Nature Trails in National Parks

footprint in parkOne of my great passions is walking in the National Parks of Thailand. Especially in mixed evergreen forests as they, along with the moist evergreen forests in the south, can be truely described as "jungle". There is something primitive about them, they hide themselves in full sight and support a massive diversity of life and species.

Thailand is blessed with an astounding number of National Parks, Forest Parks and Sanctuaries but getting reliable information on them and their nature trails, tracks and routes is not easy for the expectant visitor. This is why I am sharing all of my GPS data, maps, tracks and trails in the hope that others will share also and we can all gain knowledge the tracks in certain parks before setting off on a visit.

You can see the GPS trails in the respective sections of the forum. I have included a map of the trail, an elevation profile, a google earth view, the GPS track file (.gpx) for you to download as well as describing the trail, its length and the normal time to walk it and what precautions you need to take in terms of water, food, etc. I have also introduced a simple rating system of easy, moderate, hard and ouch.

A word of caution. Its very very easy to get disorientated and lost in a forest. I have been lost through disorientation just 15 meters off a main track in mixed evergreen forest. If you do not hike regularly or have experience in tropical forests then ask the park for a guide! A guide will show you things you cannot see, keep you safe, and bring you back with a minimum of damage to you or to the forest. The tip that you pay the guide will help keep him/her in employ as they receive a minimal wage from the state. To get a guide just ask at the Park's Visitor Centre or a Ranger Station if its closer to where you want to explore.

If you want to try trekking on your own make sure you take the necessary precautions, have a plan - keep to it and keep to the trail, never exceed your abilities, if the trail is moderate or above (on my scale) then have a GPS, have all the required gear and supplies, start off early - never in the afternoon, have a buddy - never ever trek alone! Take into account that the humidity will sap your energy, keep well hydrated and remember that you can turn around at anytime if it gets difficult or you feel uncomfortable.

Be quiet and on the lookout for small mammals, insects and reptiles. Your ears and nose normally give you the first indications of animals and, unfortunately, sometimes the only indication. Never approach elephants - wild elephants are the most dangerous mammal in the forest bar none.

Use the information here wisely, use it to see what routes and trails are available in a Park, if they are within your abilities, to calculate logistics and supplies, and to load to your GPS for guidance and safety.

And remember to come back and post your track or your views, I am eager to try the tracks that you walk and experience as well.



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"Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." > Edward O. Wilson

"An understanding of the Natural World and whats in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment." > Sir David Attenborough

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