Skip to content

All Mountain Experience

Site Tools
Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size
You are here: Home The Snake
The Snake PDF Print E-mail

The Facts

Ride time: 3 hours   //   Fitness: Level 2   //   Skill: Level C

Read more about our fitness and skill grading system.

  

Background

Mountain biking at Lake Garda on the Snake Trail

The Snake trail loops around Val di Gresta, which is situated approximately 15 kilometres from Lake Garda but only 2 kilometres as the crow flies. There are five rural villages in the valley with Ronzo Chienis being the largest with a population of just over one thousand. Val di Gresta is known for its traditional farming methods, producing organic fruit and vegetables throughout the year, namely their famous potatoes. The pace of life is relaxed and the locals are most friendly and happy to see you pass through. A visit to Val di Gresta is like a trip back in time.

 

 

Mountain biking at Lake Garda on the Snake Trail

The Trail 

Starting in Ronzo Chienis at our base, hotel Martinelli we plan to encircle Val di Gresta, taking in Mt Biana to begin with. Mt Biana is located on the eastern flank of Val di Gresta and stands at 1600 meters at its highest point. The first section of the ride begins with climb for about 30 minutes and once we have made this height we contour around the valley. After we twist through the traditional streets of Ronzo we turn off road and skirt the base of Mt Biana on a beautiful route which climbs in and out of the forests, fields and locals back yards taking us to Passa Bordalla at a height of 1250 meters. We pop out onto the top mountain road which connects Mt Bianna to Mt Stivo, our next target.

 

 

As we cross the flats of Passa Bordalla we take in the most amazing sights with Lake Garda to the south and the Dolomites to the north. It's off road again into the forest at the foot of Mt Sitvo which is at a height of 2050 meters. Once again, we skirt the mountain on a lovely gravel trail that rises and falls making for easy climbing up to our highest point of 1350 meters. All that climbing really pays off now as we take a flowing single track trail through the trees. This trail inspired 'The Snake' name as it twists and winds up and down through the forest much like a snake. So don't worry there are no actual snakes on this one, it's just another great mountain bike trail.

 

Mountain biking at Lake Garda on the Snake Trail

Still buzzing from The Snake we take a gravel fire road trail and head over to St. Antonio for a coffee and ice cream stop at the small bar. After the stop we take one of the many rocky trails down to Santa Barbara which is at a height of 1170 meters. Santa Barbra is a well know village on top of Mt Velo, especially in road circles. A decisive stage of the Giro D'Italia in the 1990's even passed through Val di Gresta, climbing to Santa Barbara. Our next stop is Mt Creano which is just a short climb up to the most amazing view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the towns of Riva del Garda and Torbole. The cliff edge that drops down from Mt Creano was part of the front line in the First World War and is littered with trenches and bunkers. We take our time to see the sights and capture the views on camera before descending down the hill.

 

 

What is so nice about Mt Creano is the many options open to us. There are some really technical mountain bike descents along with some more mellow paths which we can take, so there really is something for everyone. The typical route follows one of the designated mountain bike paths around and down Mt Creano to the Pannone, the town below Ronzo.  The descent is a great mixMountain biking Lake Garda, view from Mt Creano over the old Church of terrain with half and half soil and stones. As this is a designated mountain bike trail, there are lots of nice bermed lines on the corners where you can really have some fun. We drop out below an area called Gole and see the true Italian mountain farming culture once again. There are rows and rows of picture perfect vegetable fields which surround a small church which was built in 1535 and still stands today to host local Weddings and Christenings. With a short pedal back up to our origonal start point in Ronzo we have just completed a unique mountain bike ride on what we think are the best trails around Lake Garda. 

 

 

All Mountain Experience

Biking in Ireland

Mountain bike training in Ireland