A 10km trekking route will be opened soon for enthusiasts in the New Year at Nellie in Morigaon district, which the forest department claims is the longest in the state.
The route, which passes through Kholahat reserve forest in Nagaon forest division, has been built in six months with cooperation from local Tiwa villagers and all fieldwork was completed recently.
“A trek near a picnic spot is an additional attraction. A group of college students and others, accompanied by forest officials, will take the first walk through the hilly route by the first week of January,” a forest department source said.
Nagaon divisional forest officer Subhasis Das said the trek is mainly for learners and aspirants who are interested in mountaineering. “The entire route is in the vicinity of National Highway 37 so that a trekker does not get lost. The highway will be within their sight at all times. We have two or three points where they can move out of the route and reach the highway during any emergency,” he said.
The trek starts at Nellie and ends at Hornbill Park “where food will be available. It is near Sivakunda where hundreds of visitors come every winter,” a source said.
Das said individual trekkers or those travelling in groups would be assisted by members of Silchang Joint Forest Management Committee.
According to forest department records, the trek at Nellie is the second in the state after the one at Assam State Zoo in Guwahati.
“The forest department might have created more treks in the hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao. Unfortunately, it could not be done owing to the law-and-order situation in those areas,” said another source.
Kholahat reserve forest was earmarked in 1873. It is surrounded by Tiwa habitations, including the ancient Tiwa kingdom capital. The trek covers some Tiwa villages.
Nellie residents have asked the forest department to make the trek more attractive.
“We hope Dispur would listen to our prayers for promoting the trek. It could be designed for professional trekkers and the government should consider this aspect,” said Minaram Bordoloi, a local.