage, helped also by the double row of ropes that allows you to walk safely.

Veduta dall'alto delle cascate del Parco fluviale dell'Alta Val d'Elsa a Colle Val d'Elsa

Despite the tranquillity of the place, the river park teems with life: many vegetable and animal species populate this natural area, often hiding away from visitors, who at times can watch them while they swim or drink on the banks of the river Elsa.


Beyond the walking route there is an alternative way to explore this corner of paradise from a completely different perspective: some organisations, in fact, arrange rafting sessions on the river in total safety, a treat not to be missed!

Once back at the starting point, you are really close to the centre of Colle Val d’Elsa: here you can decide to undertake another nice walk along the official variant of the ancient Via Francigena, to discover the artisanal mastery with which crystal is made or simply walk through the streets of the town.

Would you like to learn more?

Parco fluviale dell’Alta Val d’Elsa

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