The picturesque Vernago reservoir, which is fed by the Schnalstal river, is located in the heart of the Schnalstal valley, west of Merano. The reservoir dates back to the 1950s, when the 65-meter dam was built. The waters flooded eight farms and a church, whose bell tower can still be seen today when the water level is low. It is an easy excursion, but of sure satisfaction for the whole family, thanks to the splendid landscape.
We start our hike in Vernago in Val Senales (1,700 m a.s.l.), walking to the dam, where we follow the Seerundweg signpost. The path winds its way through the forest without any particular difficulty, but you will always have a view of the lake and the village of Vernago. At the western end of the lake, we pass a high ropes course. Now, we walk along the shore of the lake and reach a suspension bridge and a viewpoint, from which we can admire the peaks of the Val Senales.
The circular path along the lake takes about two hours and offers waterfalls, wonderful views and beautiful places.
If the tour around Lake Vernago is not enough, approx. 3.5 hours walk from here, you can reach the Similaun Refuge, at 3,019 m a.s.l.. From the Similaun Refuge you can follow the path to the point where, at 3,200 m a.s.l., was found Oetzi, the famous mummy of the Similaun.
Above the lake, and reachable by the trail, is located the Adventure Park Oetzi Rope Park. If you want to continue climbing, there is also the path that leads to the Giogo di Tisa (3,200 m above sea level) at the meeting place of the mummy Oetzi.
Directly at the lake there is the village Vernago al Lago. There you go fishing, thanks to the large amount of fish present as trout or pike.
Type of route: dirt road, mountain path
Water: only near the church of Vernago