Post COVID-19, hiking makes more sense than ever

Thru Hike 2023
(Photos: Jordan Trail Association)
Hiking in more than 30 countries, Duha Fayyad, chairperson of the Jordan trail, said that “people inside and outside Jordan have become more interested in outdoor adventure after COVID-19 and the turnout of females has been increasing ever since. We now have certified female adventure guides and I am one of them.” اضافة اعلان

Fayyad indicated to Jordan News that the idea of the Jordan Trail is to support Jordanian adventure tourism in general and hiking in particular which makes up 70 percent of adventure tourism in Jordan. 

But it is not just tourists that should hike in Jordan. Fayyad added that one of the organization’s aims is to support local communities along the Jordan Trail by providing them with financial support for their projects from the donations they get or by conducting intensive training courses which have international standards in providing services, sanitation and communication skills preserving the traditional value of hospitality.

Hiking can be a great way to engage not just with the natural environment but the communities that have been built around that environment. Furthermore they allow us to go outside and to go far, something we all have recently learned the value of through the pandemic.

Mohammad Al-Bqour, a private tour guide and hiking event planner in Jordan, said “hiking in Jordan for travelers is a gateway to explore the landscapes and engage with rich local cultures. Each step taken on the trails leads to unique connection with the soul of the destination far from the busy urban life”.

He described hiking “as trekking or backpacking, offering an exhilarating and immersive experience, allowing individuals to connect with the breathtaking beauty of nature. Beyond its joyful appeal, hiking contributes to overall health by strengthening the heart and cardiovascular system, improving fitness levels, and promoting mental well-being. It becomes a journey of both physical and spiritual rejuvenation”

The unique atmosphere, geographical nature, and breathtaking sites of Jordan, make it one of the most attractive spots for hikers. The magnificent hiking destinations all over Jordan are incomparable to any other.

From Wadi Al-Mujib to Wadi Hammad, the historical Wadi Mousa, and the valleys of Wadi Rum, each has its own charm creating unforgettable memories that last forever.

A more active form of tourism
Bqour said in an interview, “my vision is to facilitate a more active form of tourism where hikers can explore these wonders with confidence, independence and true sense of adventure by providing the necessary infrastructure and support to increase the growth of hiking tourism and industry in Jordan.”

Bqour also discussed safety, but ensured us of his confidence in prep, “safety remains a paramount concern. Hikers must be well-prepared to tackle potential challenges like weather fluctuations and rugged terrains. But by adhering to essential safety precautions, having proper equipment, and thorough trip planning, every hiker can embark on a safe and enjoyable journey”.

Haya Fakhri, Assistant Operator at Jo Navigators, a hiking-oriented organization, told Jordan News “Hiking in general is a sport, including practices that improve the mental health when you explore new places, and with time, hiking will create a bond between you and nature.”

Fakhri added “we go hiking for medium-level distances, ranging from 15 to 23 km long, the purpose of which is to enjoy nature along the way,” indicating that “there is a longer hiking trip organized by Jordan Trail that lasts for 40 days, scoring up to 675 km long.”

Room for growth
Fakhri pointed out that people who go on trips and picinics usually leave garbage behind. For the kids’ trails, she said “we always make sure to take them to trails around a well-known and secure ares, such as in forest reserves or a segment of the Jordan Trail.

They hope that more adventure tourism experiences can further inform people on the value and beauty of nature, not just providing exercise and a hobby, but making our landscape cleaner.

Fakhri also indicated “we started a summer camp, as we are interested in introducing the outdoor culture to children specifically who are between 4-7 years old,” adding “we also hold another camp for age groups 8-12 and 12-18 years old.”

About the challenges that are faced by hikers in the trials, Fakhri said “we always seek trails that have services…which has guest houses, suppliers, or people who would provide immediate support to the hikers”. She contended that “sanitation is another challenge, where there should be joint cooperation between the citizens, trip organizers, and hikers to maintain the trail’s cleanliness.”

“As a team, we are all certified with JPS Training, Injury Assessment, Basic First Aid, and CPR Course to organize hiking trips and deal with any emergencies,” Fakhri stated.

According to Jordan Trails Facebook page, his Majesty king Abdullah and HRH Crown Prince Hussein joined hikers on the Jordan trail in 2022. His Majesty stressed the importance of the trail and its development and sustainability within a clear plan to increase the number of visitors and tourists.

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