To Cortina d'Ampezzo - Reaching New Heights - CycleBlaze

September 20, 2021

To Cortina d'Ampezzo

Along the Dolomites Cycleway

Today's ride from Dobbiaco to Cortina d’Ampezzo along the Dolomites Cycleway was one I’d long and eagerly anticipated. The route follows an old railway line built during WW1 and passes through a stunning Dolomite landscape that includes iconic peaks and several lakes.

 It was to be a short day, less than twenty miles, so I departed a bit later than usual in the hope that the morning shroud would lift and reveal and bright and sunny day. As luck would have it, that’s exactly what I got! I could not imagine a more perfect day to experience the Dolomite Cycleway – sunshine, moderate temperatures, and a brilliant blue sky punctuated with fluffy cumulous clouds.

 I picked up the Cycleway in the center of Dobbiaco and soon was on a nice crushed gravel surface heading south to Cortina d’Ampezzo. It was not long before the first eye-popping scenery caused me to come to an abrupt stop - Lago di Dobbiaco, reflecting clouds and faraway peaks. The views became more spectacular with each stroke of the pedal that propelled me along a gentle incline further into the valley. My head was on a swivel, and I stopped often for photos, each time marveling at my good fortune to have such perfect weather. There were scores of people out enjoying this splendid day on a bike, all stopping for a view of Tre Cime de Lavaredo or lingering at Lago di Lando.

Looking out toward Dobbiaco, I'm heartened by what promises to be a sunny, blue sky day
Heart 4 Comment 1
Scott AndersonGreat that you got such a good day for this, Susan. We nearly came this way ourselves again. I hope to see this view again some year before we’re done traveling.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Passing through Dobbiaco
Heart 3 Comment 0
Lago di Dobbiaco in the mid-morning light - everyone wants to snap a picture
Heart 3 Comment 0
Lago di Dobbiaco
Heart 9 Comment 0
Along the Dolomites Cycleway
Heart 3 Comment 0
Scores of cyclist were out enjoying a glorious day and stunning scenery.
Heart 4 Comment 0
Tre Cime de Lavaredo
Heart 4 Comment 0
Vivien George mugging it with Tre Cime de Lavaredo
Heart 2 Comment 0
One of the many building erected by troops during WW1/WW2
Heart 1 Comment 0
Lago di Lando
Heart 5 Comment 0

After the lake, the Cycleway got a little steeper, the surface a little rougher, the views less spectacular, and the number of cyclists greatly reduced. For next three miles, the route rose through a forest on increasingly rough roads before reaching its highest elevation and beginning the descent to Cortina d’Amprezzo. Nearing the top, I met groups of cyclists navigating their way downhill along a rough, almost single track, section of the route. They did not appear to be seasoned cyclists, and perhaps were on some sort of organized ride. My suspicions were strengthened when, on reaching the top, I encountered a group of about twenty middle-aged (or older) folks assembled in front of a bus, straddling bikes and readying to head down the rough stretch I’d just come up. I was a little skeptical of their skill set, especially when one woman fell in the parking lot. I could only shrug my shoulders and wish them well.

Heading up through the forest, home to free range cattle. The wire-like barrier was a bit startling, but it was not electrified and easily gave way,
Heart 0 Comment 0
Beware of the dairy cow!! I summoned my courage and continued onward :)
Heart 2 Comment 2
Scott AndersonI’m not surprised. If you’ll brave the grizzly bears on the Great Divide, this is nothing.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Rich FrasierI don’t know. Ben Parke had some scary encounters with cows. They’re big! Pays to be careful!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
The route surface got rockier during the last three miles before cresting.
Heart 4 Comment 0
Ready to rock the downhill ride toward Dobbiaco
Heart 0 Comment 0

From the top, it was an eight-mile downhill to Cortina d’Amprezzio, through a more forested mountains with perhaps less dramatic views than the earlier parts of the ride. It also appeared to be a very dynamic section of the valley, with evidence of rock slides/falling rock at several points along the route. After passing through were two shorts tunnels, the valley opened up and I was soon looking over the outskirts of Cortina d’Amprezzo.

Heading down to Cortina d'Ampresso
Heart 3 Comment 0
Concrete wall and fencing barrier suggest a previous rock slide
Heart 2 Comment 0
Downhill towards Cortina d'Ampresso through an earlier rock slide area
Heart 2 Comment 0
Tunnel time!
Heart 0 Comment 0
This looks more like a mine shaft than a tunnel!!
Heart 0 Comment 0
No, bikes go right
Heart 0 Comment 0
One of the few cyclists I encountered on the way down
Heart 1 Comment 0
More buildings erected during the world wars
Heart 1 Comment 0
Overlooking the outskirts of Cortina d'Amprezzo
Heart 2 Comment 0
Overlooking the outskirts of Cortina d'Amprezzo
Heart 1 Comment 0

I left the cycle path and headed down to my Airbnb, where I will spend the next three nights. Knowing I had time to explore, I did some laundry, relaxed on my terrace, and took a brief nap. When I awoke, it was beginning to rain so I opted for a short grocery run for pasta, salad and fixings for breakfast. I’ll need my strength for tomorrow I hike up to Tre Cime de Lavaredo - I can’t wait, but it’s hard to imagine how it can top today.

Heart 1 Comment 0

Today's ride: 19 miles (31 km)
Total: 334 miles (538 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 10
Comment on this entry Comment 4
Rachael AndersonGlad you got good weather for your ride to Cortina. We are having lunch in Mollnitz after bicycling from Dorfgastein. We will then be cycling to Muhldorf. I’m so glad we broke up the 2 climbs. You are really tough! You deserve the Queen of the mountains jersey! Enjoy your time in Cortina!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Susan CarpenterTo Rachael AndersonCongratulations on making it to the top!! You too are a tough lady!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Rich FrasierI’m taking notes on your ride. Sounds amazing!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Laura ChiharaStunning scenery!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago