Support the Transcaucasian Trail's Summer 2021 Projects across the Caucasus
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 cover more than 3,000km 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. Learn more here.
This year is the 5th anniversary of breaking ground on the TCT. We’ve covered over a thousand kilometers since, mostly thanks to individual donors who are excited about our mission of outdoor access and conservation in the Caucasus.
Now, we're launching into summer 2021 with some big projects. We're stitching together gaps in the route and pressure-testing what we've designed, building new trails in key areas and running local volunteer programs in Georgia and Armenia, and welcoming hikers back to the Caucasus as the world opens back up.
Read on to find out more about what we’re planning, and help us bring the TCT to life!
Summer 2021 Update and Plans
After a comparatively quiet year, we’re hitting the field in a big way.
In Armenia, we’re celebrating the creation of a full route across the country-- the first complete section of the TCT! To put the finishing touches on the route, we’re testing its feasibility ourselves. We’ve put together a small expedition team to test and showcase the route over 40 days in June and July, which you can follow on our Facebook and Instagram. Afterwards, we’ll be updating the route as necessary with the goal of sharing it with the public this year. Meanwhile in Yerevan, we’re also partnering with HikeArmenia and Trails for Change on a new local volunteer initiative to encourage engagement with and stewardship of Armenia’s trails.
In Georgia, we’re launching into our most ambitious trail building summer yet with a combination of international volunteers and local Caucasus Conservation Corps crews led by our newly trained crew leaders. We’re continuing work on a key connection between the regions of Svaneti and Racha. We’re also scouting remaining gaps in the route to identify the best route to connect the Georgia trail to Armenia, with the goal of having a usable route by next summer.
And in Azerbaijan, we’re taking a big step towards our cross-border mission and starting our first early-stage project this summer. We’ll be doing some initial scouting, route assessment, and partnership building. We’re excited to be taking this step towards our vision of connecting people and landscapes across the Caucasus.
How you can help
We’re aiming to raise $15,000 this summer to support these goals. This includes:
- Supporting local volunteer trail crews and professional development for our Caucasus Conservation Corps participants
- Scouting projects to develop routes in the current gaps
- Staff time to develop trail notes and related resources to make new routes accessible to hikers
- Partnership development across the region to amplify our impact
- And some of the core operational costs that allow us to keep building towards our long-term vision
Supporting the TCT helps fund the trail, but it's also an investment in the region with ripple effects far beyond the trail itself.
By investing in the Caucasus' outdoor infrastructure, we’re helping increase opportunities for small businesses in mountain regions, providing environmental education & professional development for trail crew members, and improving access to the region’s natural & cultural heritage for all.
And as tourism returns to the Caucasus, it's an investment in the kind of tourism and outdoor industry we hope to encourage: one that's environmentally sustainable, culturally sensitive, and beneficial to hosts and guests alike.