Sot de l’Aram – Serra del Rupit
A wonderful circuit, with a wide variety of landscaping. It combines the riverside vegetation of the canals, with the Mediterranean forest that dominates the mountains, and the watercourses in the first part of the route, with the stretch of ridges in the final part.
These two types of trails are the ones that hikers most like, and when they coincide in the same itinerary, as in this case, it is the greatest pleasure. Therefore, enjoying such an exquisite taste will not disappoint even the most demanding palates.
We set the car’s odometer to zero and we take the N-II road from the petrol station next to Can Jalpí towards Calella. At 600 m we will leave the road off to the right to take the Paseo de Hortsavinyà, which is the entrance to the Natural Park of Montnegre. We will continue along this track, which is paved the first two kilometres and that runs all along the stream bank. We pass by all the turn-offs that we find, until after we pass Can Pallofa, when the car marks kilometre 5,250 we will turn left following the direction of the stream. We have reached Pla de Cal Capità, where we will park the car.
Elevation gain uphill: 500 m.
Kilometres: 13 km.
Duration: 3 h. 38 min.
- Phase 1, first 30 minutes
- Phase 2, 30-60 minutes
- Phase 3, from 60 to 90 minutes
- Phase 4, 90 minutes till the end
We take the trail that runs parallel to the stream.
Pay attention, we must take the first fork that goes up on the right, passing in front of the courtyard of a house. We then come to the stream again that we continue to follow, well accompanied by sycamores and poplars.
We cross the stream following the path that now goes up the other side. We go past the trails that are on our left.
We go back past the stream, where we find the important ruins of the Can Mas flour mill, which is to the right of the road, that continues rising upstream.
Phase 2, 30-60 minutes
Pay attention to the fork that we find on the left where we cross the stream, and enter the canal Sot de l’Aram, where the waters of Sots del Rupit, les Nogueres, les Indies, dels Llorels, Canyamars and Grimola converge, making it the most important tributary of the Pineda stream
We cross the canal and on the left we find the mouth of the Aram cave, about 30 m deep, the former copper mine. If you enter with a torch, you can still see greenish veins of the mineral. This mine is the one that has given its name to the whole area. We will leave the cave and continue along the canal on a path full of lush vegetation and many brambles.
We cross the canal again. From here we treading where possible, sometimes along the edge and other times through the canal. We must bear in mind that the floods constantly change the physiognomy of the path.
The canal’s margin suddenly opens to the right, forming a square shaped clearing, presided over by some hazels. We climb to greet the Virgin Mary. On one side of the plain, near the canal, on an old tree trunk we find a small chapel with an image, which we call “Nuestra Señora del Aram”. This little chapel is also a refuge for wild animals, such as genets, because we often find signs of them in the form of faeces. This place is also the point of confluence with the gulley of Nogueras that are to the right.
We go back down the canal we came from, and we continue going up. From here all other paths disappear. The only path will be the canal, almost always passable, except for the days after a torrential rain, because the abundance of water that has fallen makes it totally inaccessible. This is where the most special part of the canal begins, where the Aram gulley shows us all its wild beauty. In some places it is so enclosed, that the sun’s rays can never penetrate. The bed through which the water runs consists of rocks that have been polished by the action of the water over the centuries. The trees, mainly Alders and Poplars, rise towards the sky looking for the sun, reaching in many cases 30 meters in height.
We reach a point where the canal’s bed is pure rock, forming a gorge sculpted by the millennial action of water. It is beautiful, but difficult to pass in rainy season. After these rocks the canal comes out of the gulley and we begin to see the sun’s rays, and the vegetation is enriched with holly, Jew’s Myrtle, laurels and tallest specimens of riverside forest. The canal becomes friendlier and it is becoming more civilized.
We suddenly encounter a dirt track perfectly transitable for cars. Here the canal ends.
We must clarify one thing. This journey can be easily done in half the time we have assigned. But, to enjoy the beauty of the route, the hiker takes it slow, to enjoy the pleasures of this wild nature, not very often trodden by man and dominated by genet and wild boars. Now we will begin the second part of this itinerary, with a route that is totally opposite to the first one, we go from the shadiest bottom to the sunniest top. We will take the track to the left, which soon begins to rise steeply, after passing two bends we will reach the Calella road, which we will take towards the sea, until we reach the Tres Termes, which are indicated by a milestone consisting of a large stone and a cross. At this point, the towns of Pineda de Mar, Tordera and Sant Cebrià de Vallalta meet.
Located at this point, we are at the foot of the Puig de Sant Andreu, which at its peak reaches 378 meters high, and is the highlight of the mountain range Serra del Rupit. We will take the path that we have in front of us, which is a forest road that rises sharply.
Go right at the fork, which will take us directly to the summit.
Just before reaching the ridge, we find a work of wild engineering, which we can describe as spectacular. It is known that wild boars have a habit of wallowing in muddy waters. Well, these animals have taken advantage of this clay soil area, to build up to seven bathtubs, one next to the other, constituting a unique communal bath area throughout Montnegre. Walking through the woods, it is frequent to find a wild boar bath, but a set like this is exceptional, and a curiosity worth seeing. Then we reach the ridge, where we find a wide and pleasant road, where we often see signs of the presence of badgers, another of the animals that enrich the fauna of these forests.
We reach a small hill, with views to the left where the slender bell tower of the church of Sant Llop d’Hortsavinyà is the highlight in the middle of the forest. We leave the fork to one side and we continue walking through the centre of the ridge.
We find a hunter’s cabin, well-equipped to celebrate feasts of all kinds. In front of us we have Mount Puig de la Torre, which is 361 meters high, the second highest point in the mountain range. After a few steps we leave the track and take a path that climbs to the top. This is a path that is not regularly transited, except for in the hunting season, there are few people who risk it. This causes the vegetation of the underbrush to invade it, and to walk through it you must brush past the rosemary bushes, cistus, heather, pistacia lentiscus, acorns and the Jew’s Myrtle, which make the hiker feel fully immersed in the forest. Despite the thickness of the trees, basically oaks, strawberries, pines and cork oaks, the path is transitable, because the brambles and sarsaparilla, the great enemies of the hiker, are not very abundant.
We reach the top of Mount Puig de la Torre. The abundance of loose stones that we find here suggests that they may come from the ruins of an old tower that would have given the name to this place. From here, we carry on going down to the stream. We continue along a path that goes down to the right. It is not a very clear path, but our reference will always be the ridge. If at any point we have doubts, we will always take the trail to the right, but without ever leaving the ridge, where we will always end up returning.
On the side of the road we find a raised hunting point. It consists of a platform made of logs and it is located on the top of the trees, with a ladder made of the same material for us to climb. It is a watchtower designed for the hunting of birds, mainly the song thrush and the common wood pigeon. We carry on going down the ridge until the path comes to an end, which it turns abruptly to the left and suddenly opens at the end of the track.
We take the track.
We take the fork that we find on our right.
Another fork to the right where we will turn off.
Another turn off to the right, but that this time we will go past it.
We take the fork to the right and then another to the left, which goes down and communicates with the ruins of a house.
We arrive at Ca l’Amat. We follow the private path that passes by the patio of the house and by a large oak tree, we continue along this path until we reach the fence at the entrance of the farm.
We pass the fence, cross the canal of Sant Andreu and then the Pineda stream.
We arrive at Pla de Cal Capità, where we left our cars. End of the trail.