Vereda da Encumeada
The Encumeada trail starts a few metres above the Pico Ruivo shelter.
Marked by frequent climbs and descents, the trail winds along at elevations between 1800 and 1000 m above sea level as it heads towards Encumeada.
Extremely beautiful landscapes await travellers as they cross two types of Natura 2000 ecosystems: the central mountainous massif and the Laurissilva forest.
Along the trail, you will pass settings flled with Laurissilva forest species, such as Madeira laurels (Ocotea foetens), lily-of-the-valley trees (Clethra arborea), a buckthorn variety known as “sanguinhos” (Rhamnus glandulosa), the pride of Madeira (Echium candicans) and the very rare Madeiran orchid (Dactylorhiza foliosa).
You will also fnd various caves (furnas) dug out of the rocks. In former times they served as refuges for men who came here to cut heath (Erica scoparia ssp madeirensis and Erica arborea) to be used for stakes, frewood or making charcoal.
Distance: 11,2 km
Highest point: 1761 m
Lowest point: 940 m
Start: Casa de Abrigo do Pico Ruivo
Recommendations: Take warm clothing, non-slip footwear and water.
Access: Only by car