Lakes Cycle Route
The Laghi Briantei are five lakes of glacial origin located in upper Brianza, easily accessible and with a great wealth of fauna and flora.
The various activities possible in this area include simple walks and picnics in the vast green areas as well as water sports with canoes and kayaks. By bicycle, it is possible to visit each of these lakes individually or to cycle along the Ciclovia dei Laghi Briantei (Briantei Lakes Cycle Route), which passes through all five lakes. However, the latter is recommended for experienced cyclists, as it mainly runs along provincial roads.
The 14-lakes cycle route runs through the provinces of Lecco, Como and Varese, from Colico to Ponte Tresa. It crosses 9 different landscape areas, each of which represents the fulcrum around which the thematic routes contained in the nine itineraries have been developed.
The ridge is 270 km long (and about 310 km if some alternatives and loop connections are also considered) and has multiple functions. In fact, it can be considered both as a local itinerary that develops through the various landscape areas, with routes of limited length that make it possible to visit the most important cultural and environmental assets in the area, and as a single itinerary that crosses the 14 lakes and connects to international and interregional circuits, linking up with the cycle paths in Canton Ticino and with cycle tourism routes in the neighbouring provinces and regions.
The starting point is Valmadrera, in the village of Parè. From here you head towards Lake Annone and then on to Pusiano, from where you can climb to the southern shores of Lake Segrino. Continuing on towards Ponte Lambro, Albavilla and Tavernerio, you finally reach the north-eastern shore of Lake Montorfano, from where you turn back in the opposite direction towards Lake Alserio.
Lago di Annone
A first possible itinerary is the tour of Lake Annone, the largest of the five. Surrounded to the north by Monte Cornizzolo and Monte Barro, the lake is crossed by the narrow Isella peninsula, which divides it into two areas: the larger one is called Lake Oggiono, from the municipality that overlooks its shores. The cycle/pedestrian path runs around the entire perimeter of the lake, offering a panorama that has its most suggestive moment at sunset.
The tour around Lake Pusiano takes place mainly on an asphalt road, but there are very few stretches of cycle/pedestrian path, making it necessary to use roads with traffic. Some of the many possible starting points are the villages of Bosisio Parini, Pusiano or Moiana, all three of which are easily reached by public transport.
Starting from the lido, where there is a car park and Visitor Centre, the path follows the shores of the lake from close up. It only moves away from the lake near the emissary, at Carella, where there are some perches for birds. Lake Segrino is in fact known for the richness of its fauna and flora. A part of the western shore is occupied by a dense reed thicket. The white water lily, which appears among the leaves floating on the water, has been taken as the symbol of the park.
The Segrino fauna includes many amphibians. Here we find the common toad, used to migrate to the lake in spring to reproduce, and a considerable amount of fish (perch, pike, carp, tench). On the western shore, the track has co-opted the old road, which is closed to traffic. At the northern end of the lake, near the Gajum springs, you return to the starting point along the western shore. In this section, the cycle path runs alongside the provincial road without interfering with it.
The entire lake, with the northern slope of nearby Monte Cornizzolo, is protected as a nature park. This decision has led to the restoration of its waters and the enhancement of its recreational potential. The cycle path serves this purpose, along with the paths that explore the slopes around the lake.
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