This tour can generally be done from April to November, with its 1500 m of elevation gain over a total of around 37 km which makes it quite demanding, physically speaking. But it is not a trail you want to underestimate in technical terms either, and actually, this is probably the aspect you need to consider most carefully. One stretch of the downhill run is along the Naranch Trail, a trail which has been popular for some years now with gravity lovers in the area.
Since it was opened, there have been a series of extreme weather events which have made considerable modifications to the initial condition of the trail. Apart from the fact that it is so steep, the surface has been washed away to expose a lot of roots and rocks. The signposting has gone missing at various intersections on a number of occasions, so just to be sure, a gps device could prove useful.
For more information on routes and bike services: rentals, workshops, shops and cycling friendly accommodation - APT Garda Trentino Tel. +39 0464 554444
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 trail is in Arco, on the cycle path, at the Caneve car park. Follow directions into the centre of the town. Do not be expecting to find signposts in the historic centre telling you which way to go. However, once you reach the church, which is easy to find, cross Piazza 3 Novembre and keep to the right as you turn into Via Segantini. When you get to the stop sign at the bridge, cross the road and take the cycle path which runs along the River Sarca. Follow it across the river and head north where you will come across a bike grill. Turn right here and cycle through the little Moletta district. When you come to the crossroads and traffic lights, cross the main road and take the side road which heads right in the direction of San Martino.
Before you get to the village, at the first turn-off, turn left and follow the road through the olive groves as it begins to climb steeply. Clear signposting leads you past the Policromuro crags and the archaeological site with rock engravings, until you come to the chestnut woods of Pianaura. Continue on here to the right towards Troiana, then Carobbi, which is where you can stock up on water at the house you come across at the turn-off for Braila before you continue on straight. Keep on following directions and after a short downhill stretch through the woods, you begin to climb again towards Passo Due Sassi. On a clear day, this stretch of the trail which takes you in the direction of Malga Zanga has some truly spectacular scenery.
Pass Malga Zanga and prepare yourself for the final push before you ride over the hill. Once you come to the paved road, keep to the right and go on straight as far as the Passo Santa Barbara crossroads where you will also find a fresh water fountain. On the other side of the road, the signpost for route 751 directs you onto the dirt road in front of you. Follow it towards Monte Creino. Before you turn onto the “Naranch Trail”, you need to climb for a bit longer to get to the mountain ridge where you can still see clear signs of trenches from the First World War. The view from here over Lake Garda is magnificent. If you want to save yourself another uphill stretch, go straight on instead of keeping right at the turn-off you come to in about 600 metres and you come straight to the start of the trail. Otherwise, follow the signposts and you come to the farmland on the top of Monte Creino, ride along the ridge and then back onto the road we left before, closing a sort of loop. Back on the road, keep to the right and you come to the start of the trail.
What is known as the “Naranch Trail” starts from the service area near the trenches overlooking Val di Gresta. Here you keep to the right at the next junctions until you come to the forest trail which runs down the slope above Malga Fiavei. You are now in the area of the farmhouse, keep on going down until you come to it. The meadow in front of this farmhouse is a natural terrace overlooking Lake Garda and if visibility is at all good, you will simply have to stop and take a photo. At the end of the meadow overlooking the lake, you will find directions pointing you on down the trail. There are a number of turn-offs here in the woods, all signposted, although, unfortunately, signposts have disappeared on a number of occasions. Following the various shortcuts, you will cut across the narrow, steep, paved road for Nago a number of times: always take great care when you come out of the trail onto the road. There is not much traffic here but you may come across other vehicles or bikes on their way down. Depending on the state of the trail, certain stretches in this area can also be quite treacherous.
When you get close to the village of San Tomè, the trail is interrupted and you have to follow the steep paved road as far as Nago. When you come to the traffic lights at the crossroads with the main road to Torbole and Arco, go straight through and keep on to the right. Riding down the streets of the town you will come on the street you crossed earlier at a roundabout. On you left, the trail signpost invites you to turn onto a steep road which crosses a car park. If you want to go back to Arco, follow it, otherwise stay on the old road next to it, further to the left, and head straight down to Torbole. Following the trail, after a short stretch on cement, you find yourself on a dirt track. On this first stretch, the terrain is fairly loose. You then come to the main road and, taking particular care, you cross it and turn onto the cement road on the other side. Keep on going downhill, with cemented sections alternating with dirt track, until you come to the farmland of Pratosaiano. Follow the directions at various turn-offs, ride through the fields and you come to the outskirts of Arco. After the Fire Station you come to a roundabout where you keep to the left and take the cycle path back to the point you started from
The towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Torbole sul Garda and Arco – are connected by several urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point or in the immediate surroundings.
For up-to-the-minute information on timetables and routes
You can also get to Riva del Garda and Torbole sul Garda by the public ferry service.
Getting to northern lake Garda / Garda Trentino
Free parking in Caneve (5 min. walk from the town centre).
More Pay parking: Foro Boario parking, via Caproni Maini (Car park near the bridge), Post office (Via Monache).
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