Support the Transcaucasian Trail's Projects for Summer 2020
*June 15 Update: We reached our goal! Thank you all so much!!*
We will keep the campaign going until the end of the day PST, June 15. Any contributions above & beyond are extraordinarily appreciated-- any extra support will go directly to keeping our crews out in the field longer, so they can build even more trail! See below for details.
Thank you all so much for being part of the TCT community and helping us make the trail a reality!
About the Transcaucasian Trail
We're a small team dedicated to building a world-class, long-distance hiking trail across the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) will be more than 3,000km in length and connect roughly two dozen national parks and protected areas in the region. Our aim is to improve access to the region’s diverse cultural and natural heritage and encourage its preservation, benefiting local communities and trail users through the development of sustainable tourism.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to run our international summer programs this year, but we're not going to let that stop us from continuing to build the TCT. Join us!
Our funding gap
Over the past few weeks, we’ve cancelled our 4 fundraising treks and 5 sessions of international volunteers for the summer. We're confident that this is the right decision because even if international travel restrictions do lift, we’re not willing to risk bringing large groups of travelers to more rural, vulnerable areas of the Caucasus until there is a major change in the global health situation. But that also means foregoing our primary source of income for the year-- leaving us with a budget gap of around $50,000. Contributions from the supporters’ treks fund our local volunteer crews, our local leadership development programs, and the scouting and mapping necessary to complete and share a border-to-border route.
But that doesn’t mean that our work this summer is cancelled. We're used to weathering storms, after all-- although granted, they usually involve lightning.
What we're doing this summer
This summer, in both Georgia and Armenia, we're aiming to scout, map, and build trails with local volunteers-- while following all local social distancing policies and adding our own safety guidelines. (Trail work is actually really well set up for social distancing, and our crews are already masters of using PPE.)
By the end of the summer, our goal is to have made meaningful progress towards the completion of the trail in both countries. We're going to complete trail work on key connecting sections. And we're going to develop more routes and trail notes, so that when the world opens back up, we'll be ready with even more resources for travelers to explore this incredible region.
How you can help
We're asking for your help to continue. We're aiming to raise $10,000 by June 15 for our summer work. Your support will provide the key funding needed to support the following projects on a bare-bones budget:
Projects in Georgia:
- Making a new connection between the regions of Svaneti & Racha
- Starting the first section of the TCT in Lagodekhi National Park, which will link with Azerbaijan
- Scouting and mapping key connections, which will result in a complete border-to-border route across Georgia available for beta-testing
Projects in Armenia:
- Developing an entirely new route through Arevik National Park, towards the border of Iran
- Launching local trail clubs to preserve and maintain nearby trails
- Blazing major unmarked sections of the existing TCT
- Developing a new map of the Vayots Dzor region
- Launching a complete border-to-border route for intrepid hikers to test
What's included in a TCTA membership?
Membership benefits include:
- Invitations to local and virtual TCT events, hikes, and volunteer opportunities (we’re working to increase our virtual event offerings while the world is on lockdown-- feel free to let us know if there are things you would find interesting!)
- Access to the beta versions of new routes as they become available, including the full thru-hiking route (forthcoming)
- Personalized advice for planning your hike in the Caucasus (via email or a half-hour call with one of our trail experts; get in touch for availability)
- Invitations to our new monthly members chat on Zoom (starting in July)
- A $100 discount on any TCT volunteer program or supporters’ trek
- A subscription to our new quarterly members’ newsletter (coming soon)
Thank you so much for your support!