The Novgorod Region’s project to promote the Great Valdai Trail tourism and recreation cluster was named the winner of the Environmental Culture: Peace and Harmony international competition in the Ecotourism category.
The awards ceremony was held in Moscow on 5 June. In total, 550 projects from 62 regions of the country competed this year. The expert commission named 26 winners in six categories, among them our region.
“It is a great honour for us that the project promoting the Great Valdai Trail, which has become a true iconic landmark, is among the best. It is a unique walking route of 59 km, a real gateway to the philosophy of environmental tourism in the region. All necessary facilities have been set up there for a pleasant experience: campsites, rest areas, bridges across rivers and wooden walkways over challenging terrain. The infrastructure is being constantly upgraded and the number of hikers is surging. In 2020 alone, 20,000 people traversed the trail. It proves that the project is becoming more and more of a draw,” Denis Nosachev, Novgorod Region’s Minister of Investment Policy, said.
It is worth mentioning that the Great Valdai Trail, the longest environmental hiking trail in Russia’s Northwest, has already gained popularity among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its central part runs along one of the largest specially protected nature reserves in the European part of Russia –Valdai National Park.
The Environmental Culture: Peace and Harmony international project has been sponsored by the Vernadsky Non-Governmental Environmental Foundation since 2012. Its missions is to encourage practical projects aimed at promoting environmental culture and achieving sustainable development goals.