For a gorgeous, fun and slightly challenging hiking route, you can follow the local hiking paths from Ascona all the way to the viewpoint of Balladrum. This forestry route is perfect for those who want to take a hiking path for a few hours, to enjoy stunning views at the end of it. This scenic spot is a must for those visiting Ascona and want to see Lake Maggiore from above too!
Ascona To Balladrum: Facts
Before you start hiking this route, it’s best to prepare yourself based on your level of hiking experience. The route is challenging, you should take drinks with you and dress appropriately. More information about the route includes:
- It’s roughly 6km long when walking to the top and back from Ascona (the way we hiked it)
- Fun but also moderately challenging
- Some sections are on pathed tarmac, but the rest is through forestry terrain with huge rocks and dirt
- Not accessible for those in a wheelchair or with difficulties walking – but the tarmac section to another viewpoint is (more shared below)
- Perfect for a summers day!
Most of the route can also be found on AllTrails app, with our route starting from Ascona whereas their’s start from Monte Verità.
Hiking Up From Ascona To Monte Verità
From Ascona village, you can hike directly up from the lakeside following the yellow signs to Monte Verità. This route is mostly with stairs all the way from the village, passing lots of local houses along the way. The part of the route already gains a lot of elevation. With the views of Ascona village already proving the beauty of the canton.
If you are more curious about Ascona in general, check our top 9 beautiful reasons to visit!
Forest Walks from monte Verità To Balladrum
From being near Monte Verità, you can then see the yellow signs showing Balladrum as the next destination. We decided to follow the ‘Zurich Vitaparcours – Monte Verità‘ route from there, which lead us up the mountain side alongside the very small river. It’s a beautiful forest route that starts near the Parco Parsifal, which you can park at if you are visiting by car.
Top tip: This park area has a public toilet building, so its best to pop here before you continue hiking if you need to go!
For those in a wheelchair or if you have difficulty walking, you can follow the pathed route to a different viewpoint from Parco Parsifal. Search on google for the ‘Ascona Viewpoint’ along the Via Gottardo Madonna path to reach it.
After starting the forestry route from the Parco Parsifal parking area, you will encounter the rocks shortly after. So this part is fun but also the challenging section. The route has some pathed elements but at least 50% is also just a rough path where you follow the rocks and tree roots. In certain sections, it doesn’t even look like a route, more like an old river of rocks in all directions. But don’t give up, take your time and you can reach the top safely.
Reaching the top of the rocky viewpoint is the best feeling ever, especially on a clear sunny day. The rock formation at the top is easy to climb and sit on. There are also two small wooden planks that someone has placed here to sit on easily.
From the Balladrum viewpoint, you can see clearly down to Locarno on one side, and down towards Ronco sopra Ascona and Brissago in the distance. You can also see the village and Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Abate church from the local village inland too.
From Balladrum, you can consider hiking the same way down. Alternatively, we suggest to follow the other way down back to Ascona as shared on the yellow signposts. This takes you back through some of the forest, before joining the tarmac route with viewpoints too, back down to Parco Parsifal.
Curious for video footage? Check our drone footage from the top of viewpoint here:
This hike was great for exploring from Ascona into the nature. We hiked this on a Saturday on a hot summers day. From the Parco Parsifal to the top and back we saw only around 7 people total, so it was not a busy route on a weekend.
As well as the stunning views and gorgeous weather, we enjoyed also the local wildlife and peace throughout the route. There were lots of lizards, bumble bees, beetles and butterflies. A beautiful route for some nature photography!
- always wear suitable shoes for hiking
- take lots of water, sports drink and snacks with you
- dress appropriately for the weather – suncream or a jacket etc!