The route of the Linea Cadorna Trail
The departure of the Linea Cadorna Trail is located in Piazza Valsecchi overlooking the lakefront of Maccagno Superiore.
Maccagno with Pino and Veddasca is a tourist resort full of natural, cultural and sporting attractions. The millenarian history of Maccagno, one of the first inhabited places of the Verbano, left few, but indicative, traces in the urban fabric. It should be remembered that until the end of the nineteenth century, the village was reachable only by lake or on foot for mule tracks. Characteristic the medieval village from the houses leaned in alleys, on which stands the small sanctuary of the Madonnina della Punta.
The first part of the route climbs along the paths of Val Veddasca through the characteristic villages of Veddo, Campagnano and Garabiolo that offer a beautiful view of Lake Maggiore. In Campagnano, on the side of the church of San Martino is a sundial of the largest in Italy.
From Garabiolo to Passo della Forcola, the paths go through the woods of Val Casmera and Val Molinera, and in some stretches the slopes make the foot land. At the Passo della Forcola there is the ski lift for a rest stop. Continuing north, the village with stone huts offers a fountain of fresh water that is also located in the Cangili area a little further downstream. Once in Biegno continue to Armio and then descend on a beautiful dirt road to Piero from where the cableway to the town of Monteviasco can be reached only by this means or on foot. The trail instead continues to Curiglia to arrive with a steep climb on asphalt (measured at 30%) to the spectacular locality of the Alpone at the foot of Monte Lema.
From Madonna della Guardia the dirt road that leads to the Campiglio refuge with rooms and restaurant for those who want to rest enjoying a fantastic view of Lake Maggiore. Slightly further down the farm you will find the Roccolo, a farmhouse with 12 beds and restaurants. A long descent to Due Cossani then the single tracks lead to Dumenza first and Longhirolo. Here a ring starts in a clockwise direction that leads to the Monte Bedea where there are the first positions of the Cadorna Line. The first part of the steep descent leads back to Longhirolo and then continues up to Creva in the Tresa river valley. At this point there are 70 km.
The trail continues along the river and at the end of the basin formed by the dam, on the right you go up a steep stretch towards the Biviglione area, above Luino. After the small village descend to Cremenaga, here you pass the border and you enter Switzerland to follow the single track that runs along the river. When you reach Ponte Tresa, you return to Italy and continue left towards Porto Ceresio. At Lavena you start to climb on the dirt road protected by trenches that leads to Ardena. From here you climb to Marzio on asphalt, in the village there is a fountain to stock up on fresh water.
This is a very scenic area and the paths lead to several balconies with views of the western Ceresio Lake and the neighboring Canton Ticino.
It then goes down to Porto Ceresio from here in the plains a stretch of the cross country path that will lead us to Piamo Superiore from where the long ascent to Monte Pravello begins. The paths are steep but pedaled. On this massif the fortifications are very evident and well preserved. The trail passes through a long unlit tunnel where there is a cannon of the time. The fortifications that follow are very suggestive and the route is developed just to visit them by pedaling. Still a few hundred meters uphill and you reach the top of Monte Pravello recognizable by the plaque that borders the border with Switzerland.
From here, with the bike on your shoulder, you go down a very narrow and steep path up to the fork of Tree di Sella. Head right for the mouth of the 2 bars. The path is wide and makes you want to let the bike run but the sharp limestone pebbles make the descent unstable and dangerous. The ring of Mount Grumello allows the visit of well-preserved trenches in which you will have to go by bike. The dirt paths lead to Ca 'del Monte and then descend to Porto Ceresio. It is time to pass the other side of the valley to attack the climb that will lead us to Monte Piambello through the localities of Cuasso al Piano, Cavagnano, the hospital of Cuasso al Monte and the bocchetta dei Frati.
A detour of a few hundred meters takes us to the top of Mount Piambello which is reached to visit the remains of the observatory, which dominates the Canton of Ticino and the village of Marzio from above. From here continue downhill to reach near Boarezzo, a village dominating the Valganna famous for the paintings that adorn the houses. Still downhill, continue along the Alpe dei Fiori up to Cugliate. The ascent to Monte Sette Termini is in asphalt to the intersection for San Paolo - Monte la Nave to reach which you turn left to the dirt road, here we find impressive artillery posts. Once at the top it is worth stopping to find, hidden in nature, the entrances of the observatory. From the loopholes the valley of the Tresa and the Canton Ticino are dominated. The downhill path leads to the church of San Paolo, a magnificent balcony overlooking the valley of Marchirolo.
