BENGALURU: To encourage legal trekking and to make the adventure sport safe and enjoyable, the state Forest Department has thrown open seven eco-trails located within 100 km of Bengaluru. Trekking enthusiasts can book these guided treks online and pay the fee. One can book the trails by logging on to www.myecotrip.com.
Launching the initiative, Forest Minister B. Ramanath Rai on Friday said that each location is equipped with certified guides and over 30 of them have been trained for the operation.
Local youth around the base camps who have an idea of the terrain and region have been identified. They have been trained to inform the trekkers about the flora and fauna around the trek routes, safety issues, trail etiquette, waste management, etc. They are also trained in rescue operations. The guides will also keep tabs on unauthorised or illegal trekking, he said.
The seven destinations are located in Ramanagar, Tumakuru, Chikkaballapura and Bengaluru Rural districts, and have dense forests, temples, old forts and interesting terrain.
Mr Vinay Luthra, Chairman, Karnataka Eco-Tourism Board, said jeep safari was the takeaway point of the forest department as the tourist had a chance to appreciate big mammals and carnivores. Considering that youth enjoy walking in the woods and not many can afford jeep safari, eco-trails were conceptualised.
Further, to encourage trekkers, the forest department has launched a “Green Passport”, which is stamped by the forest department once a trekker completes a specific trail. Trekkers with maximum treks will get loyalty points for future treks.
Some trails around Bengaluru
Skandagiri, Avalabetta, Savanadurga, Bidarakatte, Makalidurga, Siddarabetta and Devarayanadurga