You can navigate approximately 26 km of this river, among powerful rapids and descents: fun is a guarantee as you go down this river, crossing through almost all of Val di Sole!
Let’s have a look at each section:
The perfect area to begin your river excursion in Val di Sole is located in the hamlet of Cusiano, right after the confluence of the Noce River with the Vermigliana stream. Here, the rapids are not very powerful and the state road runs alongside the river, the difficulty level is not higher than a second grade level. Along this section, artificial banks rapidly convey the flow of the river all the way down to approximately one kilometre before the town of Pellizzano: here the artificial banks come to a stop and you will find an artificial jump that can only be passed by previously scouting the course. After the jump, the river has a third grade difficulty level all the way down to the town of Mezzana.
Here, the speed of the current begins to increase with stretches that have a third and fourth grade difficulty level with continuous rapids for about two kilometres.
The Canoe/Kayak Slalom World Championships were held along this section in 1993, and each year important national and international events are also held here. These rapids, and almost the entire section of the Noce River that can be navigated, require a considerable amount of experience and technical skills. After the bridge located downstream from Mezzana-Marilleva, the river maintains a third/fourth grade difficulty level all the way to Mestriago where the difficulty level decreases. The river continues to descend towards the town of Dimaro through river banks that are lined by the forest.
Just past the bridge in Dimaro, the famous rapid called “rapida della segheria” (sawmill rapid) begins, this area is only for expert canoeists due to the difficulty level that reaches a fifth grade; it is possible to scout this section from the right bank of the river.
For those who prefer to skip the “sawmill rapid” it is recommended that you re-embark at Monclassico after the artificial barrage. The descent then continues in lower graded water even though the difficulty level is a second/third grade level along the following 4 km. When you reach the town of Malè, you will pass underneath a cement bridge high above the river, where a wooded gorge begins and a series of continuous, difficult rapids that have a third/fourth degree difficulty level. At the confluence of the Noce River with the Rabbies stream, the flow and the speed of the river may increase considerably here. The river then passes just below the towns of Caldes, Cavizzana, Tozzaga and Bordiana where the valley starts to become narrower. The state road is now far away from the river and the river alternates between a third and fourth grade difficulty level. At the location called Ponte Stori, after the fourth degree rapid that also has the same name, it is recommended that you stop and take advantage of one of the last collection points where vehicles can easily tow all equipment from the river.
And for all those who enjoy a challenge, there is a striking Canyon which has a height of over 60 m, but unfortunately it is not very easy to retrieve the equipment at the collection point. The most powerful and challenging “mountain rapids” can be found along this last section of the Noce River that can be navigated. According to the water level of the lake, the descent can continue onwards past the Mostizzolo Bridge all the way to the S. Giustina artificial lake basin, where the river ends: if the water level is high, it is recommended that you go ashore at the confluence with the Barnes stream on the orographic left side; if instead the water level is low, it is possible to go ashore near the bridge that crosses over the basin.
In Val di Sole you can find specific directions that will help you to easily identify access points to the river. Main access and/or collection points have:
P – parking area
A – information board
- access trail to the river
• For all those who want to experience the Noce River and all that it has to offer, we recommend that you stay in Val di Sole for a few days so that you can start on several brief stretches of the river to get familiar with the various areas that in certain stretches reach the maximum difficulty level for whitewater canoeing. .
• Nonetheless there are several stretches of the river that can also be navigated by all those who are not exactly experts, for example from Fucine to Mezzana, from Piano to Dimaro and from Monclassico to Malè: these are the areas along the river that are most frequently used by the canoeing schools in Val di Sole.
• From May to September there aren’t any problems to navigate the river since it is fed by several glaciers; therefore the water flow is always high enough for whitewater activities.
• The difficulty levels in the description may vary according to the water flow of the river and possible maintenance work that may be underway along the riverbed.
• The water flow of the river usually decreases on weekends due to the closure of the hydroelectric plant in Cogolo.
• In any case, it is recommended that you contact any one of the valley’s Rafting Centres for up to date information on the river conditions (water level, maintenance work etc.).
• In addition to the Noce River it is also important to mention its tributaries: the Vermigliana, Noce Bianco and Rabbies that can also be navigated along several brief sections. The following lakes, located at different heights, are also a natural attraction not to be missed: the Lago Pian Palù, Lago Careser, Lago dei Caprioli and Lago di Santa Giustina, these breathtaking surroundings are surrounded by the Stelvio National Park and the Adamello Brenta Nature Park. The valley receives a lot of sunlight due to its east-west position, making it the perfect place for all outdoor sports.