PR 6 Levada das 25 Fontes and PR 6.1 Levada do Risco
Start: E. R. 110 / Rabaçal
Finish: E. R. 110
Distance: 4,6 km (+ 4,6 km return)
Both trails begin on the regional road (E.R. 110), and go down as far as the Rabaçal government house. The trails diverge along two parallel levadas located on different levels.
Trail PR 6.1, goes along Levada do Risco, at 1000m above sea level, taking the hiker to an impressive waterfall, which creates a ridge in the rock. If you go down to PR6 you can visit the 25 Spring Lagoon (Lagoa das 25 Fontes), created by the waters which come down from the Mountain Marsh (Paul da Serra) and mysteriously appear from behind the wall that forms the lagoon, at which you can see more than 25 springs. Legend says that whosoever was to dive here would never resurface, which is precisely what happened to an Englishman who wishing to break the superstition did just this and was never to be seen again.
At this height the landscape is dominated by moorland, which includes Erica arborea and Erica scoparia ssp maderensis as well as Madeiran whortleberry (Vaccinium padifolium). This vegetation alters with the altitude , as it reduces other species predominate, including the rare mountain mocano (Pittosporum coriaceum). This area includes the Madeiran laurisilva forest which since December 1999 has been classified as a Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is part of the European network of important community sites - Natura 2000.
The Trocaz Pigeon (Columba trocaz trocaz) lives and nests here, the bird is exclusively endemic to Madeira Island.
The 25 Fontes levada, which is also known as Levada Nova do Rabaçal, began to be built in 1835. On 16 September 1855 water ran through the levada for the first time, running from North to South and in doing so making available tracts of land which till then had lain fallow this being in the Calheta municipal area.
The two levadas bring together water from two tributaries of Ribeira Grande and run into the Calheta Hydroelectric Dam, and continues on to irrigate agricultural land.
Levadas, is the island name given to the small aqueducts that make up a vast irrigation system, which were built by our ancestors using sheer determination & their own physical strength ,in overcoming the height of the island, they brought together the water from thousands of springs and took it to the fields.Rabaçal