TO DOExcursions

Excursion on the Ponale trail

Walking from Lake Garda to the Ledro Valley.

by Marco Ghirello

Among the the many roads that surround the Lake Garda area, the Ponale trail is certainly one of the best known and most popular. This is a perfect place for an unforgettable excursion, among sheer cliffs and breathtaking views.

Like other places in the northern area of Lake Garda, in past centuries there were considerable difficulties in moving goods and people across the valleys and nearby mountain lakes. This area needed to simplify transport from Riva del Garda to the nearby Valle di Ledro, a historically isolated place that was difficult to reach except by long and uncomfortable paths.

Things changed towards the middle of the 19th century thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Giacomo Cis, a wealthy merchant from Bezzecca who dedicated much of his life to promoting and finally realising this strategic work. The particular conformation of the land was certainly not helpful to the planners and builders who worked on the construction of this route for about three years. Several tunnels were dug and over the course of time the road underwent some modifications to improve traffic safety.

With the arrival of the 20th century and the increasing use of motor vehicles, it was soon realised that the numerous bottlenecks on the Ponale Road were a big problem for traffic. In 1992, the new Agnese tunnel came into operation. This structure over three and a half kilometres long put an end to the use of the Ponale Road in 1995.

After years of neglect, the Ponale Road was reopened to the public in July 2004, but only as a footpath and therefore only passable by pedestrians and bicycles.

The hike on the Ponale trail begins in Riva del Garda in the immediate vicinity of the splendid hydroelectric power station. It then continues slightly uphill overlooking Lake Garda to the Ponale Alto Belvedere Restaurant, where the road splits into two directions.

To the right we climb towards Valle di Ledro and the mouth of the new tunnel mentioned earlier, while to the left we pass over a small bridge and continue towards the village of Pregasina.

The trail is not difficult and is also suitable for families with children, although care should be taken in some sections as the terrain may be particularly uneven. We recommend suitable clothing, hiking shoes and during the summer period to avoid the central hours of the day, as the entire route is completely exposed to the sun.

Image gallery

Click on the button below to open the image gallery of the Ponale trail in Riva del Garda.

How to get to the Ponale Trail

Click on the button below to open the route map with the starting and finishing points of the Ponale trail.


Lake Garda Experiences

A world of activities made for you and your friends. Choose between excursions, guided tours, tastings and much more. Plan your leisure time in the best possible way and enjoy the exclusive special offers.