The Patriarch of Baldo: the oldest silver fir on Monte Baldo

Excursion in the forests of East Baldo and tour of the Avio alpine pastures


Giorgia Consolini

Trekking, bike and ski touring
Angela Trawoeger
Text and photos

Angela Trawoeger

Creator, photographer and content manager

This hike takes you to the Patriarch of Baldo, a huge, centuries-old silver fir that watches over the forest of fir and beech trees from a hilltop. You will also pass by the shepherd’s huts and bivouacs of Avio amidst flower-filled pastures and mountain views. With a bit of luck, you may spot some marmots and chamois. 

This trek is for you if you wish to immerse yourself in the forest and breathe in its essence. In addition to the Patriarch, there are many monumental trees; our advice is to stroll to let yourself be enchanted by their grandeur and enjoy the quietness of the forest.

Map and GPS Track


  • Technical characteristics

    • Starting point
      Pian della Cenere
    • Endpoint
      Pian della Cenere
    • Route
      Pian della Cenere, Patriarca del Baldo, Passo Cerbiolo, Bivacco Lavacchio, Pian della Cenere
    • Starting height
    • Highest point
    • Altitude – ascent/descent
    • Distance
      9,4 km
    • Duration
      3 hrs
  • Difficulty

  • Scenic appeal

    • Experience (1 to 5)
    • Landscape (1 to 5)
  • Type of route

    • Round tour
    • Insider tip
  • Best time of year

    • From April to November
      without snow


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Points of interest along the route

Patriarch of Baldo

Patriarch of Baldo is a specimen of silver fir included in the Vallagarina’s Monumental Trees list. Its candelabra shape, with eight arms pointing towards the sky, is unique and imposing. The trunk’s circumference is more than 600 cm, one of the widest recorded for this species.

Patriarca del Baldo

Madonna della Neve Church

The little church is about two kilometers from the start of the route; you drive past it before arriving at the car park. Given its proximity, including a visit to this church might be interesting.

During the summer, this area of Monte Baldo was inhabited by shepherds and woodcutters engaged in alpine pasture, haymaking, and wood cutting, and for centuries, the bell of this little church called to them. The first chapel is documented in 1307, later replaced by the current structure from the 17th century. The altarpiece by the altar is from 1884. It was also a border church during the First World War, as the front passed through this area.


Leave your car in the clearing before the barrier on the dirt road leading to Malga Pian della Cenere. Take the unpaved road after the barrier between the pastures, past a picnic spot to Malga Pian della Cenere. The building you see on the left is a bivouac. Approach it and follow the signs for Malga Fassole – Passo Cerbiolo, skirting the fence of the bivouac and then taking the grassy path that climbs to the right.

Entrata nel bosco verso il Patriarca del Baldo

Cross the forest road and follow the signs for “Patriarca del Baldo,” entering the forest. The path remains on the right-hand edge of the woods, but with the leaves on the ground, it is difficult to see, and we found no signs on the trees. You can also proceed without following it strictly: the direction is single, the terrain of the undergrowth is easy, and the ascent quite steep. The only caution is to keep to the right; the trail becomes clear after the first section, and you can follow it again without a doubt.

The path diverts onto some wooden steps on the right, and in about five minutes of climbing, you will find yourself in front of the Patriarch of Baldo. We sat at its base to admire it and for a snack. The peace of this place rewarded the climb; it is beautiful to recharge one’s batteries in the forest.

Retrace your steps to the fork in the path and take the turnoff towards Malga Fassole – Passo Cerbiolo. Before leaving the forest and heading towards pastures, you will encounter giant, majestic beech trees like the Patriarch.

Uscita dal bosco verso passo Cerbiolo

The path out of the forest is first grassy and then stony and leads you to Passo Cerbiolo at 1370 m. From here, follow the signs for Bivacco Lavacchio – Malga Trattesoli – Pian della Cenere on the wide forest road that descends gently to your left. The climb is over; all that awaits you is a slight up and downhill and then all downhill on the forest road into the woods!

Strada forestale, giro delle malghe di Avio

At Bivacco Lavacchio and the subsequent forks, follow the signs for Madonna della Neve; you will find some cattle gates; pass them, remembering to close them behind you. Continue downhill until you return to the unpaved road near the picnic spot at the start; turn right to return to the car.



Our tips

  • In summer, the sun can be hot in grazing areas, so make sure you have a cap and plenty of water. Clothing should be appropriate for a mountain trek.
  • There are no refreshment points, take along at least a snack. For a packed lunch, you can take advantage of the picnic spot equipped with tables and a barbecue near the car park if grazing cows do not overrun it. This happened to us, and we made do with the stones near the car park. 🙂

The winter hike

From April to November, without snow or ice.

Refuges, bivouacs, or refreshment points along the route



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How to reach the starting point of the route

By Car

Coming up from Brentonico or Avio, follow the signs for the Madonna della Neve church.

Instead of turning at the church, continue downhill for about 2 km, where the last stretch is unpaved. The small car park is before the barrier leading to Malga Pian della Cenere.

If you don’t want to drive on the dirt road or the car park is complete, you can park at the small church and continue on foot.


Similar route

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