- Distance 43 KM
- Climb 1500 MT
- Road paved, forest roads, trails
- Bike mountain bike, gravel bike
- Difficulty IMBA 2 (easy)
- Time 4,5 h
- Points of interest The old villages of Lustrola and Granaglione, the Sanctuary of Madonna del Faggio, the Manservisi Castle.
- Water available in all villages along the way.
- View points Le Tre Croci, il Monte Piella.
- Mountain Huts Monte Cavallo, Casette del Doccione.
The start is from the train station in the centre of Porretta Terme from where you continue through Piazza della Libertà and by the historical thermal buildings in the direction of the Municipal swimming pool.
From the swimming pool the paved road goes up steadily to the village of Madognana (about 2 km); for the more fit riders there is the alternative climb that starts a few meters after the small bridge with a fountain leading to the pool and that goes up the path of the Monte del Croce (unmarked trail) offering a beautiful view of the centre of Porretta to then lead to the village of Madognana.
From Madognana continue pedalling on paved roads passing through the towns of Borgo Capanne, Lustrola, and Granaglione. Along this stretch, you will find some characteristic shops for snacks and many fountains, marked on the map, with fresh water.
From Granaglione turn right and the real climb starts: in the beginning on paved road and then along a forest road that leads up to the Monte Cavallo mountain hut, a refuge and food stop open in the summer.
The itinerary continues towards the panoramic point of the Tre Croci (Three Crosses) from which you can admire expansive views of the Apennines forest on the Tuscan side; a forest road climbs at a gentle grade, then a downhill leads to the junction for Monte Piella. Here you can take the detour that climbs, always on the forest road, up to the cross where you can admire the panorama of the high Reno river valley.
From Monte Piella, descending on an easy single track that re-joins the forest road, you reach the plant nursery and refuge Le Casette del Doccione, another refreshment point open all year round.
From the nursery, go down to the left towards “Pennola” until you cross the road that leads to the sanctuary of the Madonna del Faggio, a truly suggestive place set in a beech forest of rare beauty.
From the road leading to the Madonna del Faggio it is possible to take the path that leads to the village of Tresana that boasts spectacular hydrangeas blooming in the spring.
Follow the main road to return to Castelluccio. Alternatively, you can choose some variants of higher difficulty (fun single track but exposed). In Castelluccio, it is recommended to enter the park of Manservisi Castle, which deserves even just a photo stop. All downhill back to Porretta along a fast and fun descent with some off-road variations indicated by MTB signs.
- Ride on open trails only. Respect trail and road closures.
- Leave no trace. Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Don’t cut switchbacks. Take your trash with you.
- Ride in control. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.
- Yield to others. Bicyclists should yield to all other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly marked for bike-only travel.
- Never scare animals.
- Plan ahead. Be prepared and self-sufficient. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.
NOTE Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling. For more information, please visit www.imba.com