Mountain bike: 1 day
In the Park fans of fat wheels will find plenty of one day routes. Kilometres of tracks and paths through amazing scenery, valleys and plains that bear witness to years of modification by the mountain dwellers. Some of the routes wind their way along cycle tracks and quiet secondary roads, ideal for families and beginners. The higher routes suited to more expert, fit cyclists, follow the "kings' paths", mule tracks and old military roads, masterpieces of military engineering climbing into the wilder spirit of the Marittime.
Valdieri - Roaschia - Valdieri
Distance: total 14 km, climb in altitude: 200 m; difficulty: easy
This ride is on a dirt road along the river and through the Grotte del Bandito reserve, famous for the discovery of remains of cave bears. From Piazza Regina Elena (Parko Bike Rental Point c/o Bar Sport) descend Via Marconi, crossing the bridge over the river Gesso. At the fisheries keep left, by the fountain follow the dirt road that leads to Cialombard. Ignore the roadway to the left which enters the village and carry on for the caves. A short climb leads to Tetto Bandito. At this point you cross the stream and join a dedicated unprotected cycle lane on the edge of the provincial road to Roaschia. This is a village of dairy sheep and migrant shepherds, well known for the Dragonera spring and for its traditional tagliatelle 'tajarin'. Return by the same route or from Andonno you can ride back to Valdieri along the main road.
Valdieri - Entracque - Valdieri
Distance: total 11 km, climb in altitude: 250 m; difficulty: difficult
This route connects the two tourist centers of the Valle Gesso: winding along quiet back roads and cycle paths (paved and unpaved). Note: a dangerous crossing on the provincial near the chapel of Santa Croce and a steep section measuring less than 100 meters after the Ponte Murato (beginning of the hairpin bends that go up to Entracque). Along the route look out for: the pretty chapels of Santa Croce and San Giovanni with remains of fifteenth century frescoes and the ancient bridge of Burga. Do not miss the visit to the two sections of the “Uomini e Lupi” Centre.
Entracque - Ponte Suffiet - Tetti Violin - Entracque
Distance: total 16,5 km, climb in altitude: 450 m; difficulty: difficult
As you leave the village you are immersed in the silence and cool of the Bousset valley. The climb is fairly regular, with a ramp just before the Ponte del Suffiet. The return to Entracque is like a hare track: turning this way and that through a beautiful village, to a scenic spot, to an enjoyable technical descent. From piazza Giustizia e Libertà, go up via Marconi then turn right on to Ponte dei Gerbini and then left onto via Macagno. After the Cornaletto chapel turn left onto the dirt road that enters the Bousset Valley. You ride through woodland to come out at Porcera reached the bridge and continue the climb up to the Suffiet bridge. Ride back to Porcera bridge where you turn right onto the asphalt to Trinità di Entracque from here follow the provincial road to Tetti Dietro Colletto where you turn right onto a path off the road leading to the village Colletta soprano. From here back on tarmac to Tetti Violin. You go down on a dirt road to a stream and then keeping to the left you pass a steep ramp from where a pretty mule track cuts across the hillside towards Entracque which is reached by a beautiful downhill stretch on a cobbled surface.
See the route on Google Earth (work in progress)
Valdieri - Andonno - Monte Croce - Valdieri
Distance: total 23,5 km, climb in altitude: 850 m; difficulty: difficult
An excursion that smells of lavender. Coming out of the chestnut woods and before plunging into the cool shade of the beech trees, the trail passes through sunny pastures rich in this valuable medicinal plant, once collected by Andonnese for herbal use.
The route is rather technical and strenuous, it starts from Piazza Regina Elena (Parko Bike Rental Point c/o Bar Sport), goes up hill and turn right on Via Principe Umberto reaching the archaeological area. Go down a good dirt road to the provincial main road (potentially dangerous entry) carry on to Andonno. Turn left by Bar Miramonti going up into Sant'Eusebio square and along Via Soprana (left) to the ancient Chapel of Our Lady of Gerbetto (fountain). Turn right onto the initially paved road which rapidly gains altitude between chestnut trees. The forest road climbs constantly with a considerable gradient to the watershed with the Stura Valley where you turn right. With a nice path ride you come along the crest to the Colla del Firet and reach the scenic Monte Croce where various sundials have been installed.
Take the path which leads you with a technical descent to Tetto Pilone, continue to lose height on the Valle Gesso side until you reach Monte dei Cros and then Andonno. After reaching the provincial road, head towards Roaschia and Tetto Bandito to return to Valdieri via the cycle track.
Terme di Valdieri - Lago inf. di Valscura
Distance: total 20 km, climb in altitude: 900 m; difficulty: difficult
This is without doubt the most prestigious destination in the Gesso Valley. To reach this dreamy lake (2274 m), in whose waters Argentera is reflected, takes a good level of training and technical skills. The ride on this "King's Road" is difficult because of the rocky terrain and at some points you may have to get off. But the effort is well rewarded by the beauty of the route and the surroundings.
From Terme di Valdieri (1370 m) you reach the parking lot at the beginning of the Valasco Valley and ride up to the Valasco Plain. In the middle of the plains stands an ancient royal hunting lodge which is now a refuge. Follow the road as it crosses the stream flowing from Valrossa and with a short descent leads to the Upper Valasco plains. Cross the bridge and after a turns of the pedals you will reach another small footbridge. Now you gain altitude through a series of hairpin bends, ignore the turn off to Questa refuge to cross another bridge at the foot of a waterfall. A few short stretches pushing your bike and you enter the Valscura tunnel and then into the valley of the same name. The sight of some barracks is the sign that you have nearly arrived.