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 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.
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
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!
- 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.
- Wear clothes and take equipment that suit the difficulty and length of your tour. Keep emergency gear in your rucksack, including first aid supplies.
- Do not go walking alone in the mountains. In any case, tell someone where you are going and report back on returning.
- Look at the weather forecast before setting off and always keep an eye on the weather.
- 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.
- Do not leave marked paths and do not take shortcuts.
- 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
Riva del Garda is easy to get to (about 18km) from the toll-booth Rovereto Sud - Lago di Garda Nord.
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).
Author’s map recommendations
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
- change of t-shirt and socks (in a plastic bag)
- make sure to wear or at least bring a pair of long trousers
- sun screen
- 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.
Weather at the route's trailhead
- 2 Waypoints
- 2 Waypoints