New Secret Paths

Two new educational facilities, an eco-park “Tree-house” and a high-altitude ecological trail “Through the leaves”, have opened their doors to the visitors of the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve on July 5. About 200 visitors came to the facilities in the first six days.

The Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Biosphere Reserve named after Mikhail Zablotsky had 50 881 visitors in 2014, and more than 60 000 visitors in 2015, while according to the estimates it may host up to 90 000 people. This number can be achieved by 2020 after upgrading all the infrastructure and putting new eco-tourist attractions into operation, which are planned as a part of the reserve development project.

An approved eco-tourism program quite until recently included a guided tour for the route in the northern part of the biosphere reserve, which included a visit to the Bison Breeding Centre and the Museum of Nature, a welcoming tour to the station of integrated background monitoring, and also an independent visit to the House of Leshy (Forest Devil) which is an art object created by the reserve volunteers.

This year the list of new objects has grown significantly. In the spring a five meter high viewing platform was put into service, which let visitors observe the European and American bisons in the Bison Breeding Centre (it’s included in the guided tour program). Another new facility is an art object “Four Seasons” that features 3D images of bisons. In July two new educational facilities, an eco-park “Tree-house” and a high-altitude ecological trail “Through the leaves”, welcomed their first visitors.

The eco-park “Tree-house” is a unique project which combines the principles of eco-awareness and active family holiday. It makes you acquainted with the life of the tree and its inhabitants in the form of a game. A complex system of rope crossings located at the different altitudes, which range from one to six meters high, includes four routes of different levels of complexity for adults and kids over four.

The high-altitude ecological trail “Through the leaves” is an eight meter high series of bridges and pass ways connected by observation decks. This location lets visitors focus on the details otherwise invisible if you take a ground walk. A specially designed construction of the object as well as modern building technologies allowed us avoid causing harm to the trees which support the construction and also let visitors use the trail without any additional safety equipment.

Reference: the system of federal protected areas has a huge potential for the domestic tourism development and can be an rational alternative to vacationing abroad. According to the MNRE data  the projected number of the visitors to the protected areas in Russia is about 8,8 million people. Besides the total number of visitors in 2014 has reached 8 million people which is a 47% increase from 2011.