Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park
Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is the first National Park in the Caucasus region implemented according to international standards. It was created in 1995 with the support of WWF and German government in order to preserve the region’s extraordinary nature, especially its virgin forests. The Park possesses several natural zones in its ascent from 800 to 2700 meters. These zones display the differences in their trees from broad-leafed groves located in the lower zones to evergreen, beach and mixed coniferous groves and sub-alpine trees in the higher ones.
Visitors can experience the stunning variety of blossoming plants, breathtaking views and magical forests via parks wide network of 11 trails.
You are given an opportunity to enjoy a day or a several day hike that can span the altitudes from 800 to 2,642 meters. The National Park lies on the migration route of many birds and during the spring and fall visitors can view the large flocks of beautiful yellowish bee-eaters that visit the park. Also the Park's amazing virgin forests are homes to semi-permanent populations of brown bear, wolf, lynx, red deer and chamois. During the spring the Park offers many pleasant surprises including encounters with alpine meadows full of flowers.
And in addition to all these the Park's surrounding villages are rich with medieval history, local-cottage industries and legendary Georgian hospitality.
Some of the popular trails include:
#1. National Park Information Trail
length: 3 km; duration: approximately 1.5 hours (on foot); difficulty: easy
The route starts from the park’s administration building (850 m. above sea level). The highest point of the trail is 950 m. above sea level. Picnic site is available on the trail. The main attractions are: St. Nino church; beautiful views on Borjomi spa-resort.
#2. Footprint Trail
length: 13 km; duration: approximately 6 hours (on foot); difficulty: average
The route starts in Likani River valley, where visitors come across rare species of yew, included in the Red List (960 m. above sea levet); The highest point of the trail 1780 m. above sea level. The route ends in Kvabiskhevi valley. Picnic and camping places are available en route. The main attractions are: panoramic views, sceneries of Kvabiskhevi canyon, Mariamtsminda church.
#3. Nikoloz Romanov's Trail:
length: 43 km; duration: 3 days (on foot and horse riding); difficulty: average
Route starts in Likani River Valley (930 m above sea level). The highest point of the trail 2,198 m. above sea level – Lomismta mountain. The trail ends at the Marelisi guard station (540 m above sea level). The main attractions are: Coniferous and mixed forest, Lomi Mountain, Lomi St. Giorgi Church, scenic viewpoints with scenery of Caucasus, Colchic sub-tropical forest.
#4. St. Andrew’s Trail starts in 27 km from the National Park Visitor Center, at Atskuri guard station, at an elevation of 1000 meters above sea level. The trail in total is 54 km long. The trek continues for 3 days.
The trail for the first day goes along a river valley, and then continues on a narrow path and a mountain slope. The second-day route goes along subalpine and alpine meadows. The end of the third day is at Sakhvlari tourist shelter. The main attractions are the highest peak of the national park – Sametskhvaro (2642 m), Mountain Iron Cross, bezoar goat cage, Colchic sub-tropical forest.
#5. Panorama Trail is located in 27 kilometers from the national park visitor center. The trail starts at Atskuri and ends at the same place. Panorama Trail is 34 kilometers long. The trek continues for 2 days. During the journey the visitor will see a bezoar goat cage, coniferous forests, as well as the footprints of various wild animals, such as bear or wolf.
#6. Zekari Overpass Trail starts at an elevation of 1390 meters above sea level at the Abastumani guard station. The trail is 2-days walking. For the first day the visitors cover 8 kilometers. The route for the second day is much longer – 23 kilometers. The main attractions of the resort are the views of Zekari Pass, colchic sub-tropical forest, resort Abastumani.
#7. Meghuri Valley trail is 5.5 kilometers long. It starts at Sakhvlari tourist shelter and goes through the Meghruki River valley. The main attractions of the trail are: Colchic subtropical forest and Meghruki river canyon.
#8. Shepherd’s Trail starts in the Likani River valley, and then goes up for 3 hours along the mountain slope. One can stay in the Lomismta tourist shelter at an elevation of 1800 meters above sea level. The trek for the first day is 15 kilometers long. On the second day visitor will cover 20 kilometers from Lomismta tourist shelter to Amarati tourist shelter. Visitors will find the summer cabins of shepherds along the road. The last day includes the road from Amarati tourist shelter to Atskuri guard station – 16 kilometers. The main attractions of the trek are panoramic views of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, Lomismta (trans. as Mt. Lion), Church of St. George, cabins of the local shepherds etc.
There are two different Snow Shoes Trails in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. One of them is 2-day long, another – 1. The first round-trip trail starts and ends at the same place – Likani guard station. Length of the trail is 8 kilometers. The road for the following day is almost similar – 7.5 kilometers. Major attractions of the trek are evergreen forests covered by snow and views of Lomismta.
The second trek starts at the Atskuri ranger station and 6 kilometers long. The main attraction of the trek is bezoar goat cage.
Likani Valley trail starts 5 kilometers away from the National Park Visitor Center at Likani station. The last destination is Likani settlement. Route is 7 kilometers long. The main attractions of the trek are the panoramic views over the Borjomi gorge, Chitakhevi ridge.
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