ElevationAscent: 673' 205 m
Descent: -632' -193 m
High: 2,596' 791 m
Low: 2,046' 624 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)
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“An easy forest road winds around Monte Arbostora with views of Lago di Lugano below.”— Lost Justpastnowhere
The trail is mostly forest road/doubletrack as it travels through the densely forested Arbostora Peninsula, which juts into Lago di Lugano (lake). The only exception is an area called Alpe Vicania, where the forest has been cleared. At a number of places along the trail, the forest canopy breaks just enough that you can see Lago di Lugano and the surrounding mountains to the south. Lago di Lugano lies about 400m (1200 ft) below you at 271m (889 ft).
The first highlight of the loop is the beautiful Madonna d'Ongero chapel dating from the 17th century, which is about 1 km (0.6 mi) into the route. Shortly thereafter, you'll reach the Torello forest road that branches to the right towards Santa Maria di Torello (about 1 km detour). This is a former church and convent dating from the 13th century. It's now a private residence.
The road continues roughly along the 640m (2100 ft) contour as it wraps around the west and southern side of Monte Arbostora (822m; 2697 ft). A short climb then takes you to the Alpe Vicania area. Here there is a restaurant in the clearing, which makes a good place for a break. The restaurant has its own vineyard.
Past the restaurant, the path becomes a little bit rocky, but not too difficult as you climb 120m (400 ft) in 1.6km (1 mi) to the village of Pescia. This represents the high point on the loop, and afterwards you enjoy an equally steep descent back to Carona. As you descend towards Carona, you'll have great views of Monte San Salvatore (922m; 3024 ft), the highest point on the Arbostora Peninsula. It's very prominent and distinctive, with a sharp drop down towards the lake. Just before you reach Carona, you'll pass through the Parco San Grato. The Parco San Grato is a botanical gardens with a collection of azaleas, rhododendrons, and conifers. There are a number of hiking paths through the park that are closed to bikes.
A left on Via Principale at the end of this trail will take you back to the start.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed