Get Your Boots On: The Spectacular Transcaucasian Trail is Open!

The incomparable Transcaucasian Trail, a hiking route across the Caucasus Mountains from the Black Sea to the Caspian, was launched on Responsible Travel Day of the World Travel Market.

“To date, we have had initial meetings with partners in Armenia and Georgia inviting stakeholders to be involved in contributing towards and defining the project’s development, including NGOs, government institutions, universities, tourism companies, plus community and hiking groups,” James Scipioni, travel entrepreneur, environmentalist and founding visionary of the trail initiative, told Georgia Today. “We started some initial mapping and exploratory activities in the regions of Racha and Svaneti earlier this summer and we are currently in the process of outreaching for further funding and delivery partners and engaging with local community groups.”

The ambitious trail will connect national parks and culturally significant sites of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, where over a dozen different languages are spoken and located 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 Lower Caucasus Mountains. The Transcaucasian Trail aims to restore, maintain and connect the deteriorated historic routes to allow hikers to journey safely along one uninterrupted path. The trail is being developed by a growing community of outdoor enthusiasts, mappers and conservationists, including James Scipioni, who want to improve hiking opportunities in the Caucasus for both locals and international tourists.

The trail will support sustainable tourism and rural development whilst preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Caucasus. “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, another visionary of the Transcaucasian Trail.

“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!” Paul Stephens, a project leader, said.

“We have had a hugely positive response from the travelling community, hiking enthusiasts, and local communities along the proposed trail, as well as project partners,” said Scipioni.

Guided hiking experiences across several sections of the Transcaucasian Trail can be arranged with Scipioni’s Go Barefoot Travel

For additional background and maps:

(new site launched 2 November)



Katie Ruth Davies

05 November 2015 23:06