National Forests in the Baltics Connected With Epic New Hiking Trail

A woman sitting on a rock ledge.

People were detached from nature during the pandemic, which made them feel isolated, unhappy, and stressed out. (Image: V via Dreamstime)

Adventure lovers, particularly hikers, have some great news. An epic new hiking trail has opened that connects various national parks and forests in the Baltic region — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The hiking trail is 1,300 miles (2,092 kilometers) long and the majority lies in national parks. This hiking trail brings great opportunities to explore the natural wilderness. Needless to say that the hiking experience on this particular trail will be a memorable one.

The hiking route commences in Lazdijai, which is a small town located near the Polish-Lithuanian border. The trail continues through Latvia, before extending into Riga and finally ending in Tallinn, Estonia. This hiking route is among the leading long-distance trails and forms part of the E11 European long-distance network of trails. The trail length is distributed quite evenly between the three countries — approximately 402 miles in Latvia, 646 miles in Lithuania, and 447 miles in Estonia.

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Watch this video about the hiking experience along the trail:

Hiking specialists estimate that it will probably take about 102 to 114 days to hike the entire trail successfully. The hiking trail is a part of a long European path that includes Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland.

The hiking trail is divided into different stages

The hiking trail is divided into different stages and each stage is about 12 miles in length. While largely targeting professional hikers, there are options for amateur hikers as well for exploring the trail. The complete Baltic forest trail has been broken into one-day hike options and there are 50 such options to choose from. This makes hiking easier for people who are new to this adventure. Transportation and accommodation options are also available along the trail.

It is possible to download trail maps from the Baltic Forest hiking website. The website contains detailed information about the time to cover each section, the type of terrain, and the various attractions on the way.

A couple hiking.
While largely targeting professional hikers, there are options for amateur hikers as well for exploring the trail. (Image: Martinmark via Dreamstime)

Some of the prominent attractions include Lithuania’s Žemaitija and Dzūkija National Parks. The crystal-clear lakes and the breathtaking landscapes of these national parks are a treat for the eyes. Estonia also boasts two important national parks — Alutaguse and Lahemaa, which are also known as the “Land of Bays.”

Last but not least are Latvia’s Gauja and Kemeri National Parks. Gauja National Park is the oldest and the largest national park in Latvia and has more than 500 historical markers and monuments in the form of churches, medieval castles, windmills, wooden bridges, etc. The place also abounds in natural beauty in the form of pine forests, river-view trails, and rocky cliffs.

New trail markers and improvements are regularly performed to keep the trail in good condition. It’s a true hiking paradise for enthusiasts!

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