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Ponale Trail: The top trek in Garda Trentino

· 9 reviews · Mountain tour · Lake Garda
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  • Blick auf Riva del Garda
    / Blick auf Riva del Garda
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • / Die Ponalestraße
    Photo: Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Editors
  • / The Ponale trail
    Photo: Foto LaValeBellotti, Garda Trentino
  • / View from the Ponale trail
    Photo: Archivio Garda Trentino - Foto di S. Giogli, Garda Trentino
  • / The old Ponale road: a must-do in Garda Trentino
    Video: Garda Trentino - Lago di Garda
  • / Donnerstag, 3. August 2017, 09:36 Uhr
    Photo: Heike Lambrecht, Community
  • / Donnerstag, 3. August 2017, 09:37 Uhr
    Photo: Heike Lambrecht, Community
  • / Donnerstag, 3. August 2017, 09:37 Uhr
    Photo: Heike Lambrecht, Community
  • / Vista dal percorso
    Photo: Claudia Dareggi, Community
  • / Vista da punto di vedetta
    Photo: Claudia Dareggi, Community
  • / Ponaleweg
    Photo: Community
0 150 300 450 m km 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 Ponale Alto Belvedere

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.

3.1 km
1:34 h
249 m
193 m

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.


Author’s recommendation

The Ponale opens in  2018 with a new look, thanks to the surface maintenancework, new railings and consolidation of the trailwith barring work. User
Valentina Bellotti
Updated: November 26, 2019

Highest point
172 m
Lowest point
64 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Ponale Alto Belvedere

Safety information

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):

  • water canteen (1L)
  • snacks (e.g. mixed dried fruit or chocolate)
  • First aid kit
  • windproof jacket
  • fleece
  • change of t-shirt and socks (in a plastic bag)
  • make sure to wear or at least bring a pair of long trousers
  • hat
  • sun screen
  • sunglasses
  • gloves
  • whistle to attract attention in an emergency
  • emergency telephone number: 112

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.

Tips, hints and links

  • 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.
  • For further information on routes and hike services: guides, shops and hiking friendly accommodation: APT Garda Trentino, Tel. +39 0464 554444


Riva del Garda (69 m)
45.883608, 10.838726
32T 642674 5082759


Belvedere Ponale Alto

Turn-by-turn directions

From the hydroelectric power station of Riva del Garda, head south. The start of the trail is just before the tunnel, on your right hand side. This trail winds sheer above the waters of the lake and there are breathtaking views at every bend.

The first part of the hike finishes at Belvedere (now a stop-off point for refreshments during the summer season). If you wish, you can finish the excursion here and head back the way you came to Riva.

Otherwise, you can choose to continue on up to the right towards Valle di Ledro and its lake or else head left until you come to Pregasina. Here you can stop off for something to eat and drink before heading back along the same trail (about 1 h 30) or else by public transport .


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public transport friendly

Riva del Garda, the starting point of your hike, is connected to other towns in Garda Trentino by a number of urban and intercity bus lines.

To get back to where you started from, you can take the bus line Riva del Garda - Valle di Ledro, getting on at the bus stop in Pregasina or the Pregasina junction (which you can get to after the Belvedere by heading up to the right along a series of switchback bends).

Information on bus times:

Tickets can be bought on the bus.

Getting there

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:


There are a number of pay parking areas near the start of the trail (via Monte Oro, piazza Catena)

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

  • Garda Trentino TREKKING Map - On sale in information offices in Riva del Garda, Arco and Torbole and online

Book recommendations for this region:

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Recommended maps for this region:

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Questions & answers

Question about Sergio Rossi · November 24, 2019 · Community
buongiorno volevo sapere se la strada del penale è aperta. Grazie
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Answer by andrea pizzato · November 24, 2019 · Community
salve, in teoria si, ma per sicurezza dovrebbe sentire l'ufficio infomazioni del Garda Trentino. Molto spesso in inverno fanno dei lavori per pulizia e ripristino sentieri e quindi viene chiusa
2 more replies


Lara Bassi
August 31, 2019 · Community
Facile da percorrere anche senza attrezzatura da montagna (per es. scarponi) e allenamento. Scorci molto belli sul Lago di Garda, peccato che alcuni ciclisti la prendano come una pista da corsa rendendo alcuni passaggi non proprio sicuri!
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sabato 31 agosto 2019 19:01:50
Photo: Lara Bassi, Community
Nils G 
June 21, 2019 · Community
Done at June 21, 2019
andrea pizzato
June 12, 2019 · Community
Il sentiero del Ponale è uno dei giri più belli del lago di Garda! Bello arrivare anche fino al lago di Ledro e fare il ritorno in autobus a Riva :)
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+ 12

3.1 km
1:34 h
249 m
193 m
Public transport friendly Scenic With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value Family friendly


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