This ride starts at the medieval walled section of Final Ligure, which is a hot spot of mountain biking (and rock climbing) on the Ligurian coast. Highlights include several Roman bridges along a trail that are over 2000 years old, multiple viewpoints offering vistas of the Ligurian Sea and the mountains of Liguria, riding high above the coastline, and traversing portions of the 24 hr of Finale Ligure mountain bike race. On top of all that, the singletrack sections are awesome and include some fun, steep downhill segments.
Begin the ride at Finalborgo, which is the medieval walled section of Finale Ligure. Ride a short distance through town towards the sea along the creek. When you reach the sea, follow the Lungomare, which is the street directly on the sea. Just before reaching the outlet of the torrente Sciusia (Sciusia Creek) in Finalpia, turn left across the SS1 and cross the bridge over the creek.
Follow the via Calvisio, which parallels the creek about 1.2 mi until you reach the Ponte di Verzi (Verzi bridge). Cross the bridge to head toward Verzi and prepare to climb. At mile 3.7, you can take a short detour through Verzi or continue straight on the via Julia Augusta
which initially is a gravel road but later turns to singletrack.
The via Julia Augusta
has quite a few bridges that were built by the Romans. The first Roman bridge (Ponte delle Fate) at 5.2 miles is still used for automobile traffic. Continue on via Julia Augusta
past several agriturismi (Beds and Breakfast) and a small vineyard until you reach the second (Ponte Sordo) and third (Ponte delle Voze) Roman bridges which are very close to one another.
From here, the trail becomes singletrack marked with solid red dot trail blazes. Around mile 6.7, you'll encounter a fourth Roman bridge (Ponte dell'Acqua). A fifth Roman bridge (Ponte di Magnone) is present just off to the left of the trail about 0.1 mi before you reach the end of the singletrack at a road and a small chapel.
Turn right onto the forest road (Magnone - Manie
) towards the Bric dei Monti. Take the two spur trails after one mile to the Bric dei Monti and Pra Antonio overlooks and you'll be rewarded with views of the mountainous Ligurian interior and of the Ligurian Sea and the city of Noli.
After visiting the overlooks, return to the Magnone - Manie
forest road and enjoy a one-mile downhill into a small valley having the ruins of some brick furnaces. At mile 10.5, cross a paved road (SP45) onto Salita della Lapide (Climb of the tombstones). About 0.5 miles past SP45, you'll reach another overlook, the Bric dei Crovi.
This trail ends at a junction where you should turn right onto the Toboga (Toboggan)
which ends near the Agriturismo Ferrin. This is a good place to stop for refreshments as you'll likely find a lot of other bikers in this area. From the Agriturismo Ferrin, you'll climb the Strada del Semaforo di Capo Noli
Near the end of this road, you'll take the 24 Ore di Finale Ligure Trail
which is a fun section through the forest. At mile 13.8, you'll pass by the tower of Streghe. The next singletrack section is the Downhill Donne (Women's Downhill)
which is a steep, challenging downhill segment featuring views of the Ligurian Sea. At the bottom, climb the very steep paved strada di Isasco back to SP45. The Rifugio Ferrin is 100 ft up SP45 to the right if you missed the refreshments the first time around.
When you reach SP45, go straight onto the Grotta dell'Arma (Arma Cave)
trail which is blazed with two red diamonds. It is easy to get lost here if you failed geometry because there are three trails that start on the other side of the SP45. One of them happens to be blazed with two red rhombuses, which is not the same as trail you want blazed with the two red diamonds. If you haven't reached the small church of San Giacomo 0.3 miles later, you've probably chosen poorly.
Continue on toward the Rifugio Arma whereby there is a small grotto. Beyond the Rifiguio Amra, the trail splashes in and out of a creek until you reach again the Ponte delle Voze. Turn left and follow the route back the to Finale Ligure with which you came in.
There are a lot of intersections with this route which means (a) it is easy to get lost and (b) there is a lot more riding to be had in this area. If you want to finish in a defined time, download the GPS track or use the MTB Project mobile app
to help navigate in real time. If you've got all day, getting lost can be a fun adventure.