HIKING and BACKRIDING HORSE TOURS
We have collected some useful information for hiking or backriding in the Lagodekhi Nature Reserve and in the Lagodekhi Managed Reserve. Our intention is to help promote green tourism in this area and help visitors organized in advance their visit.
Thank you for the georgian information at http://saunje.ge and to all his members, that gave us some light about current trails and what to expect to see while hiking here.
Note: we aware that once you arrive at the visitor center or Nature Reserve administration, they can provide you updated information as well as the full map. Our intention with this article is to facilitate the planning part of visiting this area, so you and your family will know how much time to spend in this area, what you will need and what you can see while hiking here.
Ninoskhevi (Gurgeniani) /BIG waterfall (Hiking)
The tour begins at Gurgeniani information center (ranger station) and the path follow up the river “Ninoskhevi” during 3 hours. The noise of the river, smalls waterfalls, huge boulders, and a pleasant breeze make this hike fun and adventure. After the hike you will arrive at this magical place with a 40 meters height waterfall and its noise invading all the area. Along the way there are chances to see deers, wild boards and some interesting birds.
The length of the route: 4-6 hours, one day
Distance: 8-8,5 kilometers;
Difficulty: Medium difficulty.
Small waterfall (Hiking)
This path start at the visitors center and move north passing the forest of huge trees, some of them with more than 100 years old, then you will find some, after 2 kilometers the path go over the first over the river Shromiskhevi, and then 950-meter of narrow and lightly climb up. The trail leads to the river valley in the direction of the Small waterfall. After 10-15 minutes walking there is a unique and rare, in the Caucasus, hornbeam tree. Nest 15 minutes walking is a mix of beech groves (hornbeam, ash, lime, maple, elm, chestnut, etc.). Walking 5-15 minutes and there is another cross over the river. In the next 1 and half hour – 2 hours the path goes along the mountain Ninigori” and get closer and closer to the waterfall, so the noise of the river increase more and more. The waterfall is 6 meters high. On the way, there are chances to see : deer, wild boar and various species of birds.
The length of the route: 5-6 hours;
Distance: 7-9,5 kilometers;
MACHI (Hiking or horseback riding)
The tour begins in the Matsimi Information Center (ranger station) and to the direction of the “dark valley” river.
The path goes under beech groves: 20-30 minutes to find hornbeam trees covered all over by moss. The moss even invade the bare stones. 30 – 40 minutes to pass the mixed beech trees. 15-20 minutes walking and there is a pass over the “Dark valley” river, from there a narrow path gets deeply into the mountainside. After 10-15 minutes waking, there is a castle that was built centuries. The castle is still have part of the walls and a small standing church inside of it.
This route can be done either by horseback riding or by hiking.
The length of the route: 4-5 hours
Distance: 10.5 km, 3-4 hours, hiking and horseback riding
Note: Is mandatory to have your Passport with you, since the path goes close to the border line.
Black Rock Lake (Hiking or Horseback Riding)
This trail is one of the most interesting paths in Georgia, with beautiful views of the Alazani Valley and the Caucasus Mountains.
The tour starts at the Municipal Reserve Administration (ლაგოდეხის დაცული ტერიტორიების ადმინისტრაციიდან ). After walking 10-15 minutes, there will be a unique type of hornbeam, rare to find it in the Caucasus. Walking 30-40 minutes more and cross the river. After 20-30 minutes to enter a forest of beeches. 15-30 minutes walking and there will be local endemic flora and rare species. Start 30 minutes walking up the mountain, across more beeches. 1 hours walking to make it to the peak of 1300m height, on the northern side there is a beech forest and on the south-east a mixed deciduous forest. 2 hours walking and there is the sub-alpine zone with mountain maples. One hour more walking and arrive at “Meteo” there is the ranger station, near the picnic and camping area. The next day the hike continue along the alpine forest on the border, where there is a chance of seeing animals like deers, chamois, ibex, birds, grouses, turkeys and eagles. After walking half day, there is the so-called “demidovis nashleb” because of the goats. 1 hour walking and there are the alpine pastures with wild goats. After 40 minutes, we find a small lake and the magic of the wetlands. Keep walking 30 minutes and there will the amazing view of the Black Rock Lake. This hike goes from 400m to 3500m height, having the opportunity to see most of the wildlife species representatives of the Caucasus. Visitor can also do this tour on horseback riding, with places to stop for a picnic and spend the night in tents on the camping area.
Note: the Black Rock Lake is the natural border of Dagestan and the Russian Federation.
Tour duration – 3 days
The first day – travel to “Meteo”, camping area. Distance: 11.5 km, altitude difference 1,350 m
The second day – to move in the direction of travel from the shelter of the lake and back. Distance – 25 km, the altitude difference of 900 m. Gd;
Third Day – Going back to the administrative center of the tourist shelter. Distance – 11.5 km, altitude difference 1,350 m.
Distance: 48 – 50 km