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The Gurrida Lake is a unique element inside Etna Park. It is the only wet area near the volcano and it is a place where you can admire many migrating birds, especially during winter and spring. The lake is seasonally fed by the Flascio stream. This is a small river that throughout the centuries has been a tributary of alternately Simeto or Alcantara, until the 1536 eruption blocked its flow for good. This caused the formation of the Gurrida Lake. In the past many drainage works have been made to alleviate the risk of flooding after increases in the level of the stream. For this reason the lake has been created, together with a nearby area that is flooded in a controlled way during the high season. Nearby the lake there is a series of vineyards. They belong to the “Gurrida” Company and during the periods of high season they are flooded. This is an amazing phenomenon, made possible by the work of nature and mankind. However, this beautiful scenery is today threatened. A few years ago, the natural path “Gurrida” was created. It had wooden ramps to allow wheelchair users to pass over the flooded vineyards below. There were also two bird watching cabins and it was possible to go around the lake. We should thank Francesco, who has sent us some pictures that show the areaand also the wooden ramps built to . Today the conditions of the path have completely changed.
The starting point is just outside the Randazzo residential area, going along the SS 120 towards the direction of Maletto. After a few kilometres there are signs for Murazzo Rotto and after that, on the left, there is a sign for the Gurrida path. You will pass a building materials company and finally you get toWe start walking and we immediately spot the first signs of devastation:the first part of the ramp, the one that should allow you to go over the water during the winter, ,inside which you find the path. The remaining sections of the ramp are . It is possible to avoid the ramp by taking a small path that goes around it, or , if the area is not flooded. We walk for a while under the ramp and to join the original path. is in theory dedicated to the landscape. But looking around you all you can see is an unmaintained landscape and squalor. We keep on going that brings us to the “Ferrovia Circumetnea” train station. We go to the right until we see the observation point number 3, dedicated to the observation of the birds. Unfortunately, the wooden cabin is almost , and inside we also find a nests of wasps. We suggest NOT to go in, not unless you like surprises!
We keep on going to the left of the cabin. Unfortunately in this casedoes not allow us to forget the several which we see along the lake shore. On one side you see , on the other . We try to walk around the lake but we can't: does not allow us to go on further. We go back to the birdwatching cabin and we try to go around the . Again we find an obstruction. Someone has forced their way through it, and we can see a huge quantity of rubbish. Someone has even . We do not know what to think: , but carelessness is simply devastating.
, you could almost hear it saying “ What have you come here to do?” , gives us a unique picture that on its own makes our visit worthwhile, partly on the condition that you can ignore all the damage done.
We are awestruck. We were prepared for a completely different setting. On the official websites, the Gurrida path is described as “a path for everybody”, also suitable for wheelchair users, a paradise for migrating birds, a ramp over world-famous flooded vineyards. We have just found pure devastation. We have driven 50 kilometres to get to the lake, but many tourists must have travelled much further to get here while relying on what is written on many websites such as Parco dell’Etna, Parks.it, ParchiAccessibili.it and many more. Sadly they will have wasted a day of their holidays to walk in the middle of brambles and piles of rubbish rubbish. They may have thought they were going to visit a unique area on Etna and yet they ended up in cabin infested by wasps. Possibly the only consolation is that it could not have been much worse.