Wetlands of the Islands of Saint-Marcel Natural Reserve

Where the Saint-Marcel Torrent joins the Dora Baltea river, a small corner of nature expands itself into the 4 municipalities of Brissogne, Saint-Marcel, Quart and Nus. An area which offers very long days of summer light, due to its principally Northern exposure. The wetlands of the Islands were established as a Natural Reserve in 1995, because they represent the most important regional site for the resting and feeding grounds of migrating ornithological fauna, and welcome many nesting species. The ancient, and now rare, river landscape dominates along its banks, with the Phragmites australis, end the Typha latifolia, as well as other species such as the Juncus end the Carex, while its waters house Tenches, Pikes, Trouts and Rudds. Here birds find the most important resting ground in the Region; among them, the Egret, the Red Heron, the Little Egret and numerous species of anatidi. The site is most important in spring, when many sightings and signalling occur. Here, the nesting of over 40 species has been authenticated. Among the permanent residents, the Mallard, the Coot, the Reed Warbler and the Moorhen are typical inhabitants of swampy vegetation.


  • Hiking

    The area is ideal for walks along the marked trails.
    All itineraries are described in the TRAILS section.

  • Mountain biking and Horseback riding

    A trail, located at the limits of the Reserve, is currently in the process of being marked for bikers and riders. Riders are in any case requested to ride their horse at a walk.

Discover the site

Despite the humidity and rigid temperatures, you can easily visit the Reserve during most part of the year, even in winter since snow does not settle for long. The best seasons remain spring and autumn, when the weather is milder and bird sighting easier. The area is very frequented by lovers of recreational activities; it is therefore recommended to remain on the marked trails in order to enjoy the site and fully respect its environment.

Behavioural conduct rules

We remind you that you can contribute to the preservation of these sites by following these simple rules:

visit the natural reserve on foot, avoid using motorized vehicles, boating equipment, hang-gliders, para-gliders or similar; mountain bikes and horseback riding are permitted only in specific authorized areas (external to the site): please respect hikers;

please stay within the marked trails, as trampling can ruin the fragile grass and undergrowth areas;

osserva da lontano gli animali selvaticiplease observe wild animals from a distance, do not capture them, do not disturb them nor feed them, and do not photograph occupied nests;

keep your dog on a leash and on the marked trails;

do not pick minerals or flowers;

do not make fires;

please bring your garbage, where you will find many recyclable waste-collection points.

How to get there

By car

The most convenient entrance is from Brissogne: from the S.S. 26 road, in direction of Torino -Aosta, turn left for Brissogne. As soon as you have passed the bridge, you will find an ample parking lot on the left where you can leave your car. Continue on foot along a path which runs along the Dora until the entrance of the Reserve, indicated by an information panel.

By bus

The following buslines are available with stops in proximity of the area:
At Saint-Marcel: the Aosta – Châtillon, Aosta - Fénis lines
At Brissogne: the Aosta – Châtillon, Aosta – Fénis, and the Grand Brissogne - Villair de Quart lines

Accessibility codification of sites

VIVA has chosen to supply everyone – youngsters, adults, the elderly and the disabled – with all the sites’ information so as to allow the visitor to choose a destination in an autonomous way.
An “Accessibility Codification”has thus been defined.

Wetlands of the Islands
of Saint-Marcel Natural Reserve

Information to reach the site 1
Accessibility from main roads 2
Parking for the disabled 1
Accessible restrooms 1
Information panels 2
Slopes (max 8%) 3
Trail width (min 90cm) 3
Road surface 2
Resting areas approx every 10 m 2
Safety and protection of trails 2
Periodic maintenance 2

0 corresponds to ABSENCE of the indicated parameter;
3 corresponds to the PRESENCE of the indicated parameter, in optimal condition;
1 – 2 are INTERMEDIATE VALUES: in general, they indicate the presence of the parameter which must however be improved (1 = sufficient, 2 = close to optimal)


More paths :

VIVA suggests:

Short path

Les Iles

  • Elevation gain : praticamente nullo
  • Travel time: 45 min
  • Signposting: -

What to see:


Easy trails: routes that present no major technical difficulties or too challenging slopes. They can be covered in full or in small sections, allowing in both cases to come into contact with unspoilt nature, discovering its pace and balance …

Medium difficult trails: routes that can be covered in a day, varying considerably in terms of height differences and technical difficulty; the benefit is in being able to reach wildlife destinations of great impact.

Long trails: excursions lasting several days which provide for stopover places and catering along the route.

cartina Wetlands of the Islands of Saint-Marcel Natural Reserve


Municipality: Brissogne, Saint- Marcel, Quart, Nus

Surface: 35,4 ha

Altitude: 526 ÷ 530 m s.l.m.

Responsible forest station:


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