The Sentiero del Ponale (Ponale Path) is located along the shores and inland from Lake Garda, where a multitude of other routes wind their way.
There are all kinds, from the easy ones, also suitable for children, to the more challenging ones; from those overlooking the calm waters of the lake, to some that take us through the green valleys of the hinterland. For those who feel like walking, all that remains is the choice.
On a beautiful weekend in September, we walked the Ponale trail, one of the most beautiful in Europe.
This path built in the second half of the 19th century starts from Riva del Garda and arrives at Lake Ledro, at that time the only road connecting the two areas.
It is about 13 km and 665 metres of altitude difference to be enjoyed calmly while admiring the wonderful panorama, in no hurry to arrive.
I recommend staying overnight in Riva del Garda, a pleasant town, full of people, bars, restaurants, and, just to stretch your legs in view of the walk the next day, why not take a few kilometres along the beautiful promenade along the lake while waiting for dinner time?
The next morning, from the village centre, finding the entrance to the trail is easy.
For 2 km, the path, cut into the rock face that towers high and majestic, climbs slowly over the lake.
We gently leave Riva del Garda behind us and continue to climb.
Along the trail we find tunnels carved into the living rock, breathtaking viewpoints and old shelters built by the military during the war.
At the end of the climb, the path turns right, we must leave the sparkling waters of the lake below us and enter the Ledro valley.
Here nature changes, we are immediately enveloped in the green trees of a lush forest, we encounter fast-flowing streams and everything is enveloped in the scent of earth and grass.
We pass through vineyards, cultivated fields until we first reach the small village of Biascesa di Ledro and then Molina.
We travel a few more kilometres and we are in sight of the Palafitte Museum, which exhibits archaeological finds from the prehistoric settlement.
And then there are the green, beautiful waters of Lake Ledro.
If desired, it is possible to circumnavigate the lake, for those who still feel like walking. We prefer to take out the beachwear we have in our backpacks and cool off with a nice bath.
And to get back to Riva del Garda?, you may ask. There are comfortable buses, or your own legs!