New Olympic hiking routes in the forets of Latvia provide active education
15th EU Forestpedagogics Congress
20. April 2021
Highlight of the 20th anniversary of the forestry pedagogy celebrations was the international conference
5. October 2021

New Olympic hiking routes in the forets of Latvia provide active education

Author: Līga Abizāre, Latvia’s State Forests, Latvia

I n co-operation with the Latvian Olympic Committee, eleven special Olympic hiking routes have been created in the territory of Latvia’s State Forests, and they call for the discovery of the forest as the largest sports and educational place in Latvia. Each hike has a variety of educational and sporting tasks that will fascinate both the young and the old. Olympic hiking is one of the activities of this year's Olympic campaign, which encourages participants to appreciate activities in nature.

The routes created by experts of JSC “Latvia’s State Forests” are circular, around 5 km long to fully cover the forest management cycle. Olympic hiking routes lead both along paths and in wilder areas, they are not marked in nature, so you will need to use smart devices with the GPS function when navigating. Hiking routes have been created in Pīļezers, Vijciems, Kalsnava, Tērvete, Silakalns and elsewhere. There are 20 – 30 digital educational points with sports and educational tasks on each route that shows different aspects of forestry; there is also an opportunity to open a virtual observation tower with Pigman (main hero of clean Latvian forests) on each route to explore the forest treasures from above!

These trails are recommended by Olympic families and include not only sports, but forestry related tasks, for example, how to measure the number of trees in the newly regenerated forest and how to detect the high of the trees. Another challenging task is to find various nature protection elements in the clear-cut, such as, ecological trees, dead wood and traces of animals.

The Olympic hikes are organized in commercial forests, so that nature walkers can get acquainted with forests of different ages and the forestry activities that are carried out in them – forest restoration, tending, cultivation and nature protection, which all are part of the endless forest management cycle. More information is available only in Latvian


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