The High Scardus Trail is a fascinating long-term project! A project that connects hidden shepherd's paths and ancient trade routes. In between you hike again and again on longer pathless sections through the alpine landscape of the Western Balkans. Due to the proximity of the border and the turbulent history of the Western Balkans, many of these paths were very little used in the last decades and were only marked for the first time in the course of the High Scardus Trail. Since not everything can be done overnight, the standard of its signposting and marking is not yet comparable to that of a long-distance hiking trail in the Alps. This means that currently on many stages orientation without the aid of a GPS device is very difficult.
The trail manual of the alpine associations is our guideline for the future design of the High Scardus Trail. This is being worked on with great commitment in the region and in some sections, such as in the Galichica National Park or when crossing the Korab, the signposting system is already quite respectable.
However, as of spring 2022, the following applies in its entirety:
- The High Scardus Trail is not designated and signed as such.
- The standard of marking and signposting varies greatly from region to region - from inadequate to good. You can find detailed information about the marking on the stages under "Safety information" at each stage. At this point it is also immediately noted if a stage is marked so well that it can be found even without a GPS device.
- The trail condition can be described as mostly sufficient to good. There are currently no dangerous spots known to us.
At the moment it is still very difficult to find the right way without a GPS device - but this should change in the future. Photo: G.Mussnig/Trail Angels GmbH, CC BY-ND, High Scardus Trail Organization
Due to the currently still partly very difficult orientation on the High Scardus Trail (the trail can partly only be found with the help of a GPS device), we currently recommend to travel with a local guide if you do not have much experience in using GPS devices or equivalent orientation apps like the Outdooractive app.
Should you still be on your own, then we recommend - as mentioned - to take a GPS system with you. There are two possibilities:
- download the GPX tracks and integrate them into a GPS device. You will find the tracks when viewing the individual stages.
- installation of the Outdooractive App (free of charge) on your cell phone. However, you should activate a paid Pro account so that you can save the maps offline. This way you can use the maps even without cell phone reception. You can also open the stages shown here on the Outdooractive app and thus work with the descriptions immediately in the field.
Under "Plan your Trip" you will find more information about planning your trekking trip on the High Scardus Trail:
- More info for the self-organized backpacker
- Current and future booking possibilities via the Official High Scardus Trail Info & Booking Center
... in the Galichica National Part (Stage 21 & 22). What is still missing here is the marking of High Scardus Trail Photo: G.Mussnig/Trail Angels GmbH, CC BY-ND