Talking about Lake Ledro, you automatically include also the waterfalls. Indeed, the Ledro Valley and its surroundings offer a variety of magnificent waterfalls, many of which can easily be reached in a short walk and are accessible to everyone. Some of the falls appear all of a sudden, in places where no one would ever have expected a waterfall; whereas in other cases, it is the overwhelming sound of the waterfall itself that announces its presence over a big distance. Let’s see which ones are the most beautiful waterfalls in the surroundings of Lake Ledro!
The Gorg d’Abiss Waterfall
Let’s begin with the Gorg d’Abiss waterfall, which is situated near Tiarno di Sotto, a district of Ledro. Its name means ‘vortex of the abysm’ (“vortice dell’abisso” in Italian), and it describes very well this particular waterfall that was created during the course of the centuries by the Massangla stream which slowly carved a deep canyon into the rocks. The Gorg d’Abiss waterfall can be reached in a short walk, also suitable for families with children, once they have left their car at Tiarno di Sotto, near the Mulino dei Bigatini. By the way, the latter is the last well-preserved contemporary witness of many mills bordering the river a long time ago: the construction was built between the 15 th and 16 th century, and it kept operating until the middle of the last century. After the mill, you carry on following the course if the river where, from time to time, there pop up funny little waterfalls. In a walk of less than 20 minutes you can reach the huge waterfall, the Gorg d’Abiss, which spills out of the rocks at the end of the canyon.
The Varone Falls
The famous Varone Falls have been among the most celebrated attractions of Alto Garda since the 19 th century. The water sources are situated inside the homonymous park in the municipality of Tenno. The entry of Parco Grotta Cascata Varone was designed more than a century ago by the same architect who also designed the Vittoriale (‘The shrine of Victories of the Italians’) for Gabriele d’Annunzio and respectively Giancarlo Maroni. If you decide to visit the park, it means that you take the chance to discover a veritable geologic rarity, walking through the Lower Cave and the Upper Cave as well as along the pedestrian bridges that allow you to enter the canyon made by the power of water. This is the way you can get closest to the fall which announces its existence over a big distance by means of its ear-deafening sound originating from the water falling down 98 metres. The Varone falls have fascinated thousands of people, starting from Thomas Mann, for example, who gives a very detailed description of this place in his novel “The Magic Mountain” – not by chance.
The Ponale Waterfall
The overview of the waterfalls in the surroundings of Lake Ledro lists also the Ponale waterfall, of course, one of the most impressive spots of Alto Garda and the entire Trentino. One item that makes this wonderful waterfall so special is its very particular accessibility: if you want to admire the fall from close-up, the only access to it is the lake. This is why many visitors come to the wild rocky gorge that encloses the waterfall equipped with their kayak or stand-up paddle. This is however no excursion that can be improvised: you need to bear in mind the distance from the starting shore, usually the beaches of Riva del Garda, as well as the winds that may come up on the lake.
The Forte Ampola Waterfall
We close this selection of the most beautiful waterfalls in the surroundings of Lake Ledro with the Forte Ampola waterfall situated in the homonymous nature and history park, which belongs to the municipality of Storo, located in a narrow valley – Val d’Ampola – connecting Val del Chiese and the Ledro Valley by means of the Palvico stream. In the park you can follow a trail which offers its visitors to discover the Austrian Bastion as well as the ruins of ancient buildings and, of course, the waterfall in a largely unspoilt environment.