MTB / Freeride / Downhill

MTB

MTB-1 “PALAZZUOLO SUL SENIO - COLLINE- CORNETO - LA FONTANA - PALAZZUOLO”


Easy but complete route, excellent for training. Option of linking to the MTB5 and MTB6 trails.
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Things to see

Departing from Palazzuolo in the direction of Marradi, turning left onto the gravel road after approximately 2.5 kilometres, towards the ‘I Monti’ farm guesthouse.

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At the junction at the hillside meadows, go straight on, pass the pretty, rustic farmhouse below and, 100 metres after the gate, take the road to the right (UOE17-20) below the hunting shack (Bacero locality) and, after a short downhill ride, turn left.

At the end of the ups and downs through the wood, after the ‘Calanco’ ascent, keep right, continuing to climb. After crossing the pasture, the route descends to the left as far as the Corneto farmhouse.

Continue to the right, then turn left along the road to the Fontana B&B, which offers a stunning view of Palazzuolo.

Descend to the tarmacked road and turn left. After about 300 metres, go down to the right through a field and then continue via the track (old municipal road) until you reach the town from the eastern slope near the sports ground.

MTB-2 “PALAZZUOLO SUL SENIO - LOZZOLE - CARNEVALE PASS - COLLINE”


A varied trail with a very tough climb for the first 8 km, then a beautiful path to the Carnevale Pass, with the option of linking to many of the other routes... the choice is yours!
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Things to see

Starting from Palazzuolo in the direction of Acquadalto. After passing the village, turn left via the tarmacked road towards Lozzole.

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The route passes through the Lecca farm and goes straight on at the next crossroads, along a road that soon becomes unsurfaced. At the Campergozzole farmhouse (a 14th-century manor house), keep left for a tough ascent leading to the church of San Bartolomeo (Lozzole) on the ridge between the Senio and Lamone valleys. Here, follow the signs to the left (CAI 505) along a hard climb towards Mount Prevaligo. After 8.35 km, turn right and keep climbing all the way to the peak, then begin the enjoyable ride down through the wood with numerous technical sections. Look out for the junction at 10.90 km, turn right and keep going down to the flat stretch that precedes the Carnevale Pass. Once on the tarmacked road, go right for a few hundred metres, then take the unsurfaced road on the left (CAI 505) once again, follow it for about 3 km (junction with MTB5) and go straight on, descending through the sandstone quarry. A few hundred metres after the junction with MTB6. Take care to turn left and take the path near a big oak tree. This short but very beautiful downhill stretch meets the hillside gravel road and then continues down to the right and joins the old mule track towards the ‘I Monti’ farm guesthouse. After approximately 1 km, take another left turn for the final, single-track descent to the main road (366) towards Marradi. From here, go down to the right all the way to Palazzuolo.

MTB-3 “PALAZZUOLO SUL SENIO - CAMAGGIO - PARETAIO PASS - PRATI PIANI - PALAZZUOLO”


A very tough trail, with numerous climbs on relatively uneven sections, finishing with two highly technical descents along stone ridges ideal for freeriders.
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Things to see

Starting from Palazzuolo in the direction of Acquadalto. After 1.3 km, turn right, passing close to the Agricoop farming cooperative along the unsurfaced road.

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The route then reaches the Pineta della Tana pine wood (4.46 km) and, at the junction, take the road to the right, a difficult ascent in many sections including the one before the Camaggio ruin. Keep right and continue to climb for approximately 6 km before reaching the ridge preceding the tarmacked road, then turn right and, after about 1 km, at the Paretaio Pass, turn left back onto the unsurfaced road. After a short stretch, you will see a fountain: take the right turn uphill. Further on, at 16.64 km, watch out for the turning near a meadow and follow the signs to the right (CAI 609). The road climbs up to another meadow where we keep left and continue to a gate. We ride uphill for a short stretch and then, watching out for the signs, take the beautiful single-track immersed in the woodland leading to a steep, stony descent (less experienced riders are advised to dismount here) which offers a breathtaking view. We have now reached the Prati Piani (or ‘flat meadows’). From here, while riding through the fields, first down and then uphill, you can see a great chestnut tree more than a century old, then take the path on the right which becomes increasingly challenging. At the end of the stony descent, turn left and continue downhill to a farmstead surrounded by fields. Continue, bearing right on the road that descends still further via another short but challenging uneven stretch. Where the route crosses a wider road, near a farmstead, bear right and, after a few hundred metres, pass through the village of Visano, after which the tarmacked road pleasantly descends all the way to Palazzuolo sul Senio.

