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Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 19. Campillos - Embalses del Guadalhorce

Diputación de Málaga
GR 249. Stage 19. Campillos - Embalses del Guadalhorce

Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 19. Campillos - Embalses del Guadalhorce

Route On foot
Difficulty - Blue -Easy
Access -

1. Initiation Stage:

Access Starting point: The roads A-384, from the A-92 up to the level of Antequera, and the A-357 which leads to Málaga via Carratraca.

Starting point:Tthe southeast area of Campillos, where Dr. Óscar Fernández and Baltasar Peña streets meet.

Enjoy the walk safely:   There are a couple of fords across Arroyos del Boquerón and Capitán, which do not pose a serious obstacle, given their meagre fl ow. Another story is the level crossing lacking automated barriers across the Málaga-Seville train line. The section of the railroad tracks is completely straight, but in case of low visibility, it is advisable to look for an overpass towards the west which means a detour of about two kilometres.

Follow the A-7286 as it passes over the railroad line and then follow the track which will take you back to the other side of the level crossing. On the other hand, you will cross the A-7286 road just after the level crossing and, paradoxically, it is the same road you will be walking along for about two kilometres and a half until reaching the track to Pinares de Rebolo. In all these above-mentioned cases you should take extra precautions. There is not a single drinking water supply point during the whole stage, which, as you know, is quite long.

2. Completion of Stage:

Access to finish point:  from Málaga the MA - 5403 road connecting Ardales with Estación del Chorro. Then follow the directions for the reservoirs (Pantanos) along a service road. There is an access from Campillos off the A-357 along another reservoirs service road, the A-7286.

Finish point:    Guadalhorce and Guadalteba reservoirs just before the shared dam.

3. Alternatives:

Possible "escape  routes":The A-7286 road that you cross at km 7.5 takes you to Campillos in a few kilometres to the right. Another easily identified point is the junction of the A-357 with the road mentioned earlier (as it makes a semi-circle which ends here). This point is reached when you cross the Arroyo del Capitán, near a farmhouse. Then, as you wander through the pine wood, there is always a tarmac road you can reach by walking westwards.

No return point: From the pine forest of the hill Cerro de La Laguna de Panza onwards, turning back is not a good idea. It is best to continue even though there is a hard ascent followed by a long descent.

Hazards:

• Road traffic circulating on the Gobantes road and the roads around the reservoirs
• Crossing the A-357 road.

Duration - 5:15 horas
Length - 23000 Km
Routes

The Lakes of Campillos (Up to km 8.5) 

The route advances along the long street  named Calle Doctor Óscar Fernández in a  south-easterly direction, between some  relatively new housing estates on the right  and industrial units on the left. Just as it  turns into a track, it veers east, crosses  the A-357 road and turns again slightly  to take the Camino de Antequera, close  to Velasco. Halfway between the Dulce  and Salada Lakes, you pass the Cortijo  de la Rondana country house on your  right (km 2.2). The first lake, El Cerero  is small, just on your right below the  Romeroso hill and takes its name from  the nearby country house, where there  is a crossroads. 

There is a sharp turn here, onto the  southern branch of the Realenga (a word  translated as belonging to the crown) de  Carratraca. The dry and reddish land is home  to young Olive groves, which have drip  irrigation for the first few years. You will  notice all around you many herrizas, the  unfertile ground on top of rocky outcrops.  Larger Holm oaks are less common here,  but instead the younger trees are found in  clumps of trees of a similar age. Equally,  they are found in patches of shrubland,  where Esparto grasses are also very common.  These islands of autochthonous  vegetation on rocky outcrops give the  area a greater diversity and provide excellent  refuge for wildlife, most notably  the numerous species of game. Further on, you pass the Camuñas Lake on your  left, which has a much smaller capacity  than previous lakes. You soon come to an  overpass to cross the railway line and the  A-7286 road, one after the other. 

Just next to and west of the crossroads  by the country estate of Cortijo de Capacete  (km 8.5), is the lake of the same name.  Holding a larger volume of runoff water,  it can last until the end of the summer.  From here, you continue along the lefthand  verge of the minor road.   

The Gobantes Route (Up to km 18) 

The first recognisable landmark  among the Olive groves, rainfed  land and clusters of Holm oaks  is the country estate of El Toro on  the left. To the right of the road is  the generally dry lake, the Laguna  del Toro. A very long and straight  road to the south-east passes the  century-old country house of El  Montero (km 12.4) and its extensive  gardens. It is precisely here where  the livestock track of the Camino de  Antequera, crosses at right angles.

A little further on, the road begins to  drop down and at the first bend, there is  a momentary detour. The upper courses  of the two streams that take their names  from the two adjacent hills, run through  this area. On the right, is the first hill, called  Juan Vacas and its stream runs south, while  the rockier and steeper hill up ahead is called  Rodahuevos. This second stream, seen to the north, is very steep and its bed is laden  with autochthonous plants. 

The Almond groves in these wilder  parts are very productive, being located in  the deepest soils and mixed in among the  Aleppo pines. It is here that the Path makes  another change of course, this time to the  south, where it descends steeply and passes  a small wooded valley on the right. After a  large field of Almond trees and others of  cereals, with the reservoirs now in view,  you cross the Juan Vacas stream (km 16),  and reach the Gobantes road once again. 

The Pine Forests of the Reservoirs (To the end of the stage)

Continuing south-west along the A-7286  road, which has little traffic, there is a sharp  turn-off onto a country track. You pass two  country houses on this stretch, the first is  the Rebolo on the right, just before entering  a Pine forest. As you progress through this  woodland, it becomes denser and lusher,  just as the undergrowth gradually becomes  more apparent. However, the best area to  observe the diversity of plants that once existed  here, is on a sandstone rocky crag which has  escaped any reforestation. On the zigzagging  climb up to the threshing floor and the ruins  of the El Chopo country house (km 21.2),  under the shelter of the crags, there is some  very interesting thicket with Savin Juniper,  Thyme, Black Hawthorn, Mediterranean fan  palms and Esparto grasses. 

Along the way, there are a few good spots  with panoramic views of the Guadalhorce  reservoir. One of these is the threshing floor  of the second country house. Going downhill  from here, you pass below a cave dwelling  and come to a crossroads where you leave  the track to join a footpath. Just before the  next lookout spot, there is a very different  building in ruins at a bend in the path. This  one took advantage of the hollows in the soft  sandstone, both natural and excavated, to save  on wall construction in the small house. The  numerous layers of lime and bluish azulina  rock can still be seen. 

Once again, the views towards the  Guadalhorce reservoir are spectacular, with  an abundance of fauna due to very little human  activity. The footpath follows an ideal and  well-planned out route, following the contours  of the forest and getting closer to the water’s  edge. It remains some ten metres above the  water, until it reaches the road again, where  the stage comes to an end.

How to get there

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Discover more about the province of Malaga