Continuing through the mouth of Nogh and then to the Alpe Cognola, the wide path is fortified by long trenches. At Pian della Nave you climb about 500 meters towards the Sette Termini pass but then turn right to take a long dirt path full of posts and trenches that leads to the village Bolle from where you go up the asphalt until the third bend to take the path that leads to Bonera. Following the downhill path 3V, you reach the village of Cucco on the bank of the Malgorabbia river which runs through Valcuvia.
The Luino-Laveno cycle path passes next to the Mall of Mesenzana, useful for any supplies. Near the Cascina Spera, turn towards the state road and then go up to the village of Cassano Valcuvia, home to the documentary center Frontiera Nord Linea Cadorna. It is definitely worth visiting the center and especially the fortifications that are located on the hill overlooking the village at the church of San Giuseppe.
You then return to the valley to continue on the cycle path to Ferrera, a town famous for its waterfalls that meet on the way. After the center of Ferrera, always uphill continue on the cycle path to Cunardo. You pass in front of the Fondista's hut to take the snow-covered winter paths to the cross-country ski trail in the direction of Ghirla. The bike path on the west bank of the lake allows you to avoid the very busy state road. When you reach the Badia di Ganna, continue uphill towards Mondonico. A very fun dirt descent passes alongside the fortifications of Monte Scerre 'to reach Bedero Valcuvia. From here starts a comfortable dirt track in the direction of Valganna which will culminate after about 9 km and Induno Olona.
To reach the town of Bregazzana, it is necessary to take the Valganna state road, cross the tunnel and take the state road for a few meters in a southerly direction and then turn into the narrow road that runs alongside the Poretti brewery. After four hairpin bends, the long and pedalable ascent to Monte Martica begins along the old military road. Immersed in the greenery and in the panoramas that this stretch offers, you will soon arrive at the top at 1032 m.s.l.m. The summit is flat and surrounded by wood and there are remains of artillery stacks discovered (or "in barbetta"). From here, to get off at Brinzio, the trail in the initial part is very steep and partly off-set, be careful and do not hesitate to get off the saddle. You cross the beautiful forest touching the Vallicci pass up to the suggestive entrance into the historical center of Brinzio through a beautiful cobblestone.
From Brinzio back to Varese passing by Rasa on the paths that lead to the beginning of the climb to the Campo dei Fiori. This mountain is the bulwark of the Varesine pre-Alps, from the top you can enjoy a view that almost embraces the Alps, the Po valley, the Apennines and the pre-alpine lakes. The famous Via Crucis is forbidden to mountain biking, so it is necessary to continue along the asphalted road passing in any case from Santa Maria del Monte, an artistic, historical and religious village, a UNESCO heritage site.
The Fort of Orino houses the remains of a battery in '' barbetta '' and can be reached on a wide dirt path, very popular with pedestrians. The descent to reach the path 310 is rather steep and technical. Once you reach the valley, a 20 km long path with no particular gradients travels in the villages of Orino, Castel Cabaglio, Sarona, Cuveglio, Casalzuigno (Villa Della Porta Bozzolo - FAI) until you reach Cittiglio.
The ascent on asphalt leads to the Cuvignone pass but in Vararo the trail takes a wide path that surrounds Mount Nudo and then reaches the pass. You then go down to S. Antonio and Arcumeggia on asphalt but just before this town, made famous for the paintings of famous painters who adorn the houses of the town, take the dirt road that leads to San Martino. It is worthwhile to climb a few meters to the church of the same name to admire the panorama of the Valcuvia and Campo dei Fiori. Now you go down a few kilometers on asphalt until you get to the ruins of the former Cadorna barracks. Continuing on the wide dirt road downhill, on the right is the Vallalta fortified system with tunnels, walkways and automatic weapons stations. This place is evocative and worth a visit to understand the complexity of the defense works that connect Cassano Valcuvia to San Martino.
The path leads to the village of San Michele, where a fountain and refreshment is available for the last refueling. Continue to the left on the dirt road that leads to the saddle just below the Pian Nave mountain from where you can admire the view of Lake Maggiore and Monte Rosa.
At the middle of the descent towards Muceno take the path that leads to Brezzo di Bedero. The route runs along the Collegiate Church of San Vittore, an ancient Romanesque church, before descending to Germignaga. There are 8 km to reach the end of the trail passing from the lakeside of Luino and Colmegna. Once in Maccagno you cross the medieval village and the line of arrival is placed at "Il Cinzanino" the rock gym at the end of the village.