Five Forest Trails For Your Next Trekking Adventure

Forests provide several benefits, from preserving wildlife habitats to ecological functions such as nutrient cycling, carbon storage, and air and water purification. To raise awareness of the importance forests have in our lives and the need for their preservation, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established March 21 as the International Day of Forests.

India, as we know, is rich in flora and fauna, but its awe-inspiring forests are yet to be explored in their entirety. With this in mind, many forest organisations are developing reserves to appeal to nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts so they can have novel experiences in the midst of nature. So, the next time you plan a trek, instead of heading to the usual places, why not make your way through a forest trail?

Read on for information about some lesser-known forest trekking destinations.

Chembra, Wayanad, Kerala

The Chembra forest trail peak is the tallest peak in Wayanad and is around 2100 metres above sea level. Resplendent with lush meadows, it offers breathtaking views of Wayanad and its surroundings. There is a beautiful heart-shaped lake known as Hridayathadakam on the way up to the peak that is known to never dry up. Of mild to medium level difficulty, the trek takes around two hours. You can make a booking with the Forest Department.

Chembra is 300 km from Bangalore and 265 km from Kochi. And while driving through the serpentine turns of the Western Ghats, the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) in your Ford EcoSport will help you maintain a firm grip and confidently climb up the hills.

Cotigao and Netravali, Goa

Cotigao and Netravali Wildlife Sanctuaries are just 40 km from each other. Netravali is surrounded by majestic mountains and stunning waterfalls, with Saviri and Mainapi being its main attractions. You can spot crystal-clear lakes along the route. And at Cotigao, you can find many animals and birds such as the Indian pangolin, four-horned antelope, hump-nosed pit viper, mouse deer, white-bellied woodpecker, etc. One of the main attractions of this sanctuary is the treetop watchtower, which offers a panoramic view of the forest.

Whether you are driving to Goa solo or with your friends, a road trip to one of India’s favourite tourist spots is an unparalleled experience. Besides, summer is one of the best times to visit Goa, and since your Ford Figo comes with a great infotainment system, it can set the perfect vacation mood.

Mudumalai, Tamil Nadu

Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a declared tiger reserve, situated around 150 km from Coimbatore. It is divided into five ranges and lies on the north-western side of the Nilgiri Hills, sharing boundaries with Kerala and Karnataka. With abundant wildlife and endangered animals like the Indian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Gaur, and around 266 bird species, a guided trek through this sanctuary can be a thrilling experience.

Since Mudumalai is set in a hilly region, navigating uphill climbs and sharp bends can be challenging. But your Ford EcoSport, with its Electric Stability Control and Hill Launch Assist, will ensure that you have a safe and smooth drive.

Talle Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

Talle Valley trek is considered one of the most spellbinding treks in the north-east region, as it takes you through three striking valleys – of Ziro, Talle, and Pangey. The beautiful rivers Talle and Pangey flow within the sanctuary, and you can spot a variety of exotic plants like white bamboo, lichen, ferns, pine, silver fir, wild orchids, etc.

The drive to the sanctuary is very scenic, and it is around 115 km from Itanagar by road. The Talle Valley trek usually takes 3-4 days, which means you’ll need to carry all your trekking gear when you leave home. Your Ford Endeavour, with its expandable boot that can carry a whopping 2010 litres (with the seats folded down), will be able to take all your luggage easily.

Kunjkharak, Nainital, Uttarakhand

Scenic Kunjkharak is located in the foothills of the Himalayas near Corbett. A unique feature of this temperate forest is the khoola (moss) that carpets the forest floors and replenishes moisture to the entire forest. The trek’s starting point is at Pangot, and the trail will take you through Akashkanda, amidst the gorgeous dense jungle with tall deodar trees. You can also visit the Kosi River, which marks the border between Nepal and India.

The drive from Delhi to Nainital is 330 km, and Kunjkharak is a further 40 km. The hilly roads are narrow and full of hairpin bends, but the Hill Launch Assist feature of your Ford Freestyle will keep you safe by preventing the car from rolling back, no matter how steep the gradient. This is the only car in its segment to offer Hill Launch Assist with a manual transmission.

You would undoubtedly have been on jungle safaris, adventure camps, and zoo visits, but the experience of trekking through a forest is like none other. Apart from being a fun adventure, you’ll also realise how precious and useful forests are!