Right after our Online Ranger Training Course on tourism and waste management in protected areas, European Wilderness Society received an invitation to visit one of the last tourist shelters in Ukrainian Carpathians. The shelter is called Yavirnyk and it is located on the boundary of Uzhanskyy National Nature Park.
Please also read: Tackling waste pollution in Ukrainian protected areas
History of tourist shelters in Ukraine
The very famous tourist trail with the similar name Yavirnyk is located close to the shelter, which was built in 1936. At that time, this territory was part of Czechia. Later during the Soviet time, the network of tourist shelters was actively developed and hiking was promoted. Consequently, every 15 – 20 km in this area tourist shelters were built, considering that this is a usual daily distance for hikers. Such simple huts were very useful, not only for tourists, but also for shepherds, hunters, and skiers.
Renovation of Yavirnyk
In 2015, Yavirnyk shelter was damaged by fire. But due to management of the well-known local NGO “Carpathian Trails”, this shelter was renovated. Now it has showers and toilets with heated floors, a kitchen serving all needs, a hall with a fireplace for meetings, a grill stove, solar panels powering the building, WiFi and more. Even separated waste collection was introduced here! It also has a popular camping site, where one can stay with a tent. Carpathian Trails also maintains Yavirnyk.
For those, who want to see something else on their hike in addition to Hoverla, the highest mountain peak of Ukraine, Yavirnyk is a great option to visit beech forests. And the shelter Yavirnyk is located right in the heart of these forests!
One of the main activities of this NGO is marking and maintening tourist trails in Ukraine. Beside that, they are also active in the development and promotion of nature tourism. Their leader, Olexandr Bursanov, attended the Ranger Training Course of the European Wilderness Society and actively participated in the development of proposals for further sustainable tourism development in the Ukrainian Carpathians as a part of this course.
During our visit to Yavirnyk, Carpathian Trails and European Wilderness Society discussed possible cooperation points, including:
- Further introduction of Respect Nature in Ukraine
- Support of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve and other protected areas in digitalization of their tourist trails
- Waste management in protected areas
- Safety of Ukrainian and foreign tourists in the Carpathians
Respect nature in Yavirnyk
Our visit to Yavirnyk happened simultaneously with the visit of the family group here. So we took a joint hike. During this trip, we tried out Respect Nature in the field, discussed appropiate behaviour for carnivore encounters, why we need protected areas and how wolves change rivers.
We are grateful for this invitation to visit Yavirnyk and hike in a beech forest close to the Trilateral Ukrainian-Polish-Slovakian Biosphere Reserve “Eastern Carpathians”. And er are ready to support our local partners in their wish to further develop sustainable tourism in the Ukrainian Carpathians!
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