Since 1994, when the National Park was established, the Maiella massif has experienced a re-populating of animals and today, for those who venture along the high trails, it is not difficult to catch sight of birds, deer and chamois or find traces of the presence of bears and wolves. In summer, at sunset, it is not uncommon to be surprised by the fleeting and elegant movement of deer and roe deer. Taking the high paths of Monte Acquaviva and Cima delle Murelle, you can admire up close the approximately one thousand chamois that inhabit the area. For an expert guide, see the special register of middle mountain guides on the site guidealpineabruzzo.it or contact the environmental education centre: Il Grande Faggio +39 0871 898143. The biodiversity of the Maiella can also be discovered through the route around the Eastern Majella, which can become an interesting educational trail thanks to the services offered by the visitor centres and the museums of the National Park, located in each of the villages you will be passing through: - At Pretoro there is Il Grande Faggio, the Park information centre. Nearby, in the fauna area of the wolf, you can observe a pair of wolves in semi-captivity.
- At Fara San Martino the Museum, designed to illustrate the wealth of biodiversity of the Maiella massif, accompanies the visitor along a path that starts from ravines and continues along the valleys, through the underground environments, the wood, the cliffs, the dwarf pines and the grasslands ending at high altitude (Info and reservations: +39 0872 980970 – +39 339 2615405).
- At Lama dei Peligni the Centre is structured into several sections: the ‘Maurizio Locati’ Naturalistic-Archaeological Museum, that presents a naturalistic and archaeological section (nearby, the Maiella man lived more than 7,000 years ago); the ‘Michele Tenore’ Botanical Garden that hosts around 500 floristic specimens; the fauna area where you can see, a short distance away, a group of Abruzzan chamois in semi-natural conditions (Info and reservations: +39 0872 916067).
- At Palena the Marsican Brown Bear Museum illustrates the biological characteristics and habits of the life, mythology, history and issues regarding the risk of extinction of the bear. The guided tour of the Museum can be combined with an excursion along one of the paths of the bear, to come into direct contact with its environment and to look for signs of its presence (Info and reservations: +39 339 8629165).