PRC2 SMI Paia to Fogo Lagoon

MODERATE 20 reviews

PRC2 SMI Paia to Fogo Lagoon is a 10.9 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near the city of Agua d'Alto, Portugal that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
10.9 km
ELEVATION GAIN
579 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

This trail starts on a beaten earth track, in a zone of pastures. Walk until you reach a water tank. Then turn to the left and start ascending trough a wood of Eucalyptus, Australian Cheesewood (Pittosporum undulattum), Accacias (Acácia sp.) and Kahila Garland lilies (Hedychium gardneranum). A bit further you will also find a few species of “Espadana”, a plant from New Zealand, which was woven and spun in an ancient factory whose ruins you can still visit. Follow the signs until you reach the beginning of a “levada” (water channel), along which the trail runs. Be careful because the trail might be muddy. Along the “levada” you will find many species of endemic plants like: “Uva-da-Serra” (Vaccinium cylindraceum), Green Heather (Erica azorica), Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus), “Tamujo” (Myrsine retusa), etc. During the ascent there are several places from where you can enjoy a magnificent view towards the Southern coast of S. Miguel, namely a view of VilaFranca do Campo, its islet and Ribeira da Praia. After walking for about 2 kms along the “levada” you will reach a more opened area, with big slopes on both sides and after walking a bit further you will reach the bank of Lagoa do Fogo. In this area it is necessary to be careful with the seagulls, as they might be very aggressive, especially during the nesting period (April to May). The return is made on the same trail. Almost the totality of the trail is included in a zone classified as site of Communitary Interest and Nature Reserve. It is of our responsibility to insure its biodiversity through the conservation of this natural habitat.

Beautiful hike. Note that the official trail is linear. We had to jump across a closed gate on the way down. Make sure to check the webcam before leaving, it was very cloudy when we got up there.

hiking
10 days ago

did the out and back hike, not the loop. easy parking on the side of the road near the trailhead. initial trail is a dirt road with lots of cow poop, little shade. recommend a hat. trail gets much better/scenic after that bit. it’s pretty much all uphill until you reach the lake. there isn’t a point where you can see both the lake and ocean at the same time, but the views are amazing. great hike

hiking
6 months ago

Insanely beautiful views at the top. You can sea the ocean on one side and the lake on the other.

I also really liked how the view along the hike to get to the lake was ever changing. Open dirt roads through rolling hills, then through the forest, then along the aqueduct system, then up the side of the crater... this is a very mentally stimulating hike.

With that being said, it is a very challenging hike. The uphill climb is steep. It gets pretty muddy in spots. Make sure to bring plenty of water and don't forget to stretch before you go or you'll be very sore the next day! Worth it for the views though.

hiking
11 months ago

beautiful and interesting trail. loved the system of aqueducts as you near the lake. just be aware that the posted trail does not actually show the loop; instead only show the westward leg (presumably that is the "official"trail) -- was a bit confusing. The first part of the hike is steep but it gets much easier and prettier as you ascend.

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