Suitably titled ‘The Queen of Hill Stations’, Ooty is one of the fascinating hill stations in Tamilnadu, and among the popular honeymoon destinations in India. Situated at an altitude of 7,440 feet, this charming hill station is blessed with rolling tea gardens, cloud-kissed mountains, lush foliage, serene lakes, colonial architecture, and a tranquil atmosphere that attracts tourists from all over the world every year. Bored of visiting the same popular tourist spots in Ooty, want to try something new and adventurous then try trekking. Surrounded by enchanting hills from the Western Ghats range, this pristine hill station offers various altitudes, terrain, and distances. The views of the Nilgiri Hills, prolific natural topography, lush tea gardens, vibrant valleys, and misty scenery is what you get while trekking in Ooty.
Here is the list of some popular trekking trails in Ooty.
Situated at the junction of the Western and Eastern Ghats with an altitude of 2623 m, Doddabetta is the highest peak in the Nilgiri mountain range, and among the popular places to visit in Ooty. The area surrounding Doddabetta is a reserved forest area that is home to many endangered species of flora and fauna. Tall rhododendron trees, flowering sub-alpine shrubs, and herbs are common, even very near the peak. With a unique flattened curve at its peak, the trek up to the top is not that challenging and has a Telescope house at the top which provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, beautiful valley, plains of Coimbatore, and the flat highlands of Mysore that lures a huge number of tourists.
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Situated at an altitude of 1793 m, Kotagiri is a small hill station in the Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu. It is one of the lesser-known hill stations in Tamilnadu, and among the must include places in Ooty tour packages. Home to the Kota tribes, Kotagiri offers plenty of opportunities for trekking and rock climbing. The trekking trails in this region go through picturesque tea-estates and lush greenery, meadows, and rivers. The most popular trekking trails in Kotagiri are towards Kodanad (15 km), Catherine Falls (7.5 km), and Longwood Shola (3 km). The trail leading to Kodanad goes through a meadow, tea estates, and the Moyar River. It is great fun for even the first-timers as one can enjoy spine-tingling views of the Nilgiris, cascading waters of St. Catherine, and the Dolphin’s nose can be enjoyed from Kodanad viewpoint.
Also Read : Splendid Waterfalls in Ooty
Parsons Valley Trek
About 15 km from Ooty, Parsons Valley is a reserved forest area and a part of Mukurthi National Park. The valley was named after Parson, a British engineer who happened to discover this valley way back in 1862 and was instrumental in developing it into one of the most beautiful sites near Ooty. It is a short trekking distance from the scenic Mukurthi Peak, the valley is a flawless nature setting with flowing streams, little waterfalls, and pine trees of Pandiar slopes, overwhelming forested regions, and some uncommon creatures among them. This Valley also forms an apt base for short treks or long trekking expeditions to different sites. This trekking route is indeed adventurous that starts from Sholur Junction and passes through copses of eucalyptus till one reaches the Parsons dam. It is the onset of the Parsons valley, and the trek further takes you past the Toda tribal villages. From there you can trek uphill the Thirthor Bett to enjoy splendid vistas of the valley. Since it is a reserved forest, visitors need permission from the Forest Department to visit Parson’s Valley.
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Known for its native Nilgiri Tahrs, Mukurthi National Park is one of the most attractive wildlife sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu and among the best places to visit as part of Ooty Tour Packages. The stunning Mukruthi Peak is nestled in the well-acclaimed Mukurthi National Park. With an altitude of 2,554 m (8,379ft), Mukurthi Peak is one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats and is the fifth-highest peak in South India. Trekking through the wild of Mukurthi is an ethereal experience as the trail passes through luxuriant thickets of Shola forests, misty grasslands, the beautiful Mukurthi Lake, and golden brown hilltops. From the peak, one can get a panoramic view of famous hills such as Vavulmala and Vellarimala, Avalanche Hills, and the evergreen forests of Nilambur. The trek will take around two hours each way. Once at the top, one can stay overnight at one of the many nature camps and leisurely trek down the next day.
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Cairn Hill Reserve Forest
Located on the Avalanche Road in Ooty, Cairn Hill is an eco-tourism and a reserved forest that came into existence in the 1860s. It sprawls over a massive area of approximately 168 hectares. It has one of the oldest Cyprus plantations in the Nilgiris (planted in 1868). The highlight of the spot is a trekking trail that was one of the few original walks enjoyed by the Britishers. Undertaking this soulful trek is one of the prime things to do in Ooty for those who are fond of short treks in Ooty. Cairn Hill has a hanging bridge within the premises and taking a walk atop the bridge is one of the most thrilling and entertaining activities available at the site. In addition to that, it has a watchtower which can let you enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Known to be a haven for birdwatchers, Cairn Hill also has bird watching facilities and jeep safari activities available for tourists.
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Situated at a distance of 25 km from Ooty, Glenmorgan is a picturesque village in the Nilgiris, and trekking to Glenmorgan is one of the least explored treks in Ooty, among the top places to visit near Bangalore. This 13 km long trek takes trekkers through luxurious thickets of Eucalyptus and other attractions like Glenmorgan dam nestled deep into the old tea estates of Glenmorgan village. It is a fun trek covering almost all the tribal villages around Glenmorgan and experiences an amazing viewpoint from the top of tea estates. Besides, the trekking trail takes you to the Pykara powerhouse which serves you an unparalleled sight of Mudumalai National Park and the Moyar valley. Visitors could visualize the real natural beauty and relaxation in this slice of paradise.
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With an altitude of 1800 m, Sengottaraayar Peak is located right on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Offers splendid views of Palakad Silent Valley and Mukurthi National Park, it is one of the must-visit Conoor tourist places. The peak is known for its trekking and beautiful terrain. The 12 km trek begins at the Irula hamlet called Mooperkaad and passes through mixed terrain including shola forest, aromatic tea, and coffee estates. One of the features of this trek is that you will have the opportunity to spot wildlife including Gaur (Indian Bison), Barking deer, and come across plenty of signs of Sloth bears. From the summit, one can get a picturesque view of the nearby tea estates and hill ranges. This trek is an excellent choice for beginners, nature photographers, and also for those who would like to get away from the city and have a laidback adventure over the weekend.
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