Dolomites cycling routes: Val Rendena cycle path
At the foot of the Pale Mountains of Trentino there are many Dolomites cycling routes to discover. Under Dolomites of Brenta you find for example a 25 km itinerary allows visiting small villages, lakes, natural and cultural areas by bicycle: it's the Val Rendena Cycle Path, from the artificial lake of Ponte Pià up to Carisolo, in the heart of the valley.
From this basin, the itinerary reaches Tione following the river Sarca to then turn towards North, towards Madonna di Campiglio.
From the Lake of Ponte Pià to Tione by bicycle
The artificial lake of Ponte Pià is the starting point of the cycling itinerary of the Val Rendena Cycleway. Formed by the Sarca river, this basin dates back to 1956, when the river started to power the hydroelectric station of Santa Massenza, in the Valle dei Laghi.
This Dolomites cycle route starts just after the lake, a short ride after the village of Pez. You can decide to start this itinerary from Stenico, sweet place surmounted by the namesake castle, but for the first part of the itinerary, you'll have to ride on a mixed and panoramic road, not busy at all and almost dedicated to bicycles.
Above the Lake of Ponte Pià, from the road coming from Stenico, you can access the Val d'Algone, one of the accesses to the Adamello Brenta Natural Park and part of the MTB track of the Dolomites Brenta Bike.
Val d'Algone by MTB is wild and very interesting to cycle: it's the ideal place for mountain and offroad lovers, into nature.
But let's come back to our cycle path: from Pez you follow backwards the course of the river Sarca passing by Saone, which you can reach by detouring, and Preore. On a bike, you will see some beautiful and stunning views and you'll soon reach Tione di Trento, in its locality Sesena near the football field. From Tione you can see the peaks of the Brenta, touching and piercing the clouds.
Val Rendena by bicycle
From Tione the cycle route of the Val Rendena alternates easy and suitable for families parts to some more demanding legs, with short but hard ascents. In Verdesina, a neighborhood of Villa Rendena which this itinerary touches, you can visit the small church dedicated to the Sants Rocco and Sebastian, boasting a solar clock from the XVIII century. Not far, you reach Villa Rendena, 900 inhabitants and 608 m high. From this village, once known for the production of wooden hooves, laces, and crochets, you can access the Adamello Brenta Natural Park too, through the Val San Valentino. The cycle path does not enter the village, but if you need to stop for food and a good coffee, it's the right place.
From Villa Rendena to Pelugo, passing through Darè (just before it, you can find a fountain for a water refill) and Vigo Rendena, the cycle path is a bit more demanding, but still easily rideable. It never gets far from the river Sarca, and for a short leg, you can choose to ride on the right or left orographic side, since both of them can host bicycles. The mountains surround the valley, the air is clean, you feel lighter riding on this path. It's almost like flying!
In Pelugo the small gothic church of Sant'Abate deserves a stop, being a small architectural jewel below Mount Carè. This church is open every afternoon during summer.
Keep pedaling uphill crossing the villages of Ches, Fisto, and Spiazzo, without leaving our guide, the Sarca river.
Just after Spiazzo, cross the river on a bridge and keep riding towards Strembo, where the headquarters of the Park are located. Quick story: during the plague in 1600, narrated by Manzoni, the inhabitants of Strembo were never touched by it, thanks to their great surveillance. Incredible, isn't it?
The Dolomites cycleway crosses and passes Strembo, until the very small Lago Mago.
From Strembo o Pinzolo this itinerary, suitable for families with young children too, follows the Sacra without ever getting far from it, riding is easy: you won't have to think about the effort, just by looking at the peaks of the mountains around you.
In Pinzolo, touristic locality all year long, we suggest a short stop to the small church of San Vigilio to admire the famous Danza Macabra realized by Simone II Baschenis. The same dance has been frescoed on the small gothic church of Santo Stefano, at the very beginning of the Val Genova, in the village of Carisolo. And it's in Carisolo that our Val Rendena bike itinerary ends. In order to continue your ride towards Madonna di Campiglio and the Campo Carlo Magno Pass there are many ways: follow the main road, often busy but on comfortable asphalt, or detour on the old road towards Sant'Antonio di Mavignola and then off-road until Madonna di Campiglio. You can choose this second hypothesis only from April/May until the snowfall because the road will not be cleaned.
- The lake of Ponte Pià and the river Sarca
- The Adamello Brenta Natural Park and the views on the Dolomites
- The small churches in Val Rendena
- The waterfalls of Masanel in Bocenago and of Nardis in Val di Genova