H & Ca Bianca Trails in Finale Ligure

When your friends say, “Let’s go for a ride in Finale, climb up to the NATO base, and decide what to do from there,” you immediately think two things: I have to pedal for two hours to get to a place that’s probably desolate and in ruins.

You’re wrong!

The climb that leads to the NATO base is indeed long, but for some reason, even the climbs in Finale are not so bad, with beautiful views, panoramas, and shorts-worthy weather even in February.

Once you reach the top, at the infamous NATO base, you think anything but that it’s a desolate place. It’s bustling with vans, bikes, guys, and girls. Italians, yes, but also many foreigners. How wonderful, it immediately feels like a vacation! You chat with one group, hear what the other is doing, and at that moment, you realise that this place isn’t the starting point for just one trail but offers numerous possibilities. That’s why this is one of the favourite destinations for bikers.

We opt for the H trail, a great classic of Finale’s gravity trails, as it’s one of the first dedicated and maintained DH routes. Yes, because in Finale, the 70+ fantastic bike trails didn’t always exist, as you might almost think, given how well they blend into the natural landscape. Behind each trail, there are people, stories, and a lot of work!

H lives up to our expectations: smooth and fast, with some more technical sections but never impossible. It’s ideal for those who want to go all out, but also for those who prefer to enjoy the beauty of riding on such a fantastic trail amid a wonderful beech forest.

After finishing H, from the Pian Merlino area, we take on the Ca Bianca trail. Different type of terrain and vegetation, but the fun is off the charts here as well. The trail is quite long, with fast and flowing sections, rocky stretches, breath-taking jumps. This time, we’ve truly earned our end-of-day beer!