Monte Cargiago

The starting point of this tour is the evocative baroque complex of the Holy Trinity of Ghiffa, built in the XVII century and inserted in 1987 in a natural park that was created to protect the hill and the Sacred edifices. In the past this enchanting ledge was an important meeting and praying point, and even if today it has lost its religious and social function, the atmosphere is still very evocative. Before jumping on your bike stop by for a few minutes and let surround yourself by the charm of its imperturbable quietness, broken only by the ancient voices that sometimes still echoes between the chapels and underneath the old arcades.

Route

Ghiffa (S.S. Trinità) - Caronio - Pollino - Monte Cargiago - Ghiffa (S.S. Trinità)

Data sheet

Region: Verbano
Altitude: 796 m
Ascent: 442 m
Length: 11.5 km
Time: 1 - 2.5 hours
Unrideable time: 2 - 3 minutes
Season: March - November
Skills: 2
Strength: 2
GPS Data: download
Map: show

Map

Description

The Sanctuary of the Holy Trinity can be reached in a couple of minutes from Ghiffa, following the road signs. Once you get on the bike, take the gravel road that passes behind the Sanctuary and heads SW. At the first bifurcation head right, on the ascending fire road. After a few short but steep climbs alternated with some level sections you'll get to Caronio (494 m). Here you have to follow the paved road on the right, but after climbing for a few meters you'll find another fire road, marked with white and red signs and the number 1. Follow the signs (towards NE) and after less than 3 kilometers you'll arrive to Pollino (745 m), where you'll meet the paved road again. Go on the right along the main road (signs for the former Belvedere hotel), and after passing by a nice scenery point over the lake you'll get to the highest point of this tour, the antenna located at 788 m.

View from Belvedere in Pollino

From the open area beneath the antenna follow the path marked with number 18. You'll meet right away a bifurcation, where you'll have to turn right, to shun an unrideable spot. This way you'll head down to the Witches' Lake (Laghetto delle Streghe - actually it's a pond, and there's no witch to be found).

Trail on Monte Cargiago

Past the pond you'll get to another bifurcation. Head right again, and after a short climb you'll get to another bifurcation yet, where you'll have to go straight.

Trail on Monte Cargiago

The path is pretty smooth and fast, and goes past the summit of Monte Cargiago. There you start descending quickly, with some difficult technical sections. Here the less experienced bikers could be forced to walk.

Gravel road to the Holy Trinity of Ghiffa

Keep on heading SW and skip an hairpin turn on the left. You'll get to a fire road, which you'll have to follow on the left. After climbing the steepest part you'll meet a pathway on the right, which will take you back to the gravel road that links the Holy Sanctuary to Caronio. Follow it backwards and you'll quickly find yourself at the starting point.

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