In Val d'Arbia, the via delle Miniere (the Mine Road) is an interesting route that, although it annually becomes the stage for the Gran Fondo della Valdarbia mountain bike competition, can be visited all year round.
The path stays almost entirely on the western side of the Municipality of Murlo, an area dominated by forests of Mediterranean scrub at the base of Val di Merse with deep gullies carved out by the Crevole and Crevolicchio rivers. Here there are two paths, one 21.5 km hiking trail and one 34 km competitive trail.
After the second kilometre, you'll reach the first ascent at Poggio Aguzzo at 500m with a 12.8% incline. You'll then cross the Poggio Civitate where there are numerous Etruscan remains which are now housed in the local Museum of Archaeology. The descent is brief and follows a fun, narrow path until you reach the small farm of Montorgiali where you'll rejoin the road that leads you to Abbazia di Montepertuso.
Right before reaching Abbazia, take a right to take on the Carbonaie descent, a difficult narrow path that takes you to the Crevole river in the vicinity of Molin dei Frati. You wade across the river and pass below the railroad, where you then return back up towards Apparita. It’s a nice long ascent of around 1.2 km, with a few demanding sections due to the technical level required and because of the drop in altitude with an average incline of 12.3%. This ascent occurs entirely in the forest and takes the name of the small farm (l’apparita), which opens in a clearing at the summit.
From Apparita, you continue in the forest for around 2km with a few ups and downs that take you through the villages of Resi and Olivello. From here, you have to take the pleasant Serpentaio descent, which leads you to Miniere di Murlo. You then continue along the Crevolicchio river to face the Terre Rosse ascent until you reach the crossroad for the Farnese road. You then have a few more metres of ascent followed by a quick descent which takes you to the Poggetto sprint that's quick but demanding. From here, there's a quick descent and then again a brief sprint to arrive at Vescovado to conclude the first tour.
The competitors complete another lap of 12km, returning to the Etruscan excavation site to face the descent from Montorgiali to the village of Miniere. From here, you go back to the final part of the first loop and then return to the final finish line, at Vescovado.