Here's one to file away for the bucket list: a new 1,300-mile hiking trail that cuts through several national forests, connecting the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Officials in the region are planning to spend this year creating trail markers to guide travelers along the route, which links the Polish-Lithuanian border and Tallinn, Estonia. The trail is divided into stages, each just over 12 miles in length.
Officials estimate it will take between 102 and 114 days to hike the full length of the trail, which is part of a longer European path that aims to join the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and the Baltic states. For travelers looking to make a less ambitious commitment, the Baltic Forest Trail is broken into 50 different one-day hike options.
Organizers are also working to map out accommodations and attractions along the path, which meanders through one of Europe's greenest countries — Latvia, half of which is covered in forests.
Notably, the trail cuts through Gauja National Park, home to more than 500 monuments and historical markers, including stone castles, churches, and windmills. It's also Latvia's largest and oldest national park, best known for its rocky cliffs, gorgeous river-view trails, and medieval castles.
Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.
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