Even though I have probably spent 2 full years of my life at Lago di Garda, there’s only very few hikes in the area that I have walked. I was never a big fan of hiking as a kid. I still remember the day my parents decided to take us up Monte Baldo and how I was whining and pouting most of the way up. The view from the top (as in the top of the hike, not of the mountain) was pretty neat, but it also meant I had only made it half way and needed to walk back to the car for as far as we had walked up the mountain.
Luckily, people change and so have I. I’m always pretty pumped now when we decide to go out on a hike — still it seems we only get ourselves going a few times a year. Which is why its great to spend the vacation somewhere in the mountains were going on a hike means stepping out your door rather than taking the train for 1 1/2 hours (I know, not a bad problem to have…).
From the place we always stay in on Lago di Garda, there’s a handful of relaxed day and half-day hikes that do start on our doorstep. One of them is up Monte Castello di Gaino.
Last year Easter, we picked a hike out of one of the many hiking books that lie around here – and got completely lost. According to the book we should have reached the peak after around 1 1/2 hours. We reached it after around 3. It was still pretty. With the first warm rays of sun wakening the life in the forests. There were soft green buds on the trees and play yellow primroses scattered across the forest floors. We met donkeys and something that looked like a wolf trap in the middle of the path, guided by a wooded turkey. And of course a statue of Madonna at the peak.