Throughout the Middle Ages and as far back as in Roman times, the area of the Stelvio National Park around the Ortler Mountains was already a linguistic and cultural crossroads. With several north-south and east-west crossings over the Alps, important centres grew on these routes once frequented by traders, pilgrims and travellers. Today the inns and taverns have been transformed into hostels and refuges for hikers and mountain bikers.

Small wonder that today so many themed trails wind their way through this high mountain region with colourful names such as the Smuggler's Path. The picturesque Signalkopfweg and Goldseeweg trails offer stunning views over the Ortler and other mountains. On the Kleinboden Trail near the Furkelhütte refuge near Trafoi, there are still relics of the old WWI military defences left on the Ortler. Numerous farm tracks and mountain paths crisscross the landscape: passing the old marble quarries, crossing through the glacier in the Martelltal/Val Martello Valley and passing the remains of a prehistoric human settlement.