MTB-4 “PALAZZUOLO - PASSO SAMBUCA - L'OTRO - MONTAGNANA - TANA - PALAZZUOLO”


This trail offers stunning views from the 1000-metre altitude of the Sambuca Pass. Option of linking to the MTB3 trail.
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Things to see

Starting in the direction of Florence and beginning the ascent on the tarmac for approximately 10 km, leading to the Sambuca Pass 1061 metres above sea level.

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Just after this, turn right onto the forest track and follow the MTB4 signs, keeping right, along the beautiful road through the beech forest. After the first two forks, keeping right, there is a third junction (‘l’Otro’), followed, once again to the right, by an uneven, stony and relatively challenging descent to the Montagnana ruin. Skirt the farmhouse and continue the descent as far as the junction with the MTB3 trail (at 19.4 km). Go right, downhill, being careful, after a few hundred metres, to take the road to the right which passes through a farm and reaches a junction, from which the little church of Campanara can be seen. Turn left and continue up to the Pineta della Tana pine wood. Here, the route once again meets the MTB3 trail and follows it in the opposite direction, to the right, for a pleasant downhill ride as far as Palazzuolo sul Senio.

MTB-5 “PALAZZUOLO SUL SENIO - PASSO CARNEVALE - PIAN DI VOLPONE - PIANACCINO - BADIA - PALAZZUOLO”


A fairly easy trail except for a few technical sections along the single-track alongside the fence. Option of linking with the MTB6 trail in Badia.
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Things to see

Starting from Palazzuolo towards Marradi. After the Carnevale Pass, turn left onto the gravel road (CAI 505).

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At 8.30 km, turn right. After a short descent, keep to the left-hand path (CAI519) and, at the next junction, open the barbed wire gate and continue to the right. Follow the single-track beside a fence, with numerous ups and downs, to a crossroads with a small pillar. Continue to the right, uphill, and, after about 1 km, turn left (through the gate). Here, the trail takes an unsurfaced road, slightly downhill. A little further on, at 12.40 km, be sure to take the right turn uphill, reaching the Pian di Volpone meadows after about 1 km. Keep right, taking the wonderful single-track which enters the pine wood and reaches an intersection of gravel roads (at 15.20 km) Pianaccino: here, the trail descends to the left for Misileo. After a short distance, turn left again and continue downhill as far as a house. Turn right, once again taking the gravel track which runs downhill to meet the tarmacked road (Campoguglio farmstead). Turn left and, after a few hundred metres, near a shed, turn left again and continue uphill along the road that crosses the Rio Intirata stream and then passes through the Le Ari farm, leading back to the tarmacked road. Heading right, the trail descends towards the hamlet of Badia di Susinana, which grew up around an ancient Vallombrosian abbey. The complex includes the medieval watermill and 18th-century bridge which the trail passes before taking the main road (306) to the left and climbing back up to Palazzuolo.

MTB-6 “PALAZZUOLO SUL SENIO - BIBBIANA - PRATI PIANI - CORTECCHIO - MISILEO - GRUFFIETO - COLLINE - PALAZZUOLO”



A long and extremely varied trail. In winter, or in muddy conditions, it is best to get to Gruffieto via a stretch of tarmacked road rising from Badia to the Bettola del Prataiolo farm guesthouse and restaurant, turning right near the Ghizzanella farmstead. Option of linking with the MTB3 trail at 8.30 km, in the Prati Piani locality, and the MTB1 trail at 30.20 km, in the Bacero locality.
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Things to see

Starting from Palazzuolo and heading towards Firenzuola, after 5 km, turn right, passing through the village of Bibbiana where (after a large gate), the trail follows the unsurfaced road leading to the foot of an ascent into the chestnut forest preceding the Prati Piani meadows.

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From here, continue along the gravel track up to 11.96 km (Cortecchio farmstead), then turn left and ride uphill for approximately 2 km, to a barrier. Bear right along the picturesque unsurfaced road on the crest, which then drops down steeply for nearly 4 km to meet the main road (306) towards Casola. Here, turn left and then immediately right after 20 metres, taking the minor road, going down to the bridge and then continuing to the right, uphill, to a shed near a farmstead. Turn left and follow the unsurfaced road. A right turn then leads back to the tarmacked road, descending to the right for a few hundred metres before bearing left towards the hamlet of Badia di Susinana, which grew up around an ancient, 10th-century Vallombrosian abbey, featuring a medieval watermill and a 13th-century bridge. Follow the signs to the left, up the track alongside the Rio Cesari stream, as far as the ford where, after crossing the stream and bearing left, the trail ascends through the field and crosses the unsurfaced road. Here, bear right and continue uphill, passing the 18th-century villa of Gruffieto. Soon after, at the top of the slope, turn right, continue for a few hundred metres and, near a hunting shack, turn right across a field that descends to meet the MTB1 route, near the Bacero farmhouse, then continue downhill through the beautiful chestnut forest to the Salto farmstead. Soon after this, watch out for the left turn down through the field and continue the descent along the unsurfaced road, keeping left all the way to the centre of Palazzuolo.

