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The Atlantic Wolf Route

Ponte de Lima 41° 48' 26,4" N | 8° 40' 30,9" W
Ponte de Lima

The Atlantic Wolf Route/ Trail is a footpath known as the short route. The respective markings and signs conform to international standards. The route grows in the heart of the Arga Mountain Range, near lands of the municipalities of Ponte de Lima and Caminha, providing a direct contact with the heritage, customs and traditions associated with mountain areas. We start the route in Ponte de Lima, in Cerquido, Parish of Estorãos, more precisely next to the chapel where St. Rufina is venerated. This Saint is the sister of St. Justa, which can also be venerated in the same mountain range, about 2km away.

Cerquido is characterized by a mountain landscape with granite that extends to Our Lady of Minho, traditional terracing, houses, the streets and the rivers that cross it. With a privileged geographical location on the slopes of the Arga Mountain Range, the place is a must see for lovers of bucolic nature.

We shall cover areas softened on the steepest slopes of the imposing mountain range of Arga, particularly in flattened areas associated with the places of Cerquido and Upper Arga, where we will be faced with the typical settlement pattern of the Portuguese Northwest Mountains, whose economic base is based on agro-forestry and pastoral planning and exploration. Leaving the chapel, we turn left and follow along a paved way to immerse in the rural centre. We then go up the paved road until it ends the tarred road, going forward onto the paved road. As we ascend west, we leave behind the majestic Lima Valley.

Having reached the top, we come upon a tea area, where it is normal to see cattle, including ponies, one of the three national horse racing breeds. The ponies, which can be contemplated in the wild, are considered by many the most emblematic figure of ancient biodiversity in the northwest of Portugal. We carry on to Wolf's Gate, at about 800m above sea level, an area where the wolf usually descended to the Upper Arga Parish, and even before reaching the mountain community of this parish, belonging to the municipality of Caminha, we spot the Covão Mills, which are still in excellent condition.

Having left this place, we walk through a small gate and are then surrounded by a path of oaks and other tree species that leads us to the ruins of Reconco. A small place that, until recently, had only one inhabitant. Following the route, we will pass the former home of the ranger of  Alto do Cavalinho, and are thus faced with the remains of the old Wolf Pitfall, an element of the rare civil heritage in the Arga Mountain Range. The popular folk architectural structure with walls converging in a ""V"" was used to capture and shoot the wolf. After death, the animal, once known as ""the beast"", was displayed in the villages by the ""Monteiros"" showing the population the object of their fear. In the Arga Mountain Range, there is a small pack and the wolf is often seen in these parts.

Hence begins the descent by way of an old road, next to a ravine that will take us to the place of Cerquido to return to the place where you began this journey.


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Description

The Atlantic Wolf Route/ Trail is a footpath known as the short route. The respective markings and signs conform to international standards. The route grows in the heart of the Arga Mountain Range, near lands of the municipalities of Ponte de Lima and Caminha, providing a direct contact with the heritage, customs and traditions associated with mountain areas. We start the route in Ponte de Lima, in Cerquido, Parish of Estorãos, more precisely next to the chapel where St. Rufina is venerated. This Saint is the sister of St. Justa, which can also be venerated in the same mountain range, about 2km away.

Cerquido is characterized by a mountain landscape with granite that extends to Our Lady of Minho, traditional terracing, houses, the streets and the rivers that cross it. With a privileged geographical location on the slopes of the Arga Mountain Range, the place is a must see for lovers of bucolic nature.

We shall cover areas softened on the steepest slopes of the imposing mountain range of Arga, particularly in flattened areas associated with the places of Cerquido and Upper Arga, where we will be faced with the typical settlement pattern of the Portuguese Northwest Mountains, whose economic base is based on agro-forestry and pastoral planning and exploration. Leaving the chapel, we turn left and follow along a paved way to immerse in the rural centre. We then go up the paved road until it ends the tarred road, going forward onto the paved road. As we ascend west, we leave behind the majestic Lima Valley.

Having reached the top, we come upon a tea area, where it is normal to see cattle, including ponies, one of the three national horse racing breeds. The ponies, which can be contemplated in the wild, are considered by many the most emblematic figure of ancient biodiversity in the northwest of Portugal. We carry on to Wolf's Gate, at about 800m above sea level, an area where the wolf usually descended to the Upper Arga Parish, and even before reaching the mountain community of this parish, belonging to the municipality of Caminha, we spot the Covão Mills, which are still in excellent condition.

Having left this place, we walk through a small gate and are then surrounded by a path of oaks and other tree species that leads us to the ruins of Reconco. A small place that, until recently, had only one inhabitant. Following the route, we will pass the former home of the ranger of  Alto do Cavalinho, and are thus faced with the remains of the old Wolf Pitfall, an element of the rare civil heritage in the Arga Mountain Range. The popular folk architectural structure with walls converging in a ""V"" was used to capture and shoot the wolf. After death, the animal, once known as ""the beast"", was displayed in the villages by the ""Monteiros"" showing the population the object of their fear. In the Arga Mountain Range, there is a small pack and the wolf is often seen in these parts.

Hence begins the descent by way of an old road, next to a ravine that will take us to the place of Cerquido to return to the place where you began this journey.


Download the file:

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