The Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Tosco Emiliano or Parco del Gigante, is one of the largest parks of Emilia and includes a big variety of valuable naturalistic places and landscapes. Some of the highest north Apennines peaks are here.
From their top one can enjoy wide panoramas on inaccessible valleys, large woods and wide meadowlands. A big net of refuges gives shelter and food to the trekkers along the numerous paths. The geology and morphology of this park make it one of the most interesting of the entire Apennine, from a scientific point of view: Oligocene and Miocene sandstones are the biggest reliefs where glacial morphologies and tectonic deformations are visible, like Monte Cusna overturned fold; along Ozola and Secchia rivers, right outside the Park edges, there are Triassic gypsum outcrops, the oldest Apennine rocks.
Different environments develops differents vegetation: blueberry moors on the ridge, where you can seldom find typical Alpine species like cranberry, heather and rhododendrum; the outcrops vegetation like catchfly and saxifrage; willow in the nival valleys; peateries with a delicate ecologic balance, with sun-dew and some rare orchids; beechwoods with a silver fir nucleus. Many of these species are rare. The park is full of interesting animals living in the heights, like wolves, martens and fieldmice, last glaciation relict.
The birdlife is various: the presence of Stiaccino is extremely interesting, together with golden eagle, goshawk and woodcock that breeds in this park and in a few other places, in Italy. Amphibians from the glacial age like temporaria frog and alpine newt live here. In the park there are many mountain architecture examples, like stone houses and toilets with the typical straw roof. In the woods there often are small stone buildings called “metati” used to dry chestnuts collected in the Apennine, to make flour, once the main starch supply to face the cold winter.
Inside the Parco delle Fonti in Cervarezza, near Busana where the park is based, the structure of Cerwood is almost unique: it’s an acrobatic amusement park for kids and adults where everyone can emulate Indiana Jones using lianes, tibetan bridges, ropes, in total security and respect of nature.
In the winter five ski resorts are active for winter sports, from downhill and cross-country skiing to ice skating in Cerreto Laghi.