Rodovia da Graciosa, a cobblestoned road through the mountains
Rodovia da Graciosa is an old mule route located in the Brazilian state of Paraná. The road wends its way through a well-preserved stretch of the AtlanticForest. It’s a cobbled road that runs for 15 km through the mountains and the Marumbi National Park.
The original mule path, known as Graciosa trail (Caminho Colonial da Graciosa), was constructed between 1646 and 1653 to link Curitiba with the coast. The road was built in 1873. The paved road was the first one in the state, and remained the only one for half a century. Rodovia da Graciosa currently is a spectacular cobbled road that runs for 15 km through the mountains and the Marumbi national park. It is replete with streams, waterfalls, flora and fauna. Cobblestone paves parts of its length, slippery and dangerous on the route’s sharp turns, and hydrangea plants push in to line the lush lane with blue flowers.
The road, also known as Estrada da Graciosa, winds through a rainforest and crosses moss-covered bridges. This short and picturesque road includes several stretches with hairpin bends and a good part of the road is still cobbled. There are fire grills, shelters and camping at the various rest stops. The mountain side of the road is embellished with a thick mosaic of colourful flowers, contrasting to the steep cliff side lined by treetops and bushes. Throughout the scenic drive are lookout points and rest stations with picnic areas and vendors.
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