Baltic Forest Hiking - Facts

The Forest Trail is a part of the European long-distance hiking route E11. The route E11 goes as follows: Scheveningen (NL) – Osnabrück (D) – Potsdam (D) – Poznan (PL) – Ogrodniki (PL) – Kaunas (LT) – Riga (LV) – Tallinn (EE).

Name in Latvia: Mežtaka; in Estonia: Metsa matkarada

Starting point: Riga Town Hall Square in Latvia

End point: Port of Tallinn in Estonia. The route can be followed in both directions, so you can choose Tallinn as the starting point.

Two capital cities whose old towns have been awarded with the UNESCO World Heritage status: Riga, Tallinn

Length: ~1060 km (~1.3 million steps)

  • 335 km in Latvia
  • 725 km in Estonia

The Forest Trail passes through Gauja National Park, Northern Gauja and Veclaicene Protected Landscape Area in Latvia. In Estonia, it winds through the Haanja Upland, Setomaa (Land of Setos) and along the western shore of Lake Peipus until it reaches the Gulf of Finland in North Estonia, where it turns westwards. From there, it follows along the North-Estonian coastline and many peninsulas of Lahemaa National Park, until it comes to its end point in Tallinn.

The route:

  • In Latvia: Rīga–Vangaži–Sigulda–Līgatne–Cēsis–Valmiera–Strenči–Gaujiena–Trapene–Ape–Korneti;
  • In Estonia: Haanja–Vana-Vastseliina–Värska–Räpina–Kallaste–Mustvee–Kauksi–Toila–Kunda–Loksa–Maardu–Tallinn.

Time required to complete the route: around 50–60 days

What to see: more than  400 natural, historical and cultural objects and monuments. The route runs through the historical Livonian and Setos territories.