Okro Fortress Trail Net
Okro fortress Trail Net consists of three independent trails, that gather at Okro Fortress (1740 m.). 13th-century Fortress stands on a huge rocky massif and is almost impossible to access. It represents one of the largest and most intricately planned forts in Georgia. The multi-level stronghold has massive, crudely carved walls, that run down the slopes and harmoniously blend with the texture of the mountain. Presumably, this unity of natural barriers and man-made fortification formed a perfect defense system and helped to gain control of the region and its passing roads, and also allowed to endure long-lasting sieges during invasions.
The fortress can be accessed from the north side. In the northwest direction of the fort, a 100 meters long path leads to the spring, which is also a suitable place to make a camp and stay overnight.
From the Okro Fortress, the route divides into three directions – one goes to the town Adigeni, the other goes to the village Shoka, and the third way takes the visitors to the evergreen Kurtskhana Valley.
Kurtskhana Valley – Okro Fortress
Length: 10.6 km. (return back 10.6 km.)
Duration: 4 hrs. 50 min. (return back 4hrs. 15 min.)
Min./Max. Height: 1280/2029 m.
Total Ascent/Descent: 900/481 m.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Please read the definitions of complexity categories carefully!
The route starts in Kurtskhana valley, veiled in everlasting green, at the Baghdati-Abastumani bypass road, 3,2 km from Abastumani. The road goes along the Kurtskhana River for about 2 km, then turns left, crosses the river over, and appears in a field. There stands an isolated forester’s lodge. The itinerary continues on a mountain slope. The road, which used to be paved by three-wheeled vehicles, winds up the slope. The route drastically picks up altitude and appears on an old forest road, concealed with wild berry bushes. Very likely, you can detect some bear imprints and tracks in this area.
The route meets several intersections on its way. Gradually meadows adorned with alpine flowers pop up and thus notify the visitors that the journey will shift to the alpine world and soon will appear shepherds’ dwellings nestling through the summer pastures. A delicious spring flows near the first house. From there, the route heads south and after crossing meadows, ravines, and dirt roads, approaches a coniferous forest. An imposing sight of the grand Okro Fortress, floating atop a mountain, opens exactly at this spot.
A forest trail runs downhill and disappears into broadleaved woodland. All along the way, the Okro Fortress seems to play hide and seek, disappearing and re-appearing from travelers’ sight, until the trail emerges from the forest and directly faces the Okro Fortress in all its glory.