The Transcaucasian Trail, a hiking path across the Caucasus Mountains, from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, shall be launched in Georgia this summer. A team of international and local volunteers will begin building the trail in Georgia’s Svaneti National Park in July and August 2016.
The ambitious trail will connect national parks and culturally significant sites of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, where over a dozen different languages are spoken in one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world. Many sections of the trail have been used for centuries by shepherds and explorers, travelling from village to village across the great valleys and passes of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains.
The Transcaucasian Trail shall restore, maintain and connect the deteriorated historic routes to allow hikers to safely journey across one uninterrupted path. The trail is being developed by a growing community of outdoor enthusiasts, mappers, and conservationists who want to improve hiking opportunities in the Caucasus for locals and international tourists.
The trail shall support sustainable tourism and rural development whilst preserving the Caucasus’ rich cultural heritage. “The trail will help build connections between communities, ecosystems, and people in a region where there is too much focus on the things that divide”, says Jeff Hack, one of founders of the Transcaucasian Trail.
Paul Stephens, the project leader, highlights “the Transcaucasian Trail will not only raise the profile of the region and some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes but will undoubtedly become as iconic as the Great Himalayan, Appalachian or Inca Trails and a must do for any hiking and nature lover!”
Volunteer teams shall be involved in blazing trails, building tread way, putting up signs, and building bridges along the trail route offering volunteers the opportunity to contribute positively to the Caucasus heritage and biodiversity, make local friends and enjoy beautiful mountain landscapes whilst being immersed in the local culture.