Calling all adventure enthusiasts! If you were planning to conquer a new Karnataka forest trail soon, hold your horses (or hiking poles). The state government has announced a temporary ban on trekking in most forest areas, effective from February 1st, 2024. But before you pack away your backpacks in despair, hear us out!
This decision wasn't made on a whim. Recent events, like the influx of thousands of trekkers to Kumara Parvatha Peak, raised concerns about the impact on fragile ecosystems. Imagine overflowing trails, plastic waste littering the landscape, and wildlife disturbed by the commotion. Not exactly the nature immersion we all crave, right?
Overcrowding at Kodagu and Kukke Subramanya sides of trek Img: M Raghuram
The ban applies to forest areas without online booking systems. This means you can still trek your heart out in designated spots like those managed by the Karnataka Eco Tourism Board (think 150 trekkers, not 4,000!).
The ban is temporary, meant to give authorities time to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for responsible trekking. Think of it as a hit to the pause button while they create a sustainable plan for everyone to enjoy the forests.
The government is committed to protecting the environment and wildlife. They understand our love for adventure, but uncontrolled trekking can have serious consequences. This ban is a step towards ensuring we can all explore these natural wonders for years to come.
If you had your sights set on a specific non-bookable trek, you'll need to wait until the SOPs are in place. But hey, this gives you more time to research other amazing trails or plan a different adventure!
Consider checking out the 23 online bookable trekking spots. Who knows, you might discover a hidden gem you never knew existed!
Remember, responsible tourism is key. Always follow designated paths, pack in and pack out, and respect the environment and wildlife.
This temporary pause might seem like a bummer, but it's ultimately for the greater good. By working together, we can ensure Karnataka's forests remain havens for adventure, nature, and responsible exploration for generations to come.
P.S. Don't forget to check the official Karnataka Forest Department website for the latest updates on trekking guidelines and available locations.
Happy exploring (responsibly)!
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