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Cycling along the River Toce

Length (Km): 68
Time: 6 hours
Starting altitude (m): 215
Arrival altitude (m): 290
Altitude difference (m): 237
Period: All year, except when snow-covered


Starting point
The itinerary starts from the car park behind the “le Isole” shopping centre in Gravellona Toce.

How to get there
By car
A26, exit Gravellona Toce
By train
Gravellona Toce station
By bus
See the website VCO in bus

Main features of the route
The route is largely on packed earth trails along the bank of the River Toce, with short stretches on surfaced roads. There are no real hilly sections, so the route presents no difficulty.

The route
Leaving from Gravellona Toce, you get onto the cycle track by going under the motorway and turning right immediately after. When you get to the bank of the River Toce, cross a metal bridge to reach the Strona stream.

Continue on this packed earth road, with views of the river and the many plant nurseries which are a feature of this area.  The track now moves away from the river bank and joins the surfaced road leading to the junction with the link road between SS 33 and 34. WARNING: the road you have to cross is very busy.

Continue on the cycle track in a circular route round the wildlife area of Fondotoce, past fields and factory sheds, to an underpass below the main road. Carry on between the nurseries and you arrive at the Mergozzo treatment plant. Turn left along the railway line, and go on as far as the footbridge leading to the outskirts of Ornavasso.

Continue on the surfaced road to Bettola, then go into the village and cycle alongside the railway line.  Shortly after the turnoff for Nibbio, where there is a restaurant, turn left to go into the centre of the village of Cuzzago.
After going through the village a country road takes you to the cycle track of Bosco Tenso. Carry on to Vogogna, which has one of the finest medieval village centres in Italy, with its Palazzo Pretorio (medieval town hall) and a Visconti Castle.

Continue in the direction of Pieve Vergonte, passing the station and taking the second road leading to the ancient parish church, which displays a number of historic relics.  After the church go on to meet the provincial road, and immediately after the bridge, take the road leading to the place called “La Villa”, where there is an ancient signal tower, almost hidden by ivy.

Next you arrive in Piedimulera, crossing the River Anza on the cycle track. Go right through the village, and when you get to the Town Hall, go towards the cemetery from where a cycle track starts for Pallanzeno.

Continue on the surfaced road to reach the cycle track for Villadossola. Go along a short stretch of road in the direction of Domodossola and enter a children’s playground from where a pedestrian path leads to the Romanesque church of San Bartolomeo, the finest historic building in the town.

From the church take the road along the bank of the Ovesca stream.  Go through an underpass to the other side of the dual carriageway to reach an area called “Siberia”, where there is a memorial to Chavez, the first man to fly a plane across the Alps, and to Boschetto, where there is a sport fishing pond with a restaurant.

Continue along the bank of the River Toce to the area of Badulerio, where the cycle track ends. Take the road into the centre of Domodossola.

After arriving in the square outside the station, go towards the centre to have a look at the very fine Piazza Mercato.  Follow signs to the Sacro  Monte Calvario, which you can walk up to on a broad paved mule-track.

From the church of the Sacro Monte Calvario go down towards the cemetery, and without going under the railway bridge, go along the road to Piazza Chavez. From here you can go back to the station.

Useful information
Bus: from Verbania to Domodossola 

Refreshment facilities
There are many restaurants and bars in Gravellona Toce, Fondotoce, Ornavasso, Nibbio, Cuzzago, Premosello, Vogogna, Pieve Vergonte, Piedimulera, Pallanzeno, Villadossola, Domodossola Lisca,  Badulerio and Domodossola.


The route presents no difficulty


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