The itinerary, included in the SIC [Site of Community Importance] “Raffo Rosso, Monte Cuccio e Vallone Sagana”, explores the mountains that border the Conca d’Oro basin to the west, a short and gentle mountain range formed of various heights spots such as the 405 m of Cozzo di Paola and the 888 m of Mount Castellaccio. In this range, Pizzo Manolfo (or Minolfo as reported on some maps) together with Pizzo Mollica is the northernmost extremity.
The starting point of our route is just outside the city of Palermo, which can be reached from a farm track that departs from the provincial road 1 from Palermo to Montelepre. Continue by cars along this small road that leads, after about 3.5 km, to the entrance to the vast Raffo Rosso – Manolfo forest area. This is a vast reforestation
of coniferous and other introduced species blended with foliage of Mediterranean scrub and typical rocky environments. This is a rich naturalistic area where you can easily admire birds of prey and where there are rabbits, hares and the rare rock partridge of Sicily.
We leave the car just before a gate and continue on a road that passes by a picnic area and then enters, first with a slight rise then for a long gradual slope, inside the thick pine forest to reach, after about 3.5 km, the summit of Pizzo Manolfo.
Here you will see unparalleled views over the Gulf of Carini and the Longa mountain bastions, and to the east
onto the city of Palermo and the surrounding mountains. We will then briefly retrace our steps to intersect a track on the left that continues through a series of bends along the eastern side of the mountain. Along a long slightly uphill
stretch the trail circumvents the Cozzo San Rocco and then returns to the starting point. The trail does not have any particular challenging features, being essentially on comfortable roads, but the significant length makes it most
suitable for hikers accustomed to long distances.