Explore the forests of the Baltics on a new cross-border hiking trailAndrea Smith

A new 2141km hiking route links the forests and national parks of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, giving travelers a new opportunity to explore the wilderness of the region. 

The Forest Trail is divided into 20km-long stages with accommodation and transport options, and it takes hikers through forest roads and trails, country roads and sandy or rocky beaches. The route starts from the Polish-Lithuanian border near the town of Lazdijai, and it continues through Latvia, turns into Riga and finishes in Tallinn, Estonia.

The long-distance hiking route is part of the E11 European long distance path, and it is estimated that it takes between 102 and 114 days to complete. Of the 2141km, 747km takes place in Lithuania, 674km in Latvia and 720km in Estonia, and hikers can obtain descriptions, maps and downloadable GPX routes from the Baltic Forest hiking website to help plan their route. They explain start and end points, how long the expected walk will be, what the road surface is and what will be worth seeing along the way.

They also describe the most interesting places, landscapes and nature landmarks along the route. Highlights include Dzūkija National Park, a 555-square-km park that is a nature-lover’s paradise and Žemaitija National Park, both in Lithuania. Hikers will also get to enjoy Kemeri National Park and Gauja National Park in Latvia; and Lahemaa National Park and Alutaguse National Park in Estonia.

Two walk circles in the Kemeri National Park in Latvia
The trail takes in Kemeri National Park in Latvia © Ratikova/Shutterstock

It is important to note that there may be restrictions between borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and parts of the trail are currently under development. Trail marking of the trail in Kurzeme and Lithuania is planned for summer 2021. Further information on the Forest Trail can be found on the Baltic Forest Hiking website here.

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