Time  9 hours 9 minutes

Coordinates 4136

Uploaded October 2, 2017

Recorded August 2017

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-
7,588 f
788 f
0
18
35
70.54 mi

Viewed 1035 times, downloaded 6 times

near Ponte Brolla, Cantone Ticino (Switzerland)

Challenging but gorgeous bike ride taking you along the Valle Maggia to the reservoir Lago del Narèt, and back. The first stretch of 25 km, with only slight ascent, is from Ponte Brolla to Cavergno on the cycling path on the Percorso Valle Maggia (http://www.schweizmobil.ch/en/cycling-in-switzerland/routes/etappe-0961.html). The following 32 km constitute the climb described on http://www.cyclingcols.com/col/LagoDelNaret as the 3rd most difficult climb of Switzerland. Especially the last 9 km with a steepest kilometer of 13.5%, and another 5 km of 10.4 % average, are really difficult. On the way up I rode the cycling path which also includes two stretches of semi-paved cycling path, and largely avoids the busy main road. On the way down I avoided the semi-paved cycling path, but followed the cycling track on the other stretches. The climb from Cavergno to Lago del Narèt is on the main road through the valley, which is not very busy anymore, especially after the Lago del Sambuco, where the road is narrow, quiet during my trip, but the tarmac less great than you might expect in Switzerland. The advantage of this climb is that it is on a dead-end road instead of a mountain pass, so you do not have any through-traffic. Take into account that there is no drinking water nor a place to buy anything after the kiosk near the reservoir dam of Lago del Sambuco. In the rest of Valle Maggia you will find something to eat and drink in almost every village, and also regular spots to fill your water bottle.
I started near Ponte Brolla where a cycling bridge crosses the Orrido di Ponte Brolla, and where you will find some free parking along the road. A bit further, there is paid parking for people wanting to swim in the Maggia upstream of the Orrido. You follow the cycling path which takes you on a bridge across the road to Avegno di Fuori. Just before Gordevio the cycling path keeps you outside the main road gallery and gives you a good view of the Maggia river. Just after Gordevia there is a 1.6 km stretch of semi-paved cycling path, less suited for the road bike. See the waypoint for more information. You cycle through Maggia village with a good view of the church on a hill. You keep to the cycling path taking you on a separate track from the main road or on alternate roads through villages like Coglio, Giumaglio and Someo. You then cycle on the main road to Riveo, past a stone quarry and cross the bridge at Visletto. Here the separate cycling track continues through Cevio and then on to a dedicated bridge. Directly after the bridge there is again 200 m of semi-paved cycling path (see waypoint). The last stretch of the cycling route takes you to the beautiful village of Biscagno, and finally to Cavergno. From here you follow the main road through the Maggia valley. Directly after the village, the climbing is a bit steeper with two hairpins, but then continues moderately for about 7 km (3% average) until Peccia. From here you climb 4 km with average 9% on a road with 15 hairpins. From another bridge across the Maggio, the road flattens a bit (5% average) in the 3.5 km ascent to the picturesque town of Fusio. In Fusio you can cross the bridge and take a small road through a part of the village full with traditional wooden houses on a stone basis. After Fusio, the road becomes narrower, and you climb to the reservoir dam of Lago del Sambuco (almost 3 km at 6% average). On the concrete dam in the full sun a lot of martins (swallows) were resting. You could see them resting just below the edge. After the dam, the road narrows further and takes you along the reservoir for 3.5 km, and then climbs steeply for 3 km (steepest section 16.2%, and 1 km with an average of 13.5 %) to Grasso di Dentro where you can give your legs a bit of rest until the Maggia bridge before you embark on the last 5.5 km with an average of 10%! On the last stretch you get to 3 small lakes before you get to the reservoir Lago del Narèt. Here you can go two ways. I took the right one to the end giving you good views of the lake and the Maggia valley below the dam (the Maggia is the main stream feeding the reservoir).
After having enjoyed the view you go back down almost the same way you came, only sticking to the main road now to avoid the semi-paved cycling paths.
  • Photo of Bignasco
  • Photo of Bignasco
  • Photo of Bignasco
  • Photo of Bignasco
  • Photo of Bignasco
  • Photo of Bignasco
Picturesque town with a steep bridge across the Maggia.
  • Photo of Bridge at Visletto
  • Photo of Bridge at Visletto
  • Photo of Bridge at Visletto
