Vale da Ferradura (Horseshoe Valley)
The Vale da Ferradura park, located 13 km from the center of Canela, provides integration with nature and has lookouts to the astonishing Vale da Ferradura (Horseshoe Valley), Arroio Caçador waterfall and Santa Cruz river. A special area for the whole family, with trails and infrastructure that includes barbecue grill, playground and snack bar.
The Vale da Ferradura is located on the top of a canyon that extends for 420 meters, and here the Santa Cruz river forms the horseshoe that gives the place its name. The privileged view of the Arroio Caçador waterfall, the surrounding green and fresh air are perfect complements for 4 trails, 3 lookouts and the infrastructure containing 8 barbecue grills, playground and snack bar, in a total area of approximately 200 hectares.
The park is within the Caí river watershed. This watershed includes several nature conservation units - 11 local and/or particular, 2 state - Delta do Jacuí State Park and Caracol State Park - e 1 federal - Canela National Forest.
The Vale da Ferradura has several microhabitats, with some areas more exposed to sun, wind and human interference, as well as other areas that are fully protected, shaded, wet and subject to periodic flooding. The preservation of these remnants, allied with environmental education activities and the idleness as recreation, is extremely important.
Araucaria pines, the source of the delicious pinhão (the pine seed), are the most numerous trees in the park and attract wildlife such as coatis, agoutis, capuchin monkeys and azure jays, which is important for the multiplication of these trees.
• Lookout to the Vale da Ferradura
The main lookout in the Vale da Ferradura park. Here you can enjoy the view of the Arroio Caçador waterfall and a general view.
• Lookout to the Arroio Caçador Valley
An amazing view of the Arroio Caçador valley. Access through an easy trail - about 2-minutes walk.
• Lookout to the Arroio Caçador Waterfall
An amazing view of the Arroio Caçador waterfall. You have to go about 50 meters downhill and the trail is a bit steep.
• Caí River Trail
A trail extending 350 meters, starting at a height of 750 meters and finishing at 400 meters, at the spot where the Arroio Caçador flows into the Caí river. This is the main trail of the park and also the most difficult one, due to the steep slope. It takes about 60 minutes to walk downhill and 2 hours to return uphill.
The Caí river can be separated into 4 stretches, so the visitor does not need to go through the whole extension of the trail:
- The first stretch takes the visitor to 2 lookouts located at a height of 700 meters that provide a beautiful view of the Arroio Caçador waterfall.
- The second stretch goes from a height of 700 meters to 550 meters. This is the longer and less difficult portion of the trail.
- The third stretch starts at a height of 550 meters, where the Caí and Gate trails meet, and finishes at 450 meter, next to the Arroio Caçador riverbed, above the waterfall.
- The fourth and last stretch goes from a height of 450 meters to 400 meters and it is the most difficult one, due to the steep slope and high humidity. Part of this stretch is subject to water drops, since the trail runs along the waterfall. The stretch ends at the base of the Arroio Caçador waterfall on the riverbank of Caí river, in a flat area - a place for a well deserved rest.
• Gate Trail
The Gate trail has 200 meters, starting at a height of 750 meters and finishing at 550 meters, where it meets the Caí River trail. This trail includes a spot known as Graxaim Waterfall, and the visitor can see Araucaria pines and tree ferns.
• Agouti Trail
This is a beautiful shaded trail that requires almost no physical effort and therefore is ideal for visitors of all ages and physical conditions. More than a trail, this is a walk in nature. It is located at a height between 700 and 750 meters, at the plateau of the park, above the Gate trail. Enjoy the beautiful landscape with cactus and bromeliads in the rocky area.
• Footbridge Trail
This trail is also located at a height between 700 and 750 meters, but facing the beautiful view of the Vale da Ferradura. The Footbridge trail runs along a small stream and the visitor can enjoy the shadow of the trees.
Location and General Information
The Vale da Ferradura park is located in the Serra Gaúcha, in Canela, Rio Grande do Sul, 13 km from the center of the city, at km 6 of the RS 466 road, better known as the Caracol Road. The park opens from 8h30 a.m. to 5h30 p.m. During the summer, when the sun sets quite late in the South region of Brazil, the closing time may be extended.
To get to the park, take the Caracol Road at the point where the visitor arrives in Canela coming from Gramado, and keep driving in this road, following the signs. After the Caracol park, the way continues as a dirt road for some kilometers.
The price of the ticket is R$ 12.00 for adults and R$ 6.00 for children.
Guests of the Laje de Pedra Hotel & Resort receive a discount off the price of admission tickets to the Vale da Ferradura park. For more information, please contact the hotel's concierge service or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org .