“PERCORSO ARANCIONE” (ORANGE ROUTE)




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Things to see

Starting from the River Park car park, near the TimOrso bar, and heading towards Casola Valsenio, at the first roundabout, turn left and then immediately right until your reach a cycle/pedestrian gravel path. Follow it until it meets Via Rio Ferrato and then turn left towards Mount Mauro.

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After a couple of kilometres, the trail begins to climb and, at 6 km, keep left. Go down a dirt and chalk cart road to a farmhouse, then keep going down the gravel road and then climb once again to 9.8 km. Continue to the right, climbing towards Mount Mauro on the tarmac for 2 km, then turn right and continue climbing. At 12.7 km, turn left onto a wonderful single-track into the wood with a few ups and downs and, at the first junction, turn downhill to the right onto the technical dirt trail descent. After the first uphill section on chalk, keep right, skirting around the dilapidated house and join a gravel track. Go down this and, at 15.5 km, turn right onto the scenic ridge ‘of widows’, or ‘Bocca del Vento’. At the intersection after the house (Bocca del Vento), go downhill to the left onto a steep dirt cart road, at the end of which (at 18 km), turn left to climb once again to the Bocchetta del Vento Pass. At the top, go up to the right towards a photovoltaic field, skirting the fence. Follow the course of the ridge, passing a first dilapidated house on the right, continue skirting the cypress trees and, when you see the second dilapidated house, go downhill to the left. At the bottom, go straight on and then towards the main road. Turning left, you will find yourself back at the starting point.

“CICLOVIA DEI GESSI” (CHALKHILL CYCLE ROUTE)




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Things to see

This excursion is long and hilly, but can be shortened in various ways if necessary.

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This route is mainly on tarmacked roads with very little traffic and, when the ground is dry, there are several options for deviating onto alternative paths. Its naturalistic interest lies in the unique nature of the rock (chalk), which has resulted in unusual morphological karst phenomena and forms the substrate for rich, high-quality plant cover, Mediterranean on the south-facing slopes and woody on the north-facing ones. Riding time: one day to complete the entire trail, or half a day if you cut out the Mount Mauro loop.

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“LA COROLLA DI GINESTRE” ROUTE




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Things to see

This route (approximately 70 km long) can be tackled as a whole or in parts, in one or more days, taking advantage of the accommodation facilities available along the way.

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From the Varnello hotel, take the Via Rontana road south, beyond the mountain, to the Valletta Pass main road and the Torre Pratesi hotel. Continue for 6 km to the descent towards Torre Cavina, then follow the road downhill to the Cavina di San Pietro and then left, climbing to the Ca' di Bago refuge. Go straight on, continuing to climb to the Ca’ Poggio farm guesthouse and, 100 metres after the house, turn right downhill towards the River Sintria. Go left onto the road through the valley floor as far as the Poggiolo farm guesthouse. Before the buildings, turn right onto a cart road climbing up to Valdifusa, where you turn right, descending along a tarmacked road to Mount Alberino. Keep going towards the River Senio and then turn left onto the Casolana main road at 22 km. Go up the main road to the Ca’ Nova farm guesthouse in Baffadi. After the bridge over the Senio, turn right towards Baffadi church. Turn right up the narrow street beside the Rio Cestina stream to the Balagaio mill, where you cross the stream and head uphill to Budrio. Climb to the east of Mount Carnevale and turn right along the CAI 701 cart road towards Canovazza and La Croce. Go left around the Mount Battaglia fortress and then down toward the Prugno Pass. Take the main road downhill towards Casola for 1.5 km, then turn left onto a cart road to the small pillar of Roncosole, the Campiuno chestnut forest, and Monticelli. Go uphill to the left at the houses of Mount Battagliola and then left again onto the ridge, as far as the CAI 705 path, to the Ca’ Budrio refuge, along a short stretch bordering a cultivated field. Go through the doline and take the cart road on the right which descends towards Ca' Siepe and continues below the little church of Sasso Letroso. On reaching the tarmac, take the Casolana main road left for 700 m, then turn right onto the footbridge over the Senio. After the stream, turn left along the cart road that runs alongside it, passing the sports field and continuing to the bridge. From here, turn right onto the cart road up towards the village of Crivellari. After the houses, the trail rises to the left towards the Vena del Gesso ridge, near the Ca’ Faggia Pass. Continue along the cart road below the ridge as far as the road towards Mount Mauro. Follow this down to Canovetta, then continue to the right, around a large amphitheatre-shaped gully, and on to Ca’ di Sasso. After the cliff of Mount Mauro, take the path down to the Sintria Valley floor, take the road to the left for 1700 m, then turn right, following the cart road that leads to Castelnuovo and, from there, to the Riolo Terme-Brisighella road, where your turn right and continue to the Varnello hotel. After the hotel, you can turn right and then right again to go up to the Parco Carné area. Especial care should be taken, in particular, on the sections on ordinary roads.

