“A great though tough trail in a heart of the Atlantic Forest, connecting the plateau to the coast region in Parana.
— Arthur Leidens
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
This is a rather tough trail that provides some wonderful scenery in the middle of the tropical Atlantic Forest. It connects the Borda do Campo in Quatro Barras city, a small and nice city in the metropolitan region of Curitiba to Porto de Cima, in Morretes, another wonderful and typical city in coast region of Paraná State.
Need to Know
The path is easy to follow, but due to the characteristics of the environment, difficulty, and length of the trails (almost 13 miles one-way), is recommended to have someone with experience in the region with the group. Good physical condition is mandatory on this route. The region is very humid, and the trails often wet; on the paved part on a steep slope, extremely slippery.
At the trailhead you must register on the way in AND on the way out. Here there is a restroom, water, and a telephone. Keep in mind that mobile phone signal is extremely difficult to get along the trail.
From the parking area at the western end of this route near Borda do Camp, head east along Trilha Itupava
. The trail rolls along for about 0.7 mile, passing a nice viewpoint. After 0.7 mile, the trail ends at the junction with Caminho do Itupava - Itupava Trail
. Here, just to the left on Caminho do Itupava - Itupava Trail
is a small waterfall and pool which makes a nice rest spot. To follow the route as mapped, take a right on Caminho do Itupava - Itupava Trail
to begin heading south.
The trail continues to roll along through the forest, and around 2.4 miles in, begins its initial descent. After a short distance, you'll reach a nice vista point. You'll ford Rio Ipiranga around four miles in, and you'll find yourself at Casa do Ipiranga along the railroad tracks. This is an old jailhouse that has fallen to ruin.
Take a right onto Ipiranga Ruins and Falls Spur
to head south briefly to a nice waterfall. Return the way you came, then take a right onto Caminho do Itupava - Itupava Trail
to continue heading east along the route. The trail levels out for a short while, then after a short but steep descent, you'll come upon another waterfall, about 6.5 miles into the run.
About 7.6 miles in, there is another rather steep descent to Rio São João. As you descend to the river, you'll cross the railroad tracks and a shrine (Mirante Nossa Senhora do Cadeado). Once you get to the river, you can cross via a bridge, and the trail turns northeast to follow the river to the end of Caminho do Itupava - Itupava Trail
and the junction with Prainhas Road
. Take a left on the road which ends at the start of Itupava Road
. Continue along Itupava Road
passing the trailhead for Salto dos Macacos. The road continues to follow the river and you may see some more waterfalls along the way. As mapped, the route ends at Santuário Nhundiaquara, but you can continue following the road to Porto de Cima.
History & Background
The Itupava Trail was built by miners and native Brazilian tribes in 1625 to connect Quatro Barras, near to Curitiba, to Morretes in Parana Estate. This was the only way to connect the coast region to the top of the plateau, where Curitiba, the Capital, was based. Later on, the route was paved by slaves to make travel easier. In some parts of the trail, it is still possible to find the original stones and even the pavement.