Friends of the Great Baikal Trail
The Great Baikal Trail Association (or GBT) is an international, volunteer-driven, non-profit organization that works to develop, maintain, promote, and protect Russia’s first network of hiking trails, and thereby advocates for the sustainable development of the largest lake in the world, Lake Baikal. Through affiliates at Friends of the Great Baikal Trail, the GBT has representative offices in North America and Europe, and can cater to volunteers from around the world.
Both the trail building and eco-education programs are based within one of the 6 national parks or nature reserves that surround Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal itself is located in the heart of Siberia, just north of Mongolia. Most all of the projects take place within walking distance of Baikal's many beaches, and during summer months these are very sunny and warm. Some of the environmental education projects take place in one of the larger towns or cities around Baikal.
At project sites the GBT supplies participants with 1-2 person tents free of charge. Life on the project surrounds the camp site, with a professional cook preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner over a camp fire. If participants prefer to stay extra days in the Baikal region, the GBT runs their own hostels within the larger cities (Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude), costing 500 rubles per night per person.
Most projects last two weeks