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Dolomiti di Brenta Bike EXPERT tour
|Starting point||Campo Carlo Magno, bivio, m 1654|
|Arrival point||M.ga Mondifrà, bivio, m 1634|
|Total length||179,78 km|
|Elevation gain||8011 m|
|Maximum altitude||2112 m|
|Asphalt||85,89 km||47,78 %|
|Cycle path||0,64 km||0,36 %|
|Single track||6,92 km||3,85 %|
|Dirt/Gravel track||86,32 km||48,01 %|
Discovering the six valleys of the Brenta Dolomites!
We begin the description from Campo Carlo Magno, Val Rendena. However, the DDB tour does not have a fixed starting point as it is possible to access the loop from any valley and ride it anticlockwise (recommended!)
At Campo Carlo Magno the Expert Trail begins the climb up the forest road that leads to the Rifugio Graffer alpine refuge, an historic stopover for countless enthusiasts who every year take on the “TransAlp” route. The trail reaches Monte Spinale, following the ancient tracks used to move animals between winter and summer grazing, towards the summertime mountain pastures. From here it begins the descent towards Madonna di Campiglio, along the exciting Malga Fevri forest track. . From Campiglio, the Expert Tour heads into the wild Vallesinella valley then drops down into Val Brenta before turning uphill again along the narrow path to Valagola and the emerald coloured lake of the same name, plus the nearby Alpine summer pasture. From here the trail takes the steep uphill (bikes have to be pushed) to the Ban da l’Ors pass, continuing from there along the relaxing cycle path to Malga Movlina, with incredible views of the southern peaks of the Brenta Dolomites and, to the west, the Lares glacier with the Carè Alto peak.
From here the Trail reaches Passo Daone, the gateway to the Valli Giudicarie Centrali, a beautiful and picturesque basin surrounded by the Adamello Brenta Natural Park. It then proceeds on to Binio, a rural mountainside hamlet at the start of Val di Manez, and drops off to Cerana, a village whose population was wiped out by the plague in the 17th century, before continuing on to the picture-postcard village of Ragoli, graced with numerous murals and frescoes painted on the exterior walls of houses. Shortly after Coltura the route links up with the Family Trail and follows the provincial road from Lisan to Stenico, passing by the characteristic Rio Bianco waterfall.
In Stenico, the majestic castle welcomes you: you are crossing the Terme di Comano district, a lush territory that stretches between Lake Garda and the Brenta Dolomites. It’s famous for its unique spa waters, recommended for beauty treatments and skin cures, not to mention aerosol treatments favoured by sportsmen for their beneficial effect on the respiratory system.
From Stenico the trail heads towards the sun-kissed slopes of Banale, with charming views over the plateaus of Bleggio and Lomaso all the way to Fiavè, a hop, skip and jump from Lake Garda. After crossing the small town of Andogno, the Expert and Family Trails proceed together along small country roads, winding through a thermophile pine forest to the villages of Moline and Deggia: places that leave an impression thanks to the well-preserved traditional architecture which can be seen in the buildings, the mule track, the arched wood and masonry bridge and in the local culture.
The terrain turns rough again with the odd tarmacked stretch to Nembia where, crossing the provincial road, you enter the WWF nature reserve, which leads to views over Lake Molveno.
After the attractive centre of Molveno, the Expert and Family Trails tackle the steep slope that leads to Pradel.
From Osellera the Expert Trail continues the climb, first on road and later over rough terrain, reaching Andalo on the orographical right.
The two trails converge again at the sports centre in Andalo. From there they follow a rough track through woodlands to the start of the wild Valle dello Sporeggio.
Next a steep tarmacked descent, the first part of which needs to be tackled with particular attention, signals the start of a long downhill. Finally the trails reach Spormaggiore, home to the brown bear visitor centre and the wildlife area dedicated to this “lord of the woods”.
From Spormaggiore, the route follows a tarmacked road to Sporminore, where it then briefly picks up the provincial road.
A tough climb begins just outside Lover, taking riders along a stunning stretch of the route that explores country roads.
Just above the little town of Campodenno, the trail hugs the sheer cliff face of San Pancrazio which, now made safe, offers a unique view of the lower Val di Non, the Rocchetta biotope and the nearby Valle dell’Adige.
Press on, following the course of the irrigation water main through woods and apple orchards. Above Terres the trail drops down steeply towards the Tresenga stream and then again through fruit orchards to Tuenno, where the two trails once again go their separate ways.
The Expert Trail takes the Cles road, which leads to Monte Peller: this is a challenging ascent in terms of terrain and gradient, rising from the 780m of Mechel to the 2022m of Rifugio Peller.
A thrilling fast descend drops you down to the valley floor where the trail proceeds on forest tracks reaching Carciato on the orographical right. The town of Carciato signals the start of another legendary stretch of the Dolomiti di Brenta Bike Trail, the Val Meledrio. Along the Meledrio stream, the rough forest track climbs steadily up the valley floor, with several foot-bridges across breath-taking gorges providing unique views over the raging torrent and its rapids. The route then leads you through a thick fir wood, pressing on to Malga Centonia, Malga Mondifrà and the sweeping pastures of Campo Carlo Magno, where our description of the route began.