Trail running is finally in style and the reason is very simple: it’s a type of running that involves running in environments that are completely – or almost completely – natural, on paths and non-asphalt routes (the asphalt or pavement portion cannot be more than 20% of the route). Trail running routes can be made through mountains, desert, woods, flat ground or hills. Obviously, mountains make up the majority when we’re talking about trail running, considering the rich natural heritage that can be found on our various paths and routes, not to mention the landscape of the Dolomites – so psychologically satisfying – made up of alpine huts, streams, alpine lakes, woodlands and World War I remains.
Cortina D’Ampezzo plays a big role in all of this: there are more than 475 km of trails and 18 trail running routes in Cortina, with different levels of difficulty, along with all of the other paths and trails that are not “officially” trail running routes but can also be used for training and running.
That’s why we want to present everyone who loves running the outdoors, and who wants to begin to try this amazing activity, with these 4 easy trail running routes in Cortina, ideal for giving trail running a try. Alternatively, you can have someone go with you and learn step by step thanks to the Trail and Running Training Camps!
4 Easy Routes for Anyone Who Want to Start Trail Running – Cortina D’Ampezzo Dolomites
1. Lake Route
Length: 13.40 km
Elevation difference: 606 meters
Terrain: 10% asphalt, 80% dirt road, 10% single track
Resting points: Mortisa, Pocol, Peziè de Parù Alpine Hut, Lake Ajal Refuge, Lago Pianozes Restaurant
The base element of this trail is water. From Mortisa, you take path number 428 and then 451 – uphill – toward Pocol. At this point, you continue on Provincial Road 638 – the Giau Pass – for a stretch, then arrive at paths 406 (by Peziè de Parù), 431 (toward Ajal) and 430, which go to Lake Panozes. Once you arrive at the lake, following path number 432 toward Campo. Near the first house, return to path 451 and then number 428 in dirt road which returns to the starting point, Mortisa.
2. Pian de Ra Spines Route
Length: 15 km
Elevation difference: 275 meters
Terrain: 10% asphalt, 90% dirt road
Resting Points: Camping Olympia, Hotel Fiames
Another simple but beautiful route that runs alongside the Boite River and faces Mounts Cristallo and Pomagagnon. Starting from the run hub (Info Point in the heart of Corso Italia where lots of informational materials are available) you turn onto the former railway toward the Sports Center, and continue on the narrow dirt road – parallel to but at a lower altitude than the former railway – ending at the underpass.
Once you arrive at this point, take path 10 toward Pian de Loa. Right after the park’s visitor center turn onto path number 417 that, after crossing the Boite, with a sudden change in direction leading to Pian de Ra Spines towards Camping Olimpia. From here crosses the main road and through path 211 returning to to the former railway, bringing you back to Cortina.
Lake Pianozes Route
Length: 10.2 km
Elevation difference: 289 meters
Terrain: 20% asphalt, 80% dirt road
Resting points: Lago di Pianozes Restaurant
This route is a little bit shorter than the last one (10 km) and can be a good compromise if you want to start slow, remaining near Cortina D’Ampezzo’s city center. This route also starts from the Corso Italia run hub, proceeds along the former railway ending in the junction with Pian da Lago, descend and continue in the direction of Socol zone. Crossing the Boite, you continue on path 449 which brings you to Lake Pianozes. At this point you turn in the direction of Cortina, descending toward Campo di Sopra and proceed on the Convento area trail.
4.Cortina – Pocol – Ossario
Length: 6,68 km
Elevation difference: 289 meters
Terrain: 10% asphalt, 45% dirt road, 45% single track
Resting points: Meleres Lacedel, Pocol, Mortisa
Is 10 km still too long? Ok then, here is a route that is less than 7 km. It’s a “historic” trail that also starts from the Corso Italia run hub and goes toward Meleres/Lacedel via path 403 and then to the left on 429. Path 429 passes near the Sacrario Militare di Pocol, dedicated to the dead of World War I. From path 429 you return by descending toward Mortisa and then Cortina D’Ampezzo.
You can start training and be ready for the Cortina UltraTrail in no time;)