Trekking entrepreneurs to preserve organic trekking trails
The trekking entrepreneurs in Baglung have underlined the need to preserve old natural trekking routes in the district. The haphazard expansion of road in the district is pushing the existing trekking trails on the brink of extinction.
According to a local trekking operator Nilesh Rajbhandari. foreigners prefer trekking on the ‘organic trails’ to the modern roadways. He said that they also want to hike on the trails which are within their budget.
“Recently a group of 21 foreign guests trekked in Baglung and relished the local cultural hospitality at Bhakunde. But, they expressed their displeasure over trekking through the cemented concrete trails. They had wished to trek in the native route that would offer a ‘thrill feel’,” organiser Mahadev Sharma said.
He added, “In a study last year, we found the homestay operators extending concrete trails surrounding their area. As a result, the stone-paved trekking trails were converted into concrete walking trails.”
According to Sharma, concrete trekking routes are costly in terms of construction. Besides, they are less attractive and exhausting as well.
Recently, a Dhaulagiri circuit has been identified that starts from Panchakot and ends at Dhorpatan. Baglung Tourism Development Committee Chairperson Raju Khadka expressed his concern over the existing trekking route stretching from Dhorpatan, Dhuri of Ghumte, Daha of Ganja to Panchakot in Sarbasiddidham.
The 1.5 kilometre of the 4-kilometre stone-paved trekking route at Ghumte is on the verge of disappearance. Trekking entrepreneurs have suggested to preserve and promote such indigenous hiking and trekking trails in their original form.
Homestay operators are rapidly constructing concrete trekking trails with the concept that tourists visiting their locality do not prefer concrete trails. And this has further worried trekking operators and the local tourism entrepreneurs. Amid this, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation is currently constructing Madan Bhandari Trekking Trail in a traditional manner.