Lago di Garda is the classic mountain bike eldorado in Europe. Torbole and Riva – the towns on the northern end of the Lago di Garda – were first discovered as hot spots by windsurfers while Arco attracted the climbers. In the late 80ies the area became popular among mountain bikers.
Tremalzo is the legendary tour destination, a pass road that winds up to an altitude of almost 2000 meters. Starting from almost sea level in Riva it is an epic gnarly climb on loose gravel or a long fun downhill in the opposite direction. I always preferred the descent.
The best route up to the Tremalzo starts at the Lago di Ledro with a long climb on the paved road SP 127. Using a shuttle to get up there is as well not a bad idea, as this will save you some energy for great trail options at the Rifugio Passo Nota down to Corna Vecchia on an old dynamite trail with several tunnels. After the 7th tunnel a singletrack trail takes off to the left. After a short steep climb the Sentiero 107 takes you downhill on tight turns with quite some exposure before the trail gets zippier with nice flow. Back on the Corna Vecchia dynamite trail to Passo Nota the classic Tremalzo tour continues to Passo Guil and Passo Rochetta, where you can expect magnificent views on the Lago di Garda as well as more traffic from hikers and bikers. Then the steep downhill portion starts and takes you via Pregasina and the old Ponale Road down to the lake. Whoa! What a ride!
My favorite ride at Lago di Garda is the Anaconda Trail. You pedal or shuttle up the Monte Velo to Santa Barbara where the trail begins. The Anaconda is a great downhill ride with more flow than the Monte Altissimo rides. There are some challenging technical sections and sections with loose rocks but not as extreme as the Coast Trail or the other downhill rides above the eastside of the lake.
The Anaconda Trail finally ends in Nago from where you can continue your downhill to Torbole.
There are numerous more rides in the area at the north end of the lake. What most of them have in common is a long and steep climb to somehow earn the downhill fun. Only the trail from Arco to Pietramurata climbs slightly but steadily and offers you a beautiful ride back through the Marocche and the Pianaura Trails.