An ambitious hiking path across the Caucasus Mountains from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea – the Transcaucasian Trail – has been recently launched.
The trail will connect national parks and culturally significant sites in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, where over a dozen different languages are spoken, as it traverses one of the world's most biologically diverse regions.
Transcaucasian Trail launched
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 Lower Caucasus Mountains.
The Transcaucasian Trail will restore, maintain and connect the deteriorated historic routes to allow hikers to safely journey across one uninterrupted path.
The initiative 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 for international tourists.
The organizers say the trail will 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 Haack, one of visionaries of the Transcaucasian Trail.
Paul Stephens, a project leader, said: “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.”
Guided hiking experiences across several sections of the Transcaucasian Trail can be arranged with Go Barefoot Travel.
For more information and maps see www.transcaucasiantrail.org.