|First Hiking Trail To Cross Estonia Completed|
On July 15, 2012, the State Forest Management Center (RMK) opened a 370-kilometer-long hiking route that starts from one of the northern tips of Estonia and ends at Ikla on the Latvian border. The trail has been in the making process for 10 years.
The route is marked with kilometer posts and signs that make it hard to lose one's way.
Information boards on the trail highlight forest management and forest heritage, culture and recreation. Accurate trail maps and legends are available from RMK’s nature centres and information points, which number 26 across Estonia.
According to Aigar Kallas, Chairman of the Management Board of RMK, the construction of the hiking trail linked up the existing trail segments, while also creating new ones. “The hiking trail begins in Lahemaa National Park, passes through six counties, two national parks, nine protected areas and three recreation areas in the State forest, ending at the Estonia/Latvia border crossing at Ikla,” said Kallas, adding that, thanks to Estonia’s terrain being relatively flat, completing the trail should be physically manageable for all.
The RMK hiking trail is marked with kilometre posts and direction signs that make it difficult to get lost. Information boards on the trail highlight forest management and forest heritage, culture and recreation. Accurate trail maps and legends are available from RMK’s nature centres and information points, which number 26 across Estonia.
“Traditionally, the master builder of a bridge always had to be the first to cross a foot log, in light of which I am planning, as a representative of RMK, to complete the adventure of the entire trail together with some fellow hikers,” said Aigar Kallas, adding that the first hikers would overnight at the same facilities as all the people of Estonia – 33 marked camping pitches, forest houses and huts lie on the route.
Over ten days, the entire length of the hiking trail will be completed – on foot, by bike, by ATV, on horseback and by small flat-bottomed boat – by Aigar Kallas, Chairman of the Management Board of RMK, Alar Sikk, mountaineer, Tõnu Jürgenson, hiking expert, Heleen Vennikas, ultra athlete, Julia Ivanova, physician, and Kristjan Kaljund, film-maker and photographer. On the various sections of the trail, they will be joined by Tiit Pruuli, entrepreneur and wanderer, Kadri Adamson, actress, Kertu Jukkum, voice on the radio, Gerli Padar, singer, Jüri -, Director of Eesti Kontsert, Katrin Klein, Marketing Manager of Eesti Kontsert, Jarek Jõepera, shutterbug, Kai Realo, Director General of Statoil, Hannes Võrno, professional military man and hunter, Anneli Talvik, general practitioner, Keit Pentus, Minister of the Environment, and Tõnu Ehrpais and Margit Härma, entrepreneurs.
To follow the wayfarers every step of the way, go to the dedicated Web page and the RMK blog, accessible from www.loodusegakoos.ee . A video clip showcasing the hiking trail is available at http://loodusegakoos.ee/matkatee-blogi/vaata-klippi .
RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. RMK grows reforestation material, organises forest works, executes practical nature protection works and is engaged in forest management and timber sales. In addition to that, RMK creates hiking and forest recreation opportunities at its recreation areas, five national parks of Estonia and approximately 40 other reserves, and shapes people’s knowledge of nature. RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.