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FREE RIDE

FREERIDE - PALAZZUOLO SUL SENIO - SAMBUCA - LOZZOLE - PREVALIGO - CASTELLACCIO - PALAZZUOLO


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Things to see

Starting from Palazzuolo in the direction of Florence, pass the hamlet of Quadalto and climb for approximately 10 km on the tarmacked road.

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As you approach a large, eye-catching wooden cross, turn left up the GEA Soft path. After about 800 metres, turn left after the gate and begin the descent, first through the wood and then along the ridge with numerous technical sections. You will reach the Castè cabin (frequented, in winter, by a lively crowd of hunters) where a nice glass of wine is always to be found. Continue the descent, keeping left, down to Lozzole church. Here, a tough ascent begins on the 505 path (intersecting with the MTB2 trail) and, at 15.65 km near Mount Prevaligo, turn left and begin the exciting descent which crosses the Le Fosse farmstead, on the left, and continues, still with some highly technical sections. On reaching the ruins of the Castellaccio, take a right turn which then leads to a meadow with television antenna towers. From here, turn right for the final descent, via another technical section, to the centre of Palazzuolo sul Senio.

LAGUNE FREE RIDE - PALAZZUOLO SUL SENIO - SAMBUCA PASS - MOLINO DI CAMPANARA - PALAZZUOLO


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Things to see

Starting in the direction of Florence and beginning the ascent on the tarmac for approximately 10 km, leading to the Sambuca Pass, 1061 metres above sea level.

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Just after the Pass, turn right onto the forest track. After about 400 metres, at the parking area, take the little path on the far right that leads into the wood. Follow this until it meets the MTB4 ridge road. Continue on this to 13.80 km, then turn right, downhill, through the Lagune beech wood. This is the beginning of the very technical 1.7-km section, with sharp bends alternating with steps and uneven single-track. However, the views make the physical effort worthwhile! On reaching wider track, follow it for a hundred metres or so, then rejoin the path on the right which drops down to a stream. Ford the stream and climb up again, coming out near a farmhouse. From here, go downhill via the road which is first gravel and then tarmac, through the Molino farmstead, towards Palazzuolo.

SUPER ENDURO

SUPER ENDURO SPECIAL TEST 1


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Things to see

Starting from the town centre and heading towards Firenzuola, follow the main road for about 6 km to the hamlet of Bibbiana.

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Continue along a wide, unsurfaced road for a further 2.5 km to the Prati Piani. Climb up the field, often filled with grazing cows, to the starting point of the special test, near a small gate. This is the start of one of the most beautiful descents in our district, and perhaps the most complete, finishing in the area opposite Palazzuolo sports centre, after 3.5 km of adrenaline.

SUPER ENDURO SPECIAL TEST 2


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Things to see

Starting from the centre of Palazzuolo and heading towards Florence, after passing the hamlet of Quadalto, turn left for Lozzole.

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Follow the tarmacked road for 2.5 km and, near a farmhouse, turn left up an unsurfaced road. The starting point of the special test is located near the Le Fosse farmstead, now in ruins. This is the start of the descent (watch out: there is also a nice, Enduro-style climb!) finishing right in the camper parking area in the middle of Palazzuolo.

SUPER ENDURO SPECIAL TEST 3


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Things to see

Starting from the centre of Palazzuolo and heading towards Marradi, follow the 306 main road for 2.5 km.

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Turn left up through the hamlet of Salecchio for about 4 km on a wide, unsurfaced road leading to the starting point of the special test, located near the Campo d’Olivo farmstead. From here, the route descends through a couple of chestnut groves and a very tricky pine wood with a lot of protruding roots. The finish is at the Fontana park, on the opposite side of the sports field.

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