Cascata di Bignasco was a surprisingly satisfying waterfall that we noticed while we were headed up the Valle Maggia en route to the Cascata di Foroglio. At first, we intended to treat it like the other miscellaneous roadside waterfalls sprinkled about the valley, but the closer we got to it, the more we realized that it was compelling enough for us to leave the main road and look for a way to get closer. Even though we didn’t see anything in the literature stating its height, we estimate that it might be somewhere between 40m to 60m tall.
It turned out that there was a formal car park (see directions below) as well as an established walkway leading right up to the plunge pool at the base of the waterfall. To the left of the plunge pool (behind an unlocked gate that we were supposed to keep closed), there was a picnic table in a shady spot where it seemed like a nice place to have a picnic while basking in the tranquility of the scenery. There was also a large man-made swimming pool nearby (to the right of the large car park) though it was closed and being worked on during our visit in June 2013. Perhaps under more typical conditions, I’d imagine that this would be an ideal place for the family as the pool seemed to be inviting for kids while the rest of the amenities seemed to be built with families in mind.
Overall, we spent about 10 minutes away from the car as this was essentially a roadside waterfall.
When we first noticed this waterfall on the road through Valle Maggia, we saw there was a historical-looking building to the topright of the waterfall itself. We weren’t sure whether it was a church or if it had any particular importance or significance, but we didn’t really look into how to access that building high up the cliff. I’d imagine that if it was accessible, there ought to be nice views of Valle Maggia from that higher vantage point.
From what we could tell, this was a legitimate waterfall that ought to last most of the Summer. Even though power lines ran along much of the Maggia River (kind of impacting the view of the waterfall from the main road), it didn’t seem like this waterfall was subject to diversion or regulation for hydroelectricity (though we can’t verify that claim). We wondered about that because there were other major waterfalls in the valley that seemed to be sacrificed for hydroelectricity such as the Cascata di Soladino. Just to underscore the quantity of waterfalls here, we noticed another attractive waterfall near the town of Cevio, which was just before we reached Bignasco.
Once in the town of Bignasco, we then took a road that crossed the Maggia River towards the residences on the other side of the river (it might be the only road crossing the river in town). Immediately after crossing the bridge, there was a turnoff to the right that we took that we followed for a couple of blocks. Then, we noticed the large car park for the waterfall, which was where we turned left to park in one of its many spaces.
Even though there weren’t signs explicitly for Cascata di Bignasco, the waterfall was prominent enough that we were able to navigate our way to the car park for the falls.
Finally, to give you some geographical context, Locarno was 76km (about 90 minutes drive) northwest of Lenno, Italy, 72km (over an hour drive) north of Como, Italy, and 118km (over 90 minutes drive) north of Milan (Milano), Italy.
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