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Sentiero del Ponale (from Riva del Garda)

· 13 reviews · Mountain tour · Garda Trentino · Open
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  • Ponale path
    Ponale path
    Photo: Archivio Garda Trentino (ph. Watchsome), Garda Trentino

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.

Distance 6.2 km
3:00 h
470 m
5 m
532 m
66 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 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.

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

Ponale Road was begun in 1851, an ambitious project to link Lake Garda and Lake Ledro which up till then had been cut off from the rest of Trentino

Profile picture of Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB
Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB 
Update: May 25, 2023
Highest point
Pregasina, 532 m
Lowest point
Riva del Garda, 66 m
Best time of year
Cardinal direction

Track types

Asphalt 73.58%Forested/wild trail 4.50%Path 1.35%Road 20.54%
4.6 km
Forested/wild trail
0.3 km
0.1 km
1.3 km
Show elevation profile

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!

Safety Tips

  1. Choose itineraries that suit your physical and technical abilities. Collect information about the area you are visiting and the trail’s conditions and get a detailed trekking map.
  2. Wear clothes and take equipment that suit the difficulty and length of your tour. Keep emergency gear in your rucksack, including first aid supplies.
  3. Do not go walking alone in the mountains. In any case, tell someone where you are going and report back on returning.
  4. Look at the weather forecast before setting off and always keep an eye on the weather.
  5. In case of doubt, go back. It is better to give up than risk bad weather or face difficulties beyond your strength, ability and equipment.
  6. Do not leave marked paths and do not take shortcuts.
  7. All described walks are in a natural environment and therefore their use is at your own risk.

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.

Tips and hints

For more information on routes, services (guides, mountain huts, shops etc.) and hiking friendly accommodation: Garda Trentino - +39 0464 554444



Via Monte Oro - Riva del Garda (69 m)
45.883605, 10.838740
45°53'01.0"N 10°50'19.5"E
32T 642675 5082759



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 the left. 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 or else by public transport (bus stop ist about 3 km from Pregasina).

Public transport


 The main towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Nago – are connected by several urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point of tours or in the immediate surroundings.

You can also get to Riva del Garda and Torbole sul Garda by the public ferry service.

To get back to where you started from, you can take the bus line 214 (Riva del Garda - Valle di Ledro), getting on at the bus stop in Pregasina junction along the main road SS240 (which you can get to after the Belvedere by heading up to the right along a series of switchback bends). 

Up-to-date information on timetables and routes.





By road

Riva del Garda is easy to get to (about 18km) from the toll-booth Rovereto Sud - Lago di Garda Nord.

Find out how to reach Garda Trentino.



Parking near the former hospital (Via Rosmini) or the former cemetery (Viale Damiano Chiesa).

Paid parking: Terme Romane (Viale Roma), Vecchia stazione (Largo Medaglie d’Oro), Ex-agraria (Via Lutti), Area ex-Cattoi (Viale Rovereto).


45.883605, 10.838740
45°53'01.0"N 10°50'19.5"E
32T 642675 5082759
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Garda Trentino TREKKING Map – Available in the info points of Garda Trentino (Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Ledro, Comano Terme)


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:

  • 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


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.

Questions and answers

Question from Arne Blumenberg  · June 16, 2021 · Community
Can we use the Trail with a dog?
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Answered by Markus L.  · June 16, 2021 · Community
Sure, no problem. It’s an ex-street, nowadays für pedestrians and biker.
2 more replies
Question from Sergio Rossi · November 24, 2019 · Community
buongiorno volevo sapere se la strada del penale è aperta. Grazie
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Answered 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


Riccardo Zambon
April 01, 2023 · Community
itinerario non impegnativo fattibile anche senza scarponi da trekking. lungo il tragitto c'è un bar con terrazza vista lago. Consiglio di andare presto per trovare il parcheggio vicino l'inizio percorso.
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daniele salgari
September 14, 2020 · Community
Bel percorso! 6,2 km sono solo per arrivare non anche per tornare.... si arriva a pregasina in 3 ore andando con calma e fermandosi a far foto
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Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Photo: daniele salgari, Community
Dario Aliprandi
August 17, 2020 · Community
Bella passeggiata, panorama mozzafiato, peccato per le troppe biciclette che scendono spesso troppo velocemente.
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Photo: Dario Aliprandi, Community
Photo: Dario Aliprandi, Community
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+ 24

6.2 km
3:00 h
470 m
5 m
Highest point
532 m
Lowest point
66 m
Public-transport-friendly Scenic Refreshment stops available Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest Insider tip Linear route

Weather at the route's trailhead


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