The idea behind Dodies.lv (and Trails.lv) is to help plan your holidays in Latvia near nature. In our map you will find Latvian nature trails, birdwatching towers, parks, campsites and picnic sites. Hiking trails in Latvia are usually shorter and marked, long distance trekking and hiking is not done on specific routes. Trails.lv lists only marked hiking trails and paths, specifically targeted towards casual hikers.
Note that the English sections of this site were made only recently, we are still in process of translation, so many reviews are still missing. For easy pronounciation we have also made a new domain http://trails.lv which is the same site.
We are a family - Normunds, Nora and the little Oliver. Initially this map was made for us, so the criteria and standards are our own. We visit these trails just as any other person would, so we judge them from an outsider perspective. We write about practical aspects, how to reach each trail and what you would find there.
We do hope that our descriptions, photographs, and sometimes critique will help the creators of these hiking trails to improve, to make information more accessible, and of course, to help motivate everyone to spend more time in nature.
We list trails in Latvia from many sources, the State Forest Department, the Nature Conservancy Agency, the local city council sites and more. Each of these sites only lists their own. We can understand that, so we made a site that lists all, but only the best.
But of course, the biggest difference is that we have checked and verified the hiking trailsand paths that we list. Our family travels to each listing and we evaluate the location by our own standards. Our reviews will help to get realistic expectations of what you will find in each campsite, hiking trail, swamp route and bird watching tower. Other sites might give you only the name and approximate address, whereas we will give you exact coordinates, plenty of photos and a short review.
Please note that our map contains markers in two colors - green means we have visited and approved this place, grey means that we have yet to visit, but there is a generally high probability this is a good place.
When we talk about trails in Latvia, we mean a marked path, usually in a loop formation, which is made with the objective to see nature. Such walking trail, hiking path, route, or however you can call it, should be freely accessible at any time, by anyone. These trails are usually made to reduce human impact on nature, so there might be wooden bridges, wooden paths made from planks (duckboard paths), specifically designated campfire locations and information signs instructing the local rules.
Most of the trails here are 1 to 15km long, we usually specify the distance in the description. We do recommend to leave early, since many latvian roads are not in the best shape, and of course, to properly enjoy nature, read the information boards, see the birds, have a picnic - a few hours will be needed.
Yes, of course! But remember that the trails are different, some are wide and covered with planks, where you could bring strollers, but some can get muddy and stroller would be needed to remain in the car and you would have to weart proper shoes. We usually include plenty of pictures to give you an idea what to expect.
By our definition, the nature hiking and walking trails are free of charge. Except very few, clearly marked exceptions, we only list free and non commercial objects, made by Latvian state organizations. Our idea is to show you Latvian nature, so we don't list commercial campgrounds or cultural objects with entry fees.
The most trails are made by Latvian Nature Conservation Agency (DAP), Latvian State Forestry (LVM), local city governments and schools. Objects made by DAP are usually made within protected areas, so don't venture off the path and follow the information on the signposts and information boards.