The most impressive but also the most practical route to reach the Val Piora lakes is from Piotta, by taking the famous and stunningly picturesque Ritom funicular, both the start and finish point for this unmissable walking loop. The 87.8% maximum slope of the funicular puts it among the very steepest in the world.
Once you reach Piora station, you are immediately catapulted into one of the most beautiful and pristine landscapes anywhere in Ticino, and where you get the chance to admire a true paradise of alpine lakes. Starting from the Piora station you climb upwards along a path taking you to the 2208m of Pizzo Föisc. There you can have a stop at the Föisc mountain hut. Then you continue downhill, after passing the Föisc cleft, reaching Lake Ritom, the largest mountain reservoir in the Canton, whose waters are used to produce hydro-electric power.
Walking along the left side of the Lake (in the direction of travel) you carry on until the side-route to Lake Tom which, after a brief uphill section, reaches 2022m. The path continues towards Lake Cadagno, crossing the Piora alpage, the largest in Ticino and a protected natural reserve. Why not take advantage of the stunning Capanna Cadagno, it's nearby and has only just been renewed. A great stop to sample a wide range of local produce.
After your break, you can head back to the funicular station, but this time, going along the other side of Lake Ritom and following the path which goes up from Fontanella to the Forca Pass, and then back down towards Pinett, before reaching Piora and the end at the Ritom dam.