West of Palermo, just Before Castllammare del Golfo is Mount Bonifato, home to the Bosco D’Alcamo Nature Reserve. Its summit reaches 825 meters. With an area of 200 hectares, the reserve offers many activities, some of which all around the year. A few years ago was created the adventure park with paths hung on tall trees, with various levels of difficulty. There are 6 routes with increasing difficulty, for all ages and all sizes.
The reserve also offers 4 walking trails:
The trail of San Nicola: medium difficulty and 1800 meters long. This trail offers breathtaking views which spreads up to the South coast and a myriad of typical plants and shrubs.
The trail of orchids: low difficulty and 850 meters long. The path creeps through local pines, Aleppo pines, cypresses and ash trees from which was extracted the manna. Orchids bloom from August to October.
The two archaeological paths with low difficulty: The Trail of the Tanks that will take you to two ancient medieval tanks made of stone and partially buried and the Archaeological Trail that leads to the ruins of the small medieval village called Bunifat, the castle of Ventimiglia and the ancient door called Porta della Regina .
The East Panorama Trail: medium difficulty and 2400 meters long. The path stretches along the oldest forest of Alcamo and reach the summit. You can see cypresses, pines and stone pines. The humid winds favor the formation of moss on the rocks and on the older trunks. The flora is composed of mastic tree, ivy, bramble, sarsaparilla, rock rose, honeysuckle, peony, mandrake and Sicilian sumac.
In the reserve there are numerous species of birds of prey, including buzzards, kestrels, barn owls, owl and tawny owls.
In the woods live jays, wood pigeons, jackdaws, robins, blackbirds, greenfinchs, Serins, great tits and blue tits.
The reserve is also frequented by migratory birds like doves, quails, cuckoos and hoopoes.
The mammals that inhabit the reserve are wild rabbits, foxes, porcupines, hedgehogs, weasels and dormouses.
Finally, among the reptiles: the rat snake, the viper, the lizard and western green lizard
Nathalie’s tips: For Nordic walking enthusiasts, you can start your walk from the very beginning of the climb, via Monte Bonifato or via Per Monte Bonifato in Alcamo, parking your car in Viale Europa. The walk to the top is 6 kilometers, on a vertical drop of 550 meters and stretches along the paved road that reaches the top, on the North side of the mount. It offers breathtaking views on the entire gulf of Castellammare. You can stop at the Funtanazza restaurant or make use of the picnic area with big wooden tables and various barbecue areas, if you bring a sack lunch. For the less brave, drive up to the parking place of the restaurant La Funtanazza and proceed walking along the various trails listed above. You will find on the spot an information board with all indications. For the adventure park, check out the site of the reserve for the days and opening hours. The adventure park is closed from October to April.