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|5) VAL MARCIA
Balbido m. 750
Ablino m. 1500
Time reqd for ascent 3,5 hours
Time reqd for return 2,5 hours
This is a long hike which will acquaint you with a completely wild corner of the Trentino Alpine foothills and the Ledro Alps. It is not particularly difficult as the entire route follows forestry roads. Park your car in the hamlet of Balbido (Upper Bleggio, or Bleggio Superiore - 750 m) which boasts interesting naive paintings in some of its characteristic corners as well as examples of typical architecture (the nearby hamlet of Rango is also interesting from this perspective).
Head towards the upper part of the hamlet (the locality Castel) and take the road which at this point has become rather narrow, across meadows as far as the entrance to the valley.
This takes you to the point where the woods begin in the locality le cros, where five very old crosses - one clearly visible below the road - according to local legend guard the valley against witches and storms, keeping them in the nearby Val Marcia. The road continues uphill through woods of Scots pine as far as a small shelter which is useful in case of sudden thunderstorms which can be violent in summer, and a shrine dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
At this point you can enjoy a fine panorama of the wild southern slopes of the valley.
Continue along the main road which begins to descend until you come to the locality Livéz (900 m). From this point a diversion of a few hundred metres leads you to the bank of the Duina stream and if you choose, to the strenuous route leading up to the Cogorna Alpine farmstead, though in this case we recommend you to take the route Fiavé/Cornelle-Malga Cogorna.
From Livéz the road begins once again to climb, accompanied by a mountain stream which makes its way across old moraine debris. On the sides deep ravines descend from the steep grasslands of the peaks (Monte Altissimo 2121 m) and in spring they are the scene of awesome avalanches.
After a few sharp turns the road passes by the foresters cabin and once you have crossed the stream it climbs again up to the pretty Ablino hollow, dominated by the Gavardina peaks which separate the Marcia and the Ledro valleys. Return along the same route.
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