The Macizo de Peña Ubiña is behind the Picos de Europa the main mountain system of the Cantabrian Mountains. The recent declaration of the Ubiña-La Mesa Natural Park turns this space into the fifth natural park of the Principality. With it, the protected area in Asturias exceeds 35% of its territory, the highest level of natural protection in all of Spain. It limits to the south with the province of León, to the west with the Somiedo Natural Park and to the north with the councils of Belmonte de Miranda, Grado and Proaza.
The International Council for the Coordination of the Man and Biosphere Program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) approved the day July 11, 2012 in Paris the declaration of the territory of the Natural Park of Las Ubiñas-La Mesa as Biosphere Reserve.
Hiking through the Natural Park of Las Ubiñas
One of the highlights of this privileged landscape is the intense glacier modeling, a geological footprint that is most evident in the broad valley of the Ports of Agüeria, in the center of the Park: one of the most beautiful places in it. The best view of these ports is reached at the top of the nearby Peña Rueda, limestone pyramid 2.155 meters high. The route to access it starts from the village of Lindes. During the ascent, the different shades of the pastures can be seen on the slopes, more brown in color where the snow has taken longer to clear. The old glacial systems also they are clearly observed in the Veiga the Robezo, Socellares and Llaseiru. Glacial cirques, troughs, buckets or moraines; geological scars from a past where snow was perpetual in this area.
Make summit within the limits of this Park is relatively simple, because there are mountains for all tastes, with dozens of options: from the most relaxed trekking to the most risky climbing. At the southern end, the Peña Ubiña massif, the second highest mountain in the region after the Picos de Europa, with altitudes above 2.400 meters, as well as the Huertos del Diablo, with peaks that exceed 2.100 meters. On the border with Somiedo he rises The Tadal of the Table, with 1.830 meters in the Alto de la Cugurza and Peña Negra. In the north zone of the Park, between Quirós and Teverga, is the southern end of the Sierra de La Sobia, with heights higher than the 1.600 meters.
They abound too the caves and chasms, such as the Trabe complex, Vallina el Corro or Manín, subsoils studied and surveyed by cavers for years. The Huerta Cave, in Teverga, has fourteen kilometer galleries and is listed as a natural monument. It is worth noting the interesting gorge of karst origin, formed by the Val de Sampedro river, which runs from the town of Fresnedo to that of Páramo, where the Cueva Huerta is located.
The Ubiñas Natural Park stands out for the great abundance of beech trees -with more than 5.000 hectares- and oak and birch forests, which occupy more than 500 hectares. There is also a notable presence of ancient yew trees. Above the forests there are vast areas of grasslands that have always supplied indigenous cattle. Here also the herds of transhumant merino have traditionally been fed, coming from Castilla León or Extremadura.
The Park is part of the eastern end of the osseous population, which is in better condition. He capercaillie keeps in the forest areas of the area several cantaderos in use and finds refuge in the numerous acebedas. In low areas, the presence of important forest stands allows the settlement of wild boar, roe deer, goshawk or hawk. Although the high mountain species are more representative in the Park: chamois, eagle, vulture or Egyptian vulture.
Beautiful villages of the Natural Park of Las Ubiñas
The archaeological and ethnographic heritage, as well as the maintenance of the traditional uses of the land, are other added values to the natural ones. The population is scarce in the whole area and it is located on the banks of the main rivers. Communication between towns and villages is carried out by unprecedented roads, resulting in The route that leads from Campomanes to Puerto de la Cubilla through Tuiza is especially beautiful.
In the villages you can find good examples of traditional Asturian mountain architecture, with houses built in stone masonry and wooden corridors. Along with these nuclei of the valleys coexisted the brañas of the mountains, in which simple stone huts with tile or broom cover (teito) were built, in addition to the so-called corros or cabanos, circular constructions with a false stone dome . In the council of Teverga there are good examples of these brañas, such as those of Tuiza, El Rebellón, Llamaraxil or Funfría.
Nearby is the town of Bermiego (Quirós), with its texo of more than 10 meters high and 6 in diameter and its late medieval nucleus, is one of the most beautiful in the area, without a doubt it is worth a visit.
The main access roads to the Park are the A-66 highway and the N-630 national road, which connect Oviedo with the capital of the Lena council, as well as the AS-228 regional road that, from Avilés and crossing the entire downtown area of the region, reaches the Puerto de Ventana in the council of Teverga. A Bárzana, capital of Quirós and gateway to the central area of the Park, is accessed by the AS-229 regional road, both from Pola de Lena, by Alto de la Cobertoria, and from the junction with the AS-228, by the Valdemurio reservoir. The road network of the Park is completed with lower order roads that start from the council capitals, serving the different valleys in which the territory is organized.