High Scardus Trail is a transnational hiking trail with a total length of 495 km that is found on the mountains in the border areas of Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo. The trail passes through six national parks, two in the Republic of Macedonia, one in the Republic of Kosovo, and three in the Republic of Albania. If you take into account the numerous connecting trails to the main trail, which start/lead to populated areas and serve as access or exit points of the trail, the High Scardus Trail can be seen as a system of interconnected trails. This is especially important for creating a tour.
For the passage of the main trail in its entirety, from its starting point in the northeastern part of the Sharr Mountains in Macedonia to its end the Prespa region in Albania, it takes about twenty days hiking, which is two to three times longer than the duration of an average trip in adventure tourism. However, the network character of the path, that is, the existence of a main path and connection links allow the creation of tours of different lengths, durations and difficulty levels, thereby creating numerous opportunities to meet the interests and needs of different categories of hikers and visitors.
- A hiking trail, which extends from the North of Shar Planina mountain to the South of mount Galicica and crosses three countries (Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania). The hiking trails are spread over 5 (five) mountain massifs: Shar Planina, Korab, Desat and Krchin, Jablanica, and Galichica.
- The total length of all trails is 495 km.
- The trail is not in a continous line, but is divided into sequences.
- The trail sequences are divided into primary and secondary.
- The primary sequences make the main line of movement of the High Scardus Trail, which starts from Shar Planina mountain, more precisely the area of the peak Ljuboten and ends on the mountain of Galichica, more precisely on the shores of Lake Prespa.
- The primary sequences are indicated by the acronym for High Scardus Trail – HST, followed by the track number (1 to 16) – for example, HST 3
- The total number of primary sequences/trails is 16 with a total length of 289 km.
- The secondary sequences start from the primary and stretches (depending on the region) to the most densely populated areas, mountain lodges, significant tourist locations, etc. They serve as optional trails for accessing or exiting the main trail. The secondary sequences are also indicated by the acronym HST, and they follow the primary trail number – for example, HST 3/1 or HST 6/3
- The total number of secondary paths / sequences is 18 with a total length of 206 km.
- The length of the trails in Macedonia is 229.5 km, in Kosovo 81.5 km and in Albania is 184 km.
- According to the level of difficulty, the HST trail sequences fall into the category of medium to medium-difficult trails.
- The HCT product is presented on six maps, each of which presents part of the longer trail on one particular mountain massif, re-divided according to the stages and mountain massifs.
The maps contain basic information about the trails as well as other additional information such as information about the mountain, terrain, settlements, accommodation facilities, cultural landmarks, emergency phone numbers, etc.
- The maps are at the scale of 1: 50,000.
- Content on the maps is:
- Front / outer side:
– Cover page.
– Orientation map of the whole HST.
– A text with a short description of the primary / main paths.
– Tables with technical characteristics of the primary / main paths.
– Short text about the mountain where the track passes.
– Guidelines and advice.
- Rear / inner side:
– Map with drawn primary and secondary paths at the scale of 1: 50.000.