  • Photo of Bridge at Visletto
  • Photo of Bridge at Visletto
  • Photo of Bridge at Visletto
Bridge across the Maggia river with an old rail bridge close by.
  • Photo of Cavergno
In this village, the marked cycling path ends, and you continue on the main road
  • Photo of Coglio
  • Photo of Coglio
  • Photo of Coglio
  • Photo of Coglio
  • Photo of Coglio
  • Photo of Coglio
Village in the Maggia valley close to Giumaglio.
  • Photo of Cycling Path bridge
  • Photo of Cycling Path bridge
  • Photo of Cycling Path bridge
Bridge built especially for cyclists. To make it perfect, they should pave the 200 m of semi-paved cycling path directly after the bridge as well.
  • Photo of Cycling Path outside gallery
  • Photo of Cycling Path outside gallery
  • Photo of Cycling Path outside gallery
Here, the cycling path keeps you outside the main road tunnel, and gives you a good view of the Maggia
  • Photo of Fusio
  • Photo of Fusio
  • Photo of Fusio
  • Photo of Fusio
  • Photo of Fusio
  • Photo of Fusio
Picturesque village (the highest one in the valley).
  • Photo of Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Lago del Narèt
Reservoir with two dams with the Maggia being the main stream feeding the reservoir
  • Photo of Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Lago del Sambuco
Elongated reservoir
  • Photo of Lago di Sassolo
  • Photo of Lago di Sassolo
  • Photo of Lago di Sassolo
  • Photo of Lago di Sassolo
  • Photo of Lago di Sassolo
  • Photo of Lago di Sassolo
One of three small lakes (laghetti) just below Lago del Narèt. This looked like a natural lake.
  • Photo of Lago Scuro
  • Photo of Lago Scuro
  • Photo of Lago Scuro
One of three small lakes (laghetti) just below Lago del Narèt.
  • Photo of Lago Superiore
  • Photo of Lago Superiore
  • Photo of Lago Superiore
  • Photo of Lago Superiore
  • Photo of Lago Superiore
  • Photo of Lago Superiore
One of three small lakes (laghetti) just below Lago del Narèt. This looked like a natural lake.
  • Photo of Maggia
  • Photo of Maggia
  • Photo of Maggia
Village with the same name as the river.
  • Photo of Maggia bridge
  • Photo of Maggia bridge
  • Photo of Maggia bridge
Bridge across the Maggia just after having climbed the 15 hairpins stretch.
  • Photo of Maggia bridge Grasso di Dentro
  • Photo of Maggia bridge Grasso di Dentro
  • Photo of Maggia bridge Grasso di Dentro
  • Photo of Maggia bridge Grasso di Dentro
  • Photo of Maggia bridge Grasso di Dentro
  • Photo of Maggia bridge Grasso di Dentro
Here is the bridge across the Maggia stream near Grasso di Dentro
  • Photo of Orrido di Ponte Brolla
  • Photo of Orrido di Ponte Brolla
  • Photo of Orrido di Ponte Brolla
  • Photo of Orrido di Ponte Brolla
  • Photo of Orrido di Ponte Brolla
  • Photo of Orrido di Ponte Brolla
A cycling bridge across the Maggia gives you a good view of the Maggia which flows through a narrow and winding gorge of its own making
  • Photo of Prato-Sornico
  • Photo of Prato-Sornico
  • Photo of Prato-Sornico
  • Photo of Prato-Sornico
  • Photo of Prato-Sornico
  • Photo of Prato-Sornico
Village in the Maggia valley
  • Photo of Quarry
  • Photo of Quarry
  • Photo of Quarry
Stone quarry
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Narèt
End of the reservoir dam of Lago del Narèt
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Sambuco
  • Photo of Reservoir Dam Lago del Sambuco
Reservoir dam of Lago del Sambuco. When I was there in the morning a lot of martins rested on the almost vertical concrete wall, sunning in the morning sun. You could observe them close-by by looking over the edge.
  • Photo of Semi-paved cycling path 1.6 km
Here the asphalt ends and is replaced by gravel with small stones. Not ideal for a road bike, but doable if it is not too wet and you reduce speed a bit. You can easily avoid it though by taking the route I did on the way down.
Directly after a new cycling bridge, the pavement is replaced by a stretch of fine gravel for 200 m, short enough not to avoid it. If you want to avoid it, take the route I did on the way down, but the approach to Bignasco on the cycling path is worth the slight inconvenience.
  • Photo of Someo
  • Photo of Someo
  • Photo of Someo
  • Photo of Someo
Village in the Maggia valley

2 comments

  • Photo of danny444

    danny444 Oct 14, 2017

    Hey, look awesome trip, and the pictures are beautiful! Thanks for the descriptions and sharing. https://nl.wikiloc.com/routes-fietsen/valle-maggia-lago-del-naret-114-km-20037856/photo-12534138

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Oct 18, 2017

    You are welcome, danny! It was an awesome trip.... https://nl.wikiloc.com/routes-fietsen/valle-maggia-lago-del-naret-114-km-20037856/photo-12534138

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