For more than a century the Ponale road has enchanted travellers. This route is ideal for all those who want to enjoy a nice walk and a breath-taking view over Lake Garda and the surrounding mountains.
The road overlooks the northernmost part of Lake Garda and the lower Sarca. Mount Brione, between Riva and Torbole, and Mount Baldo can be seen in the distance. The vegetation is sparse and Mediterranean. It consists of cypresses and holm oaks that manage to grow through the rocks.
The Ponale road was paramount to hold Riva and the North Garda Lake, then at the border between the Austro-Hungarian Empire (to which Trentino belonged) and the Kingdom of Italy. Because of its strategical value to Austria-Hungary, it was at the centre of an extensive network of fortifications since 1860.
Fort Teodosio dates back to this period. It owes its name to the finding of some coins from the reign of Emperor Theodosius. The fort was built to close off the road to those coming from Ledro. The port of Riva was defended by the Bellavista battery (or della Madonnina), just a few metres above the lake. The fortifications stopped Garibaldi from invading Trentino through Riva and forced him to go through the Giudicarie and Ledro.
The construction of the Tagliata (barrier) del Ponale began in 1904. It was part of a defensive plan put in action by the Austro-Hungarian Army in the whole of Trentino. The Tagliata is a network of tunnels and passageways excavated in the rock. It starts at the height of the seventh tunnel coming up from Riva (150 m / 500 ft) and reaches down to the lake. From the road, embrasures and doors can still be seen. The Tagliata guaranteed Austria-Hungary the control of Riva throughout the First World War. Excavations did not stop until 1918.
For more information on routes, services (guides, mountain huts, shops etc.) and hiking friendly accommodation: Garda Trentino - +39 0464 554444
This information is subject to inevitable variations, so none of these 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, it is advisable to check environment and weather conditions before setting out.
Please note: The Sentiero del Ponale is an Alpine trail and must be tread carefully. Bikers must limit their speed and be aware of pedestrians.
Start from the car park at the junction between the SS240 and the road to Pregasina. We cross the bridge and we walk along the asphalt road. Shortly before the tunnel we take the mule track on the left side, which joins the old Strada del Ponale near the so called “zete”. We follow the Sentiero del Ponale to Riva del Garda, near the hydroelectric power plant. We follow the same route back and we walk past the “zete”. Instead of turning into the mule track, we walk further along the asphalt road. Near the barrier marking the end of the Ponale, in order to avoid the SS240, we take the path to the left, which joins the road to Pregasina.
Valle di Ledro is connected to Riva del Garda by the intercity bus line 214 (Riva-Valle di Ledro-Storo).
Up-to-date information on timetables and routes.
Exit the A22 motorway at Rovereto Sud - Lago di Garda. Follow the SS240 della Val di Ledro to the crossroads towards Pregasina.
Free parking at the Pregasina junction.
You need to wear 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?
Your rucksack (for a day trip a 25/30L capacity should do) should contain:
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.
And finally... 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.
Emergency telephone number 112.
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|Altitude difference (+)||1.286 m|
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|Altitude difference (+)||558 m|
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|Altitude difference (-)||510 m|