Snowshoe hike to Malga Tuglia from the Biathlon Centre in Forni Avoltri
One of the things I like the most is visiting places in different seasons and witnessing their change. This snowshoe hike to Malga Tuglia, between Forni Avoltri and Sappada, allowed me to do it. Since I have been with Stefano, I have had the opportunity to visit the hut at least once a year. Until now, however, I had always done it around August 15th, seeing it in the snow impressed me more than I would have believed.
There are several trails that lead to the hut but not all of them are good for a winter hike with snow. What I recommend to do this snowshoe hike up to Malga Tuglia is CAI trail 230. The rail would start at a bend between Forni Avoltri and Sappada but, for the convenience of parking, it is better to start it a little further down, at the Biathlon Stadium of Forni Avoltri.
To reach it, drive towards Tolmezzo (A23 Carnia-Tolmezzo motorway exit) and continue towards Villa Santina and Ovaro. Pass the villages of Comeglians, Rigolato, and then arrive at Forni Avoltri. About 4 km after the town you will find the Carnia Arena International Biathlon Center on the left. There you will also find a large parking lot.
Hike Recap and GPX track download
Reaching the CAI trail nr. 230 from the Biathlon Center
As mentioned, the snowshoe hike to Malga Tuglia starts from the Forni Avoltri Biathlon Center. From the parking lot, looking to the right you will easily spot a green metal bridge. Walk in that direction and cross it. You will find yourself walking by the track. At a sharp bend, you will find on the right an uphill trail that goes into the woods. Follow the track that and after about 15 minutes of walking you will cross the trail nr. 230 that climbs from the bend I mentioned earlier. You continue to the left.
Do not walk or snowshoe on the cross country ski track. In addition to being disrespectful, if a skier were to end up in the holes left by snowshoes he or she could get very hurt.
From the junction with trail 230 to the junction with the CAI 320 trail
The trail nr. 230 is actually a comfortable forest track that will accompany you to Malga Tuglia. The trail is fairly straightforward to follow and well-trodden. Up until about halfway up, you may not even need snowshoes, as the road is cleared to allow the lumberjacks to reach the woods.
The climb is constant but not too steep which makes this snowshoe hike feasible even for those who are not very trained. In all honesty, we found it a bit monotonous and with few panoramic points (similar to the road that leads to Cappella Zita in the Tarvisio area). Knowing what awaited us at the top, however, helped us not to give up and to trust in a sudden change of landscape. So it was.
At a certain point, you will find on the right the junction with the CAI 320 trail that climbs to Malga Tuglia from Cima Sappada. The snowshoe hike continues on path 230 but you can consider this crossroads as the turning point of the hike since from there on the path completely changes.
From the junction with the CAI 320 trail to Malga Tuglia
First of all, from the crossroads onwards there are about a hundred meters of difference in altitude which are spread over about a kilometer. The climb then turns into pleasant ups and downs. Furthermore, of the wide forest road, only a track two snowshoes wide remain. There are no exposed sections, the trail simply becomes thinner taking the snowshoe hike to the wild side.
After a few hundred meters, the scenery changes completely. The trees disappear and those that are endless green meadows in the summer become an immaculate expanse of pure white.
Arrival at Malga Tuglia
At the top left, just below Monte Tuglia, you can finally see the Malga, the destination of our trip.
We cover the last few meters of elevation quickly and reach it. Here the memories of summer overlap with what our eyes see. There are no cows, no smells, there is no polenta pot that smokes next to the kitchen, there are no people. There is just us, the sleeping hut, and the breathtaking view over the Sappada valley. A view that pays off the whole boring climb along the forest road.
The hut is in the shade and lashed by the wind, we, therefore, can’t stay long. We drink hot tea and retrace our steps. We will follow the same route as the outward journey to return to the car.
Why do this snowshoe hike to Malga Tuglia?
The route unfolds entirely on a forest road and is devoid of dangerous sections. It is therefore feasible for anyone with a minimum of training.
In particular, for this snowshoe hike, I recommend that you bring a hot drink to the hut and a change. The entire route is in the shade and once you reach your destination you may feel cold if you are sweaty.
Obviously, the same path can also be done in summer, but in my opinion, trail 320 from Cima Sappada is more scenic. If I were you, I would keep this option good only for the winter.
The snowshoe hike at Malga Tuglia is a shorter alternative to the snowshoe hike from Cima Sappada to the Sorgenti del Piave.
Did you get hungry after snowshoeing at Malga Tuglia?
If you want to bite into something after the snowshoe hike in Malga Tuglia, here are some tips on where to eat in Sappada and its surroundings.
Where to eat in Sappada?
- Ristorante Mondschein: It is our favorite restaurant. The dishes mix innovation and tradition, the service is refined but familiar and the location is wonderful. Also excellent for a quick aperitif. Homemade french fries are a drug.
- Kluit: this is the Sappada steakhouse. If you are a lover of grilled meat. The view of the cross-country ski run is beautiful.
Where to eat in Forni Avoltri
- Albergo Al Sole: it is located in the center of Forni Avoltri and is frequented (also) by locals. The cuisine is typically Friulian and the atmosphere is familiar. Try the Cjarsons and the Toč in Braide with different toppings.