This tour, over 40 km long and with an elevation gain of about 1450 m, is quite demanding from a physical point of view. It can be done from April to November, but in recent years, it can often be done in the winter period too. The route, initially on a paved road from Arco to Carobbi, is mostly on forest trails, with good going on the uphill stretches.
The most difficult section from a technical point of view is on the downhill stretch and it is between Passo Santa Barbara and Maso Naranch: never exposed, it is all in the woods, with going rough and at times loose. On the downhill stretch too there are a number of sections on paved road.
BIKER’S CODE OF RESPONSIBILITY
ALWAYS WEAR YOUR HELMET !
Suggestions taken from NORBA and IMBA codes of conduct.
The information on this chart is subject to inevitable variations, so this means that none of the indications are absolute. It is not entirely possible to avoid giving inexact or imprecise information, given how quickly environmental and weather conditions can change. For this reason we decline any responsibility for changes which the user may encounter. In any case, the hiker is advised to check the conditions of the places, environment and weather before setting out.
The starting point of the gps track given is in Arco, on the cycle path in the Caneve car park. Follow directions towards the town cetre. Do not expect to find signposting for the route in the town. However, once you get to the church which is easy to spot, cross Piazza 3 Novembre and, keeping to the right, head down Via Segantini.
When you come to the stop sign at the bridge, cross the road and turn onto the cycle path which runs along the River Sarca. Following it across the river and head north where you will come to a bike grill. Turn right here and cross the small district of Moletta. When you come to the crossroads and the traffic lights, cross the main road and take the secondary road which heads right in the direction of San Martino. Before you get to the village, at the first fork, keep to the left and follow the road through the olive groves where it begins to climb steeply. Clear sighposting takes you past the crags of Policromuro and the archaeological site with rock engravings until you come to the chestnut woods of Pianaura. Continue here to the right in the direction of Troiana and then Carobbi. When you get to Carobbi, make sure before heading straight at the junction for Braila to fill up with water at the spring near the house nearby.
Now follow directions again and, after a short downhill stretch through the woods, you start climbing again towards Passo Due Sassi. On a clear day, this stretch of the route which takes you towards Malga Zanga, offers stunning views. Once you have passed the pastures, you need to make one final effort to get to the pass, Passo Santa Barbara. When you come to the stop sign at the pass, where you will also find a water fountain, keep to the right and follow the main road for a hundred metres or so. Follow directions and leave the road, keeping to the left, and you are back on a dirt track again. Now you come to the downhill run with the worst going which leads you down towards Malga Fiavei. When you come to a sharp bend to the right, which is on route 762, keep left and head towards Pannone. At the next junction keep on straight, still going downhill, and you will come to Maso Naranch and its marvellous views over Lake Garda.
Keep on going in the direction of Pannone and when you get near the shrine of San Rocco, you will find yourself back on a paved road again. Keep on straight until you come to the main road which goes up from Pannone to Passo Santa Barbara. Keep to the right here, heading down towards the nearby village and almost immediately, turn right. An old dirt road brings you back onto the main road near the ruins of Castel Gresta. From here on, continue downhill towards Loppio and the route will take you off and back onto the main road repeatedly until you come to the cycle path which runs along the bottom of the valley. Turn right onto it in the direction of Lake Garda. When you reach the pass at Passo San Giovanni, follow directions for the bike trail towards Nago and ride through the historic centre. As you leave the town, you come to a roundabout where you turn left onto a steep downhill lane which runs through a car park. You are back on a dirt track again and when you come to the snack bar Sesto Grado, cross the main road for Torbole, continuing downhill in the direction of Arco. Once you get to the bottom, in sight of Arco Castle, follow directions and cross the peaceful farmland of Pratosaiano until you get back to where you started from.
The towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Torbole sul Garda, Nago and Arco – are connected by a number of urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point of the trail. For up-to-the-minute information on timetables and routes: www.gardatrentino.it
Getting around with a bike on public means: www.gardatrentino.it
Getting to northern Lake Garda / Garda Trentino: www.gardatrentino.it
Riding your bike requires specific clothing and equipment, even for relatively short and easy trips. It is always better to be prepared… e.g. for bad weather or a drop your energy levels. The unexpected things also make up a part of the fun!
Remember to throughly evaluate the type of route you plan to do, the locations you plan to cross and the current season. Has it been raining? Attention: The paths may be slippery and require more caution.
What do I need to bring on my bike tour?
It is always advised to let someone know where you plan to go and how long you expect to be.
Emergency telephone number 112