1. Martin Holland
    March 10, 2016 @ 3:37 pm

    Squash those doubts. This is a great project. You are the right person. Of course people will walk it. And trails should be open and accessible to everyone – a top down approach is hardly in keeping with that ethos – so your approach is spot on.

    You’re going to inspire a lot of people with this project, and the legacy will be there for many, many generations in the form of everyone who ever follows in your footsteps along this trail.

    None of that will stop you lying awake at night though. Perhaps develop a drinking habit?


    • Tom Allen
      March 11, 2016 @ 5:38 am

      Great idea. I’ve always wanted one of those!


  2. Bryan
    March 10, 2016 @ 4:12 pm

    Tom. I don’t know if this will help. But here is a Wiki of New Jersey’s BATONA TRAIL(a trail I frequent) which goes from Ong’s Hat(in Pemberton) to Bass River State Park. Hope it helps.


    • Tom Allen
      March 11, 2016 @ 5:37 am

      Cheers Bryan – the more perspectives the better at this point!


  3. james
    March 10, 2016 @ 6:20 pm

    Enjoyed this. I’m sure many of these questions were rhetorical and the answer largely as Martin puts it above.

    One thought to add to the mix, is whether the conception of the route solely as a long distance “hiking” route is definitive. There’s a good and growing number of self-supported cyclists / bike packers for whom a route of his scale would be very attractive.

    Clearly there are challenges around erosion / impact, although given the relative remoteness, perhaps significant impact other than helping to maintain a somewhat cleared trip may be unlikely. I’m not sure.

    It would enlarge your potential pool of users, though. And most who were adventurous enough to attempt it would probably be well used to leave no trace philosophy.

    I don’t know the route you are contemplating, or the geography, so this is purely a thought in the abstract, not the particular, for what it’s worth.


    • Tom Allen
      March 11, 2016 @ 5:37 am

      This is a good point, and my personal wish is that the route would also be bikepackable. I’d invite anyone who wishes to give it a try to do so – perhaps there will be a couple of places where a detour was needed for the bikers, and it would be good to know about it in advance. Long term I’d love to dedicate a portion of whatever resources we create to addressing the wants and needs of bikepackers. Aside from anything else, I’d love to do it myself 🙂


      • james
        March 11, 2016 @ 6:27 am

        Drop me a line when you do!


  4. Sally Eathorne
    March 10, 2016 @ 7:51 pm

    Everything that I wanted to say has been said by Martin Holland.
    You are the perfect person for this Tom,, your passion and drive far out-weigh any ‘natural’ doubts that keep you awake at night..I appreciate the complexities of what you have undertaken. It is massive in scale but the tiny pieces,, one by one will all come together to create the big picture..
    Have a fabulous summer of exploration.

    ‘We will be known forever by the tracks we leave’…American Indian proverb


  5. Mark Gillespie
    March 21, 2016 @ 6:29 am

    Keep watching Field of Dreams…

    Like yourself I’ve looked at maps and imagined little lines, and had those fears of whether it will work out. And then the experience of actually walking on one of those imagined little lines – no better feeling. I’m sure this will be the same, just on a slightly bigger scale 🙂 There’s always a way through.

    Great project. Would love to do some walking there soon…


  6. Tony Howard
    March 26, 2016 @ 1:11 pm

    Hi, just done exactly that, first with my partner, Di Taylor, then with friends from Jordan who finally made it possible to complete the 650km Jordan Trail, jordantrail.org good luck, you will have fun!


  7. Tony Howard
    March 26, 2016 @ 1:16 pm

    Hi Tom, just realised we were in touch not long ago about the Karun River, and surprise, surprise, Di and I were walking briefly with your friend Leon McCarron and Sean Conway on the Jordan Trail in the mountains south of Petra!


  8. Andrzej Brandt
    May 2, 2016 @ 2:59 pm

    Never been to Caucasian area, yet this place is high on my bike touring and hiking list. Can’t wait for the many great outcomes of this project!
    My only small remark would be this: keep it real 😉 Don’t design the trail that is dedicated to the top athletes, but think about general approach, or – i would say – make it possible to walk it by my father (he is 60, yet hiking monster). Ive been hiking in many countries and general impression is that long hiking trails are designed to satisfy only marathon-fit people.


    • Tom Allen
      May 9, 2016 @ 5:38 am

      Absolutely – we want it to be challenging, but not too challenging! There’ll also be village-to-village options in the region, more Camino-style.


  9. Kate Schachter
    May 11, 2016 @ 12:25 pm

    You may have the “show-and-tell” circuit figured out, but let me share one of my favorites. In Madison WI is an annual Canoecopeia event, 3 days of trade show booths focused on canoeing, kayaking and other motorless water sports (maybe your Iran film and work would be appropriate…with peeks into the Transcaucasian Trail). The trade show is parallel to an intense schedule of great speakers. It will be held March 10-12 next year, and they’re probably starting to collect proposals for next years speakers. Here is a link to a list of previous speakers to get a feel for what’s there: http://www.canoecopia.com/canoecopia/speakersPrevious.asp.

    Minneapolis MN also has a similar event. Unfortunately, I’ve never been, so don’t know the exact name.


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