The multi-day tourist route “The Big Valday Trail”, which is 59 kilometers long, will be opened in the Valdaisky National Park in July. The planning work on the route lasted the entire season of the last year, and the construction of the trail began since the beginning of March 2019. Volunteers of the Russian Geographical Society joined the work in May. The tasks of the volunteers included a navigation arranging: installation of kilometer posts, marking of rails dug in and trees; and also improvement of small architectural forms (arbors, parking, entrance spaces, etc.).
The camp leader of the volunteer group Igor Orikov shares his impression: “It’s not the first time I am in the forest, I’m very familiar with the southern taiga subzone, but I was only the fifth person in those places where I was working along the path, during the existence of the park. Fifth! It is definitely worth being a volunteer! "
The route of the Great Valdai Trail is designed for five to six days of hiking. It is divided into sections by base camps - equipped places for overnight stays, there are toilets, places for making fires and collecting garbage. It is possible to start your journey along the path, as well as get off at any site. Researcher at the National Park Maxim Ponomarev, one of the initiators and direct creators of the trail, says: "Base camps are located in a "cozy" distance from the settlements. Almost all are located at significant natural sites". Intermediate points - covered arbors with benches - are located in the middle of the path between the base camps; there you can relax and eat, but it is forbidden to make fires.
Travel along the Great Valdai Trail will allow tourists to get acquainted with all the natural areas of the Valdai National Park. The ecological route passes through the forest, next to the marshes, interesting for its flora, there are several lakes along its banks, and the path goes through the highest point of the Novgorod region - Mount Ryozha (absolute height is 296 m). Visiting the route is possible with the observance of three basic rules: do not go off the trail, set up a tent and make a fire only in the base camp, do not cause damage to the environment.
Volunteer assistance is required by the national park regularly. “We need “hands” for work, but we also need scientific volunteering. This does not require special education or experience: many tasks will be explained in one day. At the same time, fifteen volunteers can do as much in a couple of weeks as a scientist ususally does during the whole season”, notes Maxim Ponomarev.
The official opening of the Great Valdai Trail will be held in July 2019, but it is already possible to visit it at the end of June. In total, the RGS conducts more than 20 environmental education camps in PAs in 2019.