As avid hikers know, the world seems to hold endless opportunities when it comes to hiking, but not all of those journeys are on trails that are seen as noteworthy. There’s also the element of breathtaking beauty that is present in some locales, while in others, no matter how much you like nature, they just don’t hold up. For those who live and breathe adventure then, there’s a new trail to conquer, and it’s one of the longest hiking trails in the world.
The Chilean government has a recently announced that they’re planning to create a hiking trail dubbed the Route of Parks, which will wind its way through 17 different national parks throughout the country, including Patagonia and Cape Horn. When completed, the trail will be 1,700 miles long.
Along the way, travelers will be able to catch a glimpse of nearly every sort of terrain that dots Chile, including volcanoes, rainforests, lakes, and most of all, the Andes mountains. Working with the government to create the trail are the former CEO of Patagonia and the founder of Northface, Kristine and Douglas Thompson.
The couple first began to dabble in the Chilean wilderness back in the 1990s, when they bought land with the intention of being able to save it from development, but after Douglas passed away in a kayaking accident in 2015, Kristine decided to return much of the land to the Chileans.
Even so, the land they’d worked to preserve has become an area well-known for ecotourism, which was exactly what the couple had intended when they first invested in the land. “We want Chile to be internationally recognized for having the most spectacular scenic route in the world, and thus become a benchmark for economic development based on conservation,” explained Carolina Morgado, the executive director of Thompkins Conservation.