PRC2 SMI Paia to Fogo Lagoon is a 10.9 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Vila Franca do Campo, Azores, Portugal that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 10.9 km Elevation Gain: 579 m Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
11 days ago

We loved this hike!! We started early at 7am and were the first ones on the trail. Didn’t see anyone until we turned back. Highly recommend that if you can. We were blown away with the beauty and changing terrain. Going from forest to valley to the view at the end was unforgettable. If we had more time we would have hiked to the top Miradouro or the beach. Highly recommend!

Moderate trail. We parked close to the camping and started clockwise. For the first one and a half hour the path was a bit uphill until the lake and the rest was continuesly downhill till the parking again. Big part was into the forest with nice shadow and often openings to the nice view. Generally the path was well kept and cleared from vegetation but the part next to the canal was muddy because of the rain of the previous day so a good pair of shoes was needed. In total it took us around 3 hours to complete.

1 month ago

very good hike. would suggest to stick with the west side only and go back and forward on the same path. much more enjoyable than the east way.

10 months ago

Loved it cool mix of natural with industry

10 months ago

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
11 months 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
Friday, February 02, 2018

Insanely beautiful views at the top. You can see 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
Wednesday, September 06, 2017

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.

recorded PRC2 SMI Paia to Fogo Lagoon

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