The largest artificial lake in Abruzzo
Created in 1984 and spanning an area of 1,600 hectares, the Campotosto Lake Nature Reserve is a protected area in the province of L’Aquila. The area boasts the largest artificial lake in the region and falls within the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park.
The reserve is an important migratory site for many animal species, some of which are endangered. The lake shore is home to the grey heron, the common shelduck, the common snipe, the great snipe—the star of the protected area—and Abruzzo’s largest colonies of common pochard and wigeon. Trout and tench are the most common fish species.
The lake is very popular in the summer season among jogging and trekking enthusiasts, as well as for sport fishing, canoeing and windsurfing, while in winter it is not uncommon to find it partially or completely frozen over. The almost flat lakefront, 40 kilometres long, is a popular destination for cycling and mountain biking.
Around the reserve, sport enthusiasts can find the Capannelle pass, the go-to place for motorcyclists, and the ski resorts of Campo Imperatore and Prati di Tivo. The lake is also connected to the tourist itineraries of the Horse Riding Trail of Gran Sasso and the Park’s main road.