24 of October
One of the most well-known areas for Autumn hiking in Comunidad Valenciana – el Carrascal de la Font Roja natural park. The hike combines two routes proposed by the visitor center – barranco del Infierno and the ascent to Menejador peak.
Autumn is the best time to visit the park thanks to the presence of various types of trees changing their colours, as you can see in this post.
You can also check out the post about our previous visit to Font Roja natural park.
Difficulty: medium/high (13km with 500m of elevation gain).
Technical level: medium (mix of trails and gravel roads).
Price: 22 euros (includes professional guide, transportation, accident and public liability insurances).
Meeting point: Mestalla, parking lot on av. Aragón, 8:30 (return to Valencia ~17:00)
Bring at least 1l of water, lunch, warm clothes and hiking shoes.
El Carrascal de la Font Roja natural park, protected since 1987, is an excellent representation of the mixed Mediterranean forest and is located between the towns of Alcoy and Ibi. It occupies an area of 2,298 hectares and presents a great diversity of environments of high ecological and landscape value depending on the part you visit.
It is worth noting the presence of plant species such as the holm oak, Valencian oak, maple, ash or yew and a fauna headed by white-bellied eagles, owls, badgers or snakes.
The first half of the route runs along the north face of the sierra, where we can see the shady forest characterized by the abundance of holm oaks along with other deciduous trees and shrubs. Starting from the Visitor Center, located next to the Font Roja, we reach the recreational area of Glorieta dels Paellers, where the oldest holm oaks in the Park are located. At 20 m we discover Cova Gelada on the left, characterized by its coolness (7ºC). Shortly after, we’ll arrive at Pla de la Mina, where there is a reproduction of a lime kiln and a charcoal kiln, and two viewpoints. Here you can see the reddish color of the clays that emerge from the calcareous rock constituting these mountains.
Following the forest track, we arrive at Pla dels Galers, where it is easy to find wild boar footprints and wallows in the mud. About 900m further on we find the Pilatos viewpoint to the right, from which there is a splendid view of the Serra de Mariola and the Polop river valley. Looking towards the mountains, when contemplating the north face of the Carrascal de la Font Roja, you can see in the high areas the abundance of deciduous trees such as maple, gall oak or ash that, mixed with holm oaks, constitutes the mixed Mediterranean forest….. ValenciaBonita.es
In this Park you can still see the traces of activities carried out by humans, taking advantage of natural resources; the bunkers for the production of charcoal; the old lime kilns; the exploitation of cultivated lands on the slopes of the mountain; Masías, constructions that fulfilled the functions of housing, stable and corral and finally the cellars or snow wells, which served as a supply of ice to neighboring municipalities as a gastronomic or medical element.