At the outset of summer, HIKEArmenia announced a monumental goal: to create an almost 1,000 km trail that runs along the length of Armenia. Crossing five of its most naturally abundant regions, the Armenian National Trail is set to join the ranks of globally renowned thru-hikes. Following the announcement, the groundwork began - kick-starting the culmination of a year’s worth of research. In a mere three months, HIKEArmenia is proud to report that the first new sections of the trail are complete! To celebrate this milestone, we’re excited to present to you the spirited logo for the Armenian National Trail.
What are the symbols in the logo?
The logo is a tribute to the diverse elements found throughout Armenia that for ages have shaped the country’s culture and history. At first glance, the playful design of the blue archway beckons, resembling a doorway and paying homage to the sentiment of the saying “mer drnere misht bats en dzer araj” (“our doors are always open to you”). This most vividly represents the uniqueness of the Trail, where hikers walk from village to village, immersing themselves in the country’s unparalleled warmth and hospitality. The colors and shapes within the archway are a blend of Armenian petroglyphs and symbolic illustrations of great significance.
Put all together, the trail invites you to discover the interconnectedness of hospitality, lush forests, waterways, sunny landscapes, and majestic mountains. Each element represents highlights within the five regions of Lori, Tavush, Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor, and Syunik. In the coming years, we will weave together stories of how each of these elements has influenced these regions, inspiring travelers of all kinds and abilities to plan the next best hiking adventure of their lives.
Home - This ancient Armenian petroglyph of a home is modernized with the vibrant color of tuf (Armenia’s predominant stone used for building homes). Historically, Armenia was an important crossroad on the Silk Road nestled between the East and West. In modern times, the lasting influence of being on this ancient trade route is felt within the homes of villagers, where hospitality comes in the form of geniality towards strangers and tables overflowing with traditional meals. Hikers traveling through the Armenian National Trail will experience this first hand, as each trail will begin and end in one of its 109 villages.
Sun - Depicted as the ancient Armenian symbol for eternity, the sun represents the roughly 300 days of sunshine found in Armenia on a yearly basis. As a stand-alone fact, this guarantees that hiking anywhere along the Armenian National Trail outside the rainy (typically November and March - April) will be pleasant and easy to plan. Beyond the practical benefits, hikers will have the opportunity to experience just how many ways the sun has shaped Armenia’s diverse flora, how it’s given way to arid landscapes perfect for wine production, and how it’s influenced local cuisine.
Mountain - Armenia’s foremost defenders of its people and rich nature are non-other than its powerful mountains. Ranges split by deep valleys to dramatic peaks reaching for the clouds, the Armenian Highlands boast a vast array of mountains waiting to be explored. Each region’s trail will pass along its respective mountain range, revealing the remarkable diversity among landscapes that thrive along a journey that spans less than 1000 km.
Tree - Where mountains are seen as Armenia’s defender, the country’s forests are regarded as guardians of nature and the varied ecosystems they breathe life into. Each region’s forests sustain their own unique biodiversity and only by hiking through them, will you have the chance to see, smell, hear, and touch the trove of natural wonders.
Waves - Armenia’s most notable body of water is one that ranks among one of the highest and largest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Sevan. Its shores are a resting place from the mountains that surround it and appear as the logo’s dream-like blue in real life.
Despite the grandness of Lake Sevan, it doesn’t overshadow the many waterways found throughout the five regions of the Armenian National Trail - where you will find rivers flowing between deep gorges, streams following ancient footpaths, and hidden waterfalls. Of great value to all hikers, an abundance of natural springs along the trails provide the freshest and most refreshing drinking water.
In a nutshell, or more appropriately, in a walnut shell, the near 1,000 km Armenian National Trail will be an authentic and immersive village to village trail on which hikers will traverse mountains, forests, and waterways with the protection and warmth of its sun and the limitless hospitality of locals.
Stay tuned for updates and announcements of the completion of the Lori and Tavush Region in the coming months.