Alta Via Canavesana: Stage 1 Pont Canavese - Alpe Soglia

da Pont Canavese a Corio (12,30 km)
Highlights and tour details

Having reached the village of Pont Canavase, cross via Roma, Piazza Europa, and turn left into via Orco. Follow it to the end, pass under state road SS460, turn right and reach the power station (455 m). Continue on foot along the boundary wall of the power station, go past a house and take the grass-covered mule track (for a short section), which starts to climb. Pass alongside a house under construction, then cross a stone bridge over the Rio Vernai. After the first of the many votive chapels that you meet along the road, pass under the water pipe, always proceeding uphill on a mule track (with stones, that can be a little slippery when wet) in the middle of mixed forests. At an altitude of approx. 800 m, go past the junction that takes you to Alpette, close to the clay target shooting rang,e and continue to Molini (old mill and house with frescoes). After passing the last chapel, continue to the end of the path, coming out into piazza Forno of the Alpette ring road (1hr 30min from Pont Canavese). Continuing along the itinerary, pass alongside the copper Ecomuseum and go on the paved road for approx. 300 m. To the left, a sign indicates Musrai and the path climbs firstly in the meadows and then through beech forests. At the crossroads with a dirt road, stay to the left and follow the signs to reach a small votive chapel (excellent viewpoint over the hamlet of Nero, Monte Calmia and the plain below). Slightly downhill from here, cross a small brook and start the short climb that leads to the hamlet of Musrai, a plateau with some renovated houses and the characteristic two-storey church. It is an exceptional viewpoint (it is possible to reach this point by car from Alpette on the road that leads to Trione and Balmassa, 2 km on asphalt and 0.400 on dirt road). Continue beyond the small centre along the dirt road for approx. 300 m, then a path begins on the right, which passes beside a water intake facility and climbs into the beech forests to reach the locality of Balmassa 1300 m (follow the white/red signs), and the paved square (1hr 15min from Alpette). Take the bumpy cattle track from the square, following the signs and markers to reach Colletta della Bassa di Mares at 1490 m, with a good view of the plain below. From the hill, an initially flat path starts onthe right and goes across the hillside, reaching the Chapel of San Bernardo di Mares after several ascents and descents, while to the left, a well-trodden track leads to Rocche di San Martino). The AVC path, which leads to Cima Mares and to the Chapel of San Bernardo, starts with a sharp climb (signs on a stone) on a path that is a little difficult in places, but always visible, and zigzags up to the crest and immediately after the metal cross of the summit (there is also a memorial stone and large stone cairn). Despite the modest altitude (1654 m), the summit offers an exceptional panorama, a wonderful outlook over the Canavase plain, over the mountains of the Orco and Soana Valleys, and on the Morainic Serra (Gran Paradiso, Levanne, Monferrato hills, Ligurian Apennines, Maritime Alps and Monviso). The descent to the Chapel of San Bernardo is on a cattle track and at the end it crosses the dirt road that arrives from Alpe Gai. At the small white Church of San Bernardo di Mares at 1544 m (0.45 minutes from Balmassa), there is the possibility to stay overnight and the key can be collected from the town hall of Canischio (municipio). Continue slightly uphill, going past the church and following the path that passes firstly through Val Gallenca, and then through Valle Orco to reach Colle della Pessa, and with a rather steep ascent you reach Alpe del Calus 1788 m. Turn right among the huts and always on the slope of Valle Orco, go among the rocks and grass to reach the summit of Monte Soglio 1971 m, where there is the statue of the Madonna, a windrose and an excellent 360-degree view. Descend slightly from here and you shortlyreach Rifugio Alpe Soglia (1hr 30 min from San Bernardo).

Other information

Itinerary code: AVC
Phone coverage: Good
Recommended period: June - September
Access by public transport: Yes
Classification: Medium and low mountain provincial
Provinces crossed: Torino

Notes on public transport
Pont Canavese can be reached by bus and by the FF SS train services.
Departure, arrival and municipalities crossed
10085 Pont Canavese (TO)
see on map
Alpe Soglia
10070 Corio (TO)
see on map
Si segnala che gli itinerari possono prevedere dei tratti in compresenza di traffico veicolare.
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