E11 in the Baltic countries

Main link: baltictrails.eu

Route

Forest Trail

Name in Lithuania: Miško takas
Name in Latvia: Mežtaka
Name in Estonia: Metsa matkarada

The ~ 2140 km long Forest Trail hiking route is a chance to escape the rat race and discover a place of peace and quiet. Here you can spend some time alone, breathe in the fresh forest air, lie down on the sun kissed moss carpet, allowing your mind to be still. Take a basket with you if you are into foraging wild food or grab a notebook to keep records of all the different species of birds you have identified. Be prepared to meet like-minded people, all carrying backpacks and maps, on their way to conquer the trails and slopes of Forest Trail. Watchtowers offer panoramic views of endless green, stretching as far as the horizon and concealing Forest Trail from the eyes of the visitor. But the path is always there to safely lead you through the forest, along country roads through small villages and several cities. The Forest Trail takes no days off and is always happy to welcome hikers.

The Forest Trail passes through Dzūkija and Žemaitija National parks and eight regional nature parks in Lithuania, while in Latvia the route leads through Venta Valley Nature Reserve and Abava River Valley Nature Park, Ķemeri and Gauja National parks, Northern Gauja and Veclaicene Protected Landscape Area. In Estonia, it winds through the Haanja Nature park, Setomaa (Land of Setos) and along the western shore of Lake of Peipus until it reaches the Gulf of Finland in North Estonia, where it turns westwards. From there, it follows along the North-Estonian coastline and many peninsulas of Lahemaa National park, until it comes to its end point in Tallinn. The route can be followed in both directions, so you can choose Tallinn as the starting point.

Starting Point

Lithuania, Lazdijai at the Polish-Lithuanian border

End Point

Estonia, Tallinn – capital city of Estonia

Which cities and towns does the E-path pass through

Lithuania: Lazdijai – Druskininkai – Alytus – Birštonas – Kaunas – Kurtuvėnai – Telšiai – Plateliai – Skuodas

Latvia: Gramzda – Aizpute – Kuldīga – Sabile – Kandava – Tukums – Bigauņciems – Rīga – Sigulda – Cēsis – Valmiera – Strenči – Gaujiena – Ape

Estonia: Haanja – Vana-Vastseliina – Värska – Kallaste – Mustvee – Toila – Kunda – Võsu – Loksa – Tallinn

Length

The total length of the route is ~ 2140 km, of which 747 km are in Lithuania, 676 km are in Latvia, and 720 km in Estonia.

Ground path of the E-path

Some parts of the Forest Trail coincide with hiking trails and other tourist routes in Dzūkija, Žemaitija, Ķemeri, Gauja and Lahemaa national parks.

Responsible organizations

Responsible partner in Latvia:
Latvia Rural Tourism Association
“Lauku celotajs”/ Baltic Country Holidays
Ph. +371 29285756
Riga, Kalnciema str. 40, Latvia
asnate@celotajs.lv
www.countryholidays.lv

Responsible partner in Lithuania:
Lietuvos kaimo turizmo asociacija / Lithuanian Countryside tourism association
K. Donelaičio g. 2-201, LT-44213 Kaunas
web: www.atostogoskaime.lt
email: info@atostogoskaime.lt

Responsible partner in Estonia:
Eesti Maaturism MTÜ / Estonian Rural Tourism association
Vilmsi 53g, 10147 Tallinn
+372 600 9999
eesti@maaturism.ee
www.maaturism.ee 

Publications

  • Info page – Forest Trail: long distance forest hiking trail in Latvia and Estonia
  • Image brochure with overview map – Forest Trail: long distance hiking trail in Latvia/Estonia
  • Tour Manual – Forest Trail Northern part: Hiking tours in Latvia/Estonia
  • Marking guidelines for long distance hiking route ”Forest Trail”
  • Visual identity guidebook

All publications are available here: baltictrails.eu/en/forest/publications

Please see all the marketing materials developed for Forest Trail here: baltictrails.eu/en/forest/marketing

Maps

baltictrails.eu/en/forest/map

Marking system

There are specific (white-orange-white) markers on trees and other objects along the route to help you get your bearings in nature and not lose track of the trail. In populated areas, the Forest Trail is marked by stickers on road signs and other objects. You will also see information stands placed along the Forest Trail.

Crossing other E-paths

Overlaps E9 (Baltic Coastal Hiking) in Bigauņciems-Rīga (~53 km), Latvia
Crossing E9 (Baltic Coastal Hiking) in Riga
Connects to E9 (Baltic Coastal Hiking) in Tallinn

Practical

The route is divided into ~ 20 km long single-day hiking route stages with accommodation and transport options.

Accomodation

The number of accommodation places varies between different sections of the Forest Trail. Information on the accommodations can be found in the description of each section under “Services” (baltictrails.eu/en/forest/itinerary). It is a good idea to book the accommodations in advance, since they tend to be booked during the tourism season. However, during the winter, some accommodations may be closed.

Food

The availability of catering services varies between the sections. Some sections feature no catering providers at all. Please note that some companies operate only during the summer or at certain times, so it is advisable to call before visiting. You will find information about the catering in the description of each section of the itinerary under “Services” (baltictrails.eu/en/forest/itinerary).

Shops can be found in the more populated areas. Keep in mind that there are some sections of the Forest Trail with no shops within one or more days’ walking distance. This information is given in the descriptions of the sections under “Services” (baltictrails.eu/en/forest/itinerary).

Travel

Public transport (mostly bus, train in some parts) is available in the immediate vicinity of the Forest Trail, but check the running schedules ahead of time.

You can use the urban public transport in Kaunas, Riga and Tallinn.

Estonia’s islands can be reached via small boats: Prangli (www.tuuleliinid.ee), Naissaar (www.monica.ee), Pedassaar (mart.praks@gmail.com, +372 5040792)

Gear

You don’t need special gear. Waterproof boots and a waterproof jacket in wet weather will be useful.

Links

Forest Trail: baltictrails.eu/en/forest

To make the most of your trip, ask advice from professional rural tourism associations – experts in rural holidays:

www.countryholidays.lv – Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia

www.maaturism.ee – Estonia

www.atostogoskaime.lt – Lithuania

General country information:

www.visitestonia.com – official tourism website of Estonia

www.latvia.travel – official tourism website of Latvia

www.lithuania.travel – official tourism website of Lithuania

There is created united “Hiker-friendly” criteria and label for tourism service providers in all three Baltic countries in order to increase the quality of tourism services offered to hikers. You can recognize “Hiker-friendly” service providers by this label:

References

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