The Ponale Trail is the best known and most popular in Garda Trentino: easy but at the same time spectacular as its winds sheer above the lake, a classic trek you can't afford to miss.
The line of the Old Ponale Road stands out against the mountainside and is clearly visible from the beaches in Riva and Torbole. The Ponale trail is an icon of Garda Trentino, much loved by visitors and locals alike who never tire of the spectacular views it offers at every bend.
The Ponale Road is famous not only for the unequalled panorama of the lake but also for the military installations you can see along the trail. When you come to the second and third tunnels you can see remains of the Tagliata del Ponale, imposing fortifications built by the Austro-Hungarians from 1860 onwards which consist of tunnels excavated into the rock and trenches which stretch from lake level to the outposts overlooking the current trail. Today the Tagliata complex is normally closed to the public for reasons of safety.
The Ponale opens in 2018 with a new look, thanks to the surface maintenancework, new railings and consolidation of the trailwith barring work.
The Ponale trail is an alpine trail for expert hikers which runs close to a rockyand impervious wall and should be treated with all the necessary attention and appropriateclothing. This trail is shared by hikers and bikers: it is recommended that both follow the respectivelanes. The route is not recommended for prams; dogs are allowed as long as they arekept on a leash.
Warning! The trail presents no technical difficulties but is prone to rock falls!
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.
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.
The Ponale Road was begun in 1851, an ambitious project to link Lake Garda and Valle di Ledro which up till then had been cut off from the rest of Trentino. It was opened to road traffic at the end of the 80s with the opening of the new tunnel to Valle di Ledro which was subsequently turned into a cycle path in 2004.
Riva del Garda is easy to get to (about 18km) from the toll-booth Rovereto Sud - Lago di Garda Nord.
Other directions on how to get to Garda Trentino: www.gardatrentino.it
There are a number of pay parking areas near the start of the trail (via Monte Oro, piazza Catena)