Lichen tundra
© A. Nebusova

Nenetsky Nature Reserve to open a new eco-tourism route, Barefoot across the Tundra, in 2017

The Nenetsky Nature Reserve, located on Kostyanoy Nos Peninsula, plans to open a new eco-tourism route, Barefoot across the Tundra, in 2017, according to an announcement on the nature reserve's Facebook page.

"Our new route will be suitable for all ages. It will give you the chance to imagine yourself as a goose, swan, field vole or polar fox, which roam the tundra barefoot. We think it will interest children and adults alike. Visitors will have a choice, of course, and will only walk the route barefoot if they want to," said Yuliya Leonova, specialist in environmental education methodology at the nature reserve.

Ten representatives from other national parks and nature reserves have already tested the new route and saw for themselves that it is possible to walk the route barefoot.

"Walking across the tundra barefoot is a fantastic experience. You have the indescribable feeling of sinking into the moss, catching your toes on the lichen, having berries burst under your soles, and then walking across soft, warm sand," said Valentina Semenchenko, deputy director of environmental education at Saylyugemsky National Park. 

The walking route crosses 5 kilometers of tundra low in soil and home to moss, lichens, dwarf birch trees and berry bushes. Along the route are spots for photographing tundra and marine landscapes and observing the birdlife.