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Hike: BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca Marble Trail (new in 2023)

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Easy, beautiful one-way hike along the river in Verzasca (4.4 km), slightly downhill (120 m), with playgrounds and 10 marble rolling stations along the way. No strollers. Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca (Valley Verzasca, Canton Ticino, Switzerland).

The "it" factor

BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca Marble Trail

What makes it special:


What needs to be considered:

  • There are 2 BoBosco routes. Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca (described in this blog) is the latest addition from 2023. It is slightly shorter and more suitable for younger kids. The other one, Brione Verzasca-Lavertezzo, is slightly more difficult but (arguably) with more impressive views.

  • The hike is one way only and you need to take a bus to get to the beginning of the hike. The busses run only every 1-2 hrs.


BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca Marble Trail impression video



The fun factor


To embark on this BoBosco adventure, you need a wooden marble. You can buy a locally produced one in quite a few places, including at the information point at the beginning of the hike. Throughout the hike, every c. 400 m, there is a different marble rolling station made out of stone and / or wood. Some are quite simple, with just a gutter carved in a wood, some are quite elaborate, with strings to pull and labyrinths to go through.

We always appreciate hikes with marble runs as it motivates our 3.5 year-old to walk and gets her excited to discover different stations, plus it is quite fun for us as well to roll some marbles (not losing them).



There are also three playgrounds along the way. The first is in the beginning of the hike in Sonogno. It is very nice with swings, a zip line and climbing areas for younger and older kids. This is also where you find the first marble station.



The second BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca playground is mid-way through the hike, next to the sixth marble station (if you are doing the hike downhill). It has a drinking water fountain, a swing and a slide and a beautiful view. It is very sun exposed. We were doing his hike on a sunny day and did not manage to stay long there as the heat chased us away



The hike also ends with a playground and a marble station. This one is a bit smaller than the one is Sonogno but has a good offering for younger and older kids and can definitely be used as a motivator to get to the end of the hike.



As the hike goes along the river, on a sunny day you can also stop for some river splashing. We saw quite a few families doing so on the way and it looked very fun! Just make sure you pick a safe spot as the stones can get quite slippery and be careful with the currents. The river looked calmer more towards the beginning of the hike.


The views factor


The highlight of the BoBosco marble hikes is the river. We have done this hike in August and, especially in the beginning of the hike near Sonogno, there was very little water in the river. But as you walk towards Gerra Verzasca, it becomes more and more impressive.



The hike goes through the valley, mostly through shaded forests and sometimes through exposed fields.



The value factor


BoBosco Sonogno

You can enter the hike and use the marble stations free of charge. The cost of the locally produced marble is 9 CHF - you can buy it at the information point.


There are no gondolas to take and you can easily drive or take the bus to the beginning of the hike.


As the hike is one way, you only need to pay for the bus to get you to the beginning of the hike.




The fitness factor


BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca Marble Trail Views

There are 2 BoBosco marble hikes in Valley Verzasca and the one described in this article (Sonogno to Gerra Verzasca) is slightly easier and shorter (4.4 k). Official route is uphill (from Gerra Verzasca to Sonogno) but we have done it in reverse, hiking down the path (120 m descent) along the river.


Most goes through a forest path and sometimes the paved road but there are a few parts along a narrow path next to a mini-cliff with stones and roots. To feel more safe we held our toddlers hand but it is perfectly manageable even with younger kids, who can walk longer distances.


If you prefer to shorten the hike to 2 km, you can also enter in Frasco and do the second part.



The food factor


The hike starts in Sonogno - a small village where in 2023 we found three restaurants: Ristorante Alpino con Alloggio, Grotto Redorta and just next to the playground - Osteria Sportiva. There is also a cute bakery with locally produced products if you would like to buy something and have it during the hike. We treated ourselves to some some ice-cream at the information point, to get the energy for the hike.

Near the 7th marble station (if you are doing the hike downhill, like us), around Frasco, there is another restaurant called Campagna Albergo, with a small playground just next to it.

At the end of the hike, in Gerra Verzasca, there are two restaurants: Froda and Grotto Sassello "da ciocia". You need to walk a little bit more to get to them

There are not many picnic places (next to the playgrounds in Sonogno and Gerra Verzasca and one along the way) but you can also sit on one of the large stones next to a river and have a snack whilst enjoying the view.



BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca Marble Trail - practical info


BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca Map

  • Arrival by car: You can park at the beginning or the end of the hike and take a bus B 321 to get to the start or end of the hike. There is a small parking spot in Gerra Verzasca, next to the bus stop Gerra Al Ponte and a large one in Sonogno next to the bus stop Sonogno. The busses run only every 1-2 hrs, so we decided to park at the end of the hike and time our arrival around the bus schedule, not to have to wait when we are finished

  • Arrival by public transport: Take the B 321 bus from Locarno Platform A to Sonogno to the beginning of the hike and from Gerra Al Ponte back to Locarno at the end of the hike. Check the bus schedule in advance as busses run only every 1-2 hrs

  • You can buy the locally produced marble for 9 CHF from the following places:

    • Sonogno: Bakery El Prestin, Info shop

    • Frasco: Familienhotel Campagna,

    • Gerra Verzasca: Vending machine 24/7

  • Start: Sonogno

  • End: Gerra Verzasca

  • Descent: 120 m

  • Length: ca. 4.4 km

  • BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca Marble Trail more info

BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca Hiking Map

BoBosco Sonogno - Gerra Verzasca Hiking Map

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