Trekking and Hiking

Goa is a beautiful state with nearly seven wildlife sanctuaries and the advantage of having nearly 38% of it under forest cover, offering refreshing break for Trekking enthusiasts, who can participate in trekking / hiking expeditions organized by the agencies like Goa Hiking Association and Youth Hostels Authority of India. Goa’s ability to maintain this fragile balance gives it a break from the monotony of beach tourism to this adventurous sports.

Trekking is not to be mistaken with just climbing, but it is about discovering the beauties of nature along the way till the summit. Every trek has a starting point and a pre decided destination point. A trekker learns a lot as he pushes his body each step forward towards the destination point or while climbing to the top, all along the way is your chance to enjoy nature’s creation. Numerous chirping birds, butterfly and peacocks. Jumping monkeys and wild cats may be spotted with your skills. Bow down your head in reverence to the pristine and untouched nature around you, stretch and relax.

Ideally the relatively cooler months of October to January are great for trekking / hiking. If you come to Goa only for the beach, then you are missing out on the other half of what this paradise have to offer. Venture out and explore Trekking, walkout fit as ever with your Trekking shoes on, for a track along Goa’s most picturesque woods. Start along green fields and push yourself up a dirt track over rocks and boulders all the way up 600 meters above sea level. One can enjoy hiking and trekking adventures that involve a wide range of skillful and physically demanding actions. Go for the extreme adventure of rock-climbing on the adamant rock-faces of Goan hills.

Goa Hiking Association, Panaji organizes a major trekking / hiking program in October each year. Goa Branch of the Youth Hostel Association of India also runs trekking expedition trip in Goa every December. The State Forest Department also organizes treks annually through the forest reserves in Goa, which are known for bisons, leopards, tigers and various other fauna.

Some recommended places to trek and hike includes the Sahyadri Hills, Devils Canyon and the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in Mollem, the Chandrasurya Temple in Netravali (2 hours south of Panaji), and the Kuveshi Falls to Castle Rock just over the border in Karnataka state.

Popular Treks in Goa

  • One of the most popular treks is the one to Dudhsagar waterfalls. There are several routes which you could employ to get to your destination. While the one which heads from the exotically named Devil’s Canyon provides you with a spectacular view of the canyon (unfortunately it does not promise you a glimpse of the devil himself), the more serious trekking route which runs parallel to the South Western railway line, if you happen to be walking through the tunnel, around the same time a train chugs in, its horn blaring. The starting point for this trek is the Collem Railway Station, from where a walk to the breathtaking Dudhsagar waterfalls could take you around three and a half hours.

  • Vagheri peaks, a steep bunch of hills in the Vagheri Mountains near Chorla ghat is another exciting trek which offers an excellent view of the terrain from above. The Vagheri peaks are located in Goa’s northernmost region of Sattari.

  • The picturesque village of Netravali, located just about two hours from Margao, is a great site for a day long trek. Netravali has a unique bubbling pond, wherein bubbles appear in rhythmic fashion at the center of the water body. While locals have built their own myths around this queer phenomenon, scientists blame it on the gases which are periodically released in the water, which causes the bubbling. Netravali is also famous for the Chandra Surya Temple, only a few of which exist elsewhere in India.

  • Over the last few years, beach treks organized by the GHA and the YHAI across the coastal stretch of Goa have been a great hit, drawing crowds by the hundreds. The beach treks are generally organized on full moon nights, when the quiet, lonesome beaches and the shimmering waves are the only witness to the trekking party.

  • Bird enthusiasts also organize treks through the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary located in Divar Island, only a few kms from Panaji. The sanctuary and its natural riverside habitat, attract rare species of birds from all over the country.

Useful Contact Details of Trekking / Hiking Organizers

  •             Eco Treks - +91 94224 45444, +91 9422445444, +91 9096406113
  •             www.ecotrekgoa.blogspot.in