Transcaucasian Trail: Launching new long-distance Legends Trail
Words Tom Allen, Author of the Syunik Legends Trail Hiking Guidebook
The Transcaucasian Trail team has just launched the Legends Trail, a new 150km long-distance hiking trail in the Syunik province of southern Armenia, and the first groups have started hiking it.
The Legends Trail begins in the city of Goris and ends at the summit of Mount Khustup, connecting 20 villages, three protected areas and dozens of cultural heritage sites via a newly renovated network of historic trade routes dating back to the 10th century. The name Legends Trail was inspired by the abundance of folklore tales in the region, which were collected with the support of experts from museums in Goris and Kapan.
A detailed guidebook to the Legends Trail has been produced by Cartisan.org, as part of the project, and is now available for worldwide mail-order. The Legends Trail was funded by the European Union and implemented by People In Need Armenia and partners between 2018–2021 within the framework of the “EU4Tourism: Outdoor adventures on the historic trails in Syunik” project.
Combining regional, national and international hiking routes
The Legends Trail forms part of the Transcaucasian Trail, a proposed 1,500km long-distance hiking trail connecting northern Georgia and southern Armenia.
Developing regional access to the outdoors
The primary goal of the Transcaucasian Trail is to foster a broader movement towards improved access to the outdoors in the Caucasus, both for local people and the international community of adventurous travellers, geographers, and development professionals.
Creating and publishing digital mapping of the region
The main obstacle to accessing remote parts of the Caucasus is a lack of reliable, recent and detailed mapping. All completed sections of the Transcaucasian Trail are made available to the public via OpenStreetMap, the world’s leading open-source mapping platform.
Pioneering industry-standard hiking maps of the Caucasus
To complement the Legends Trail guidebook, the Transcaucasian Trail is funding the publication of a new topographic folding sheet map for hikers at a scale of 1:25,000, covering the Vorotan Canyon area surrounding Tatev and highlighting the extensive trail network in the region.