This stage is a constant downhill hike towards the Sarca Valley, with just one short uphill stretch up to Monte Biaina before you get back down to the valley bottom. You are always walking through the woods but, from time to time, the branches thin out and give you a view of the lower Sarca Valley and Lake Garda.
The trail passes Croce di Bondiga, a panoramic viewing point and stop-off point for hikers and also for the many bikers who ride the trails of Garda Trentino: Here you have spectacular views over all of the upper end of Lake Garda.
Shortly before you get to Ceniga, the Medium Loop crosses the area of Laghel, a sheltered valley which is renowned in the area for its vanishing lake (or “non-existing lake”). When there is heavy rain, a lake is formed which is then reabsorbed by the ground and goes to feed a spring beneath.
From just beside the mountain hut Rifugio San Pietro you take the trail SAT 401 (Sentiero Frassati) as far as Treni and the cross Croce di Bondiga. From here you continue on the trail SAT 409. Once you pass Bocca di Tovo, the highest point on this stage, continue on SAT 409B, staying on the forest trail until you meet SAT 407 which leads down through the woods until it comes out onto the road at Mandrea. Cross the road and take SAT 408 to Bocchetta di Padaro and then head down to Laghel: here turn left and take the dirt road which leads up to Fontane before descending towards Ceniga on the final stretch of the trail SAT 431.
Note: if you want to shorten the route, from Laghel descend towards Arco and from there go back to Riva del Garda by public transport.
Ceniga is connected to the towns in Garda Trentino by a rural bus line. Info on bus times: www.gardatrentino.it
There's no public transport service between the hut San Pietro and Ceniga.
Getting to northern Lake Garda / Garda Trentino: www.gardatrentino.it
You need to be wearing the right clothing and take the proper gear when you go hiking in the mountains. Even on relatively short easy outings make sure to take all you need so you don't run into trouble if things take an unexpected turn, for example a storm blows up or you have a sudden drop in energy levels.
What should you take when you go on a hike?
What you should have in your rucksack (for a day trip a 25/30L capacity should do):
Make sure you're wearing the right footwear for the trail and season. The going can get rough and rocky underfoot and a pair of hiking boots will protect you from sprains. When wet, a grassy slope, rocky slab or steep trail can be dangerous unless you are wearing the proper footwear.
... don't forget to bring your camera! You'll need it to capture the stunning views you come across all over Garda Trentino. And if you like, you can share your memories with us at #GardaTrentino.
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