The Sentiero del Ponale is located along the shores and towards the interior of Lake Garda where there are countless other paths. There are all kinds, from the easy ones, suitable for children, to the more demanding ones; to those overlooking the placid waters of the lake, to some that take us to the green valleys of the hinterland. For those who want to walk there is only the choice.
On a beautiful weekend in September we walked along the Ponale Path, one of the most beautiful in Europe.
This path built in the second half of the nineteenth 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 meters of altitude difference to enjoy calmly admiring the wonderful panorama, without any hurry to arrive.
I suggest you stay overnight in Riva del Garda, a pleasant town full of people, bars, restaurants and, just to stretch your legs for the walk that awaits you the next day, why not take a few kilometres along the beautiful promenade that runs along the lake waiting for dinner time?
The next morning, from the centre of the village, finding the entrance to the path is very easy.
For 2 km the path, cut into the rock face that rises high and majestic, slowly climbs up above the lake.
We gently leave Riva del Garda behind us and continue to climb.
Along the path we find tunnels dug 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 have to leave the sparkling waters of the lake below us to enter the Ledro valley.
Here nature changes, we find ourselves immediately wrapped in the green of the trees of a luxuriant forest, we meet streams that descend fast and everything is enveloped by the scent of earth and grass.
We cross vineyards, cultivated fields until we reach first the small village of Biascesa di Ledro and then Molina.
We walk a few more kilometres and we are in sight of the Pile Dwellings Museum which displays the archaeological finds of the prehistoric settlement.
And then there are the green, beautiful waters of Lake Ledro.
If you want you can circumnavigate the lake, for those who still want to walk. We prefer to take out the swimming costumes we have in our backpacks and freshen up with a nice swim.
And to return to Riva del Garda?, you may ask. There are comfortable buses, or your legs!