Islamabad’s trails get a new addition


New hiking trail ends at Daman-e-Koh viewpoint, passes through 2.5 kilometres across hills

Zubair Qureshi

These days as the winter is receding and the spring is coming hikers and mountaineers are seen almost ecstatic to welcome the pleasant change in the weather by scaling the Margalla Hills.

The Islamabad Wildlife Department Board (IWMB) in order to provide these adventurous souls opportunities to discover the fauna and flora of the city’s suburbs has recently launched yet another trail for hiking.

The new trail called Trail 2 is 2.5-km long, starts from Play Land Park or Japan Park and ends at Daman-e-Koh View Point.

With this latest addition, Islamabad has now got five trails—2, 3, 4, 5 & 6—all are along the Margalla Road.

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam along with Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairperson of the IWMB Rina Saeed Khan, members of the Board, envoys and diplomats of Sweden, Canada, Denmark and Indonesia inaugurated the new trail and wished the residents of Islamabad while hiking on this trail would be friendly to the wildlife, its flora and fauna and will keep it clean and green.

While talking to Pakistan Observer on Sunday, IWMB Manager Operations Sakhawat Ali said all the trails were well-kept and properly managed by the IWMB.

They are safe for hiking at any time of the day however, it is advisable to avail hiking facility in the sunlight as sometimes a stray leopard or other wild animal might cross your path especially during the night time, he said.

Among the five trails, he said the Trail 6 is the longest 5+2 km and it takes you to the peak of Tilhar village over the Margalla Hills.

According to a senior official of the IWMB since scope and work of the IWMB is being expanded new staff would be recruited for the new trails as well as for the existing ones to improve patrolling and proper security huts would be set up.

IWMB Chairperson Rina Saeed Khan said the board was focusing on trails and a new project would be launched soon.

She, however, said instead of installing CCTV cameras the board wanted to hire guards to improve patrolling.

One of the regular hikers of Islamabad, Khalid Khan said the trails were like a blessing for us.

This is a place to take fresh breath and maintain your health. I regularly come here and on weekends my children and wife also accompany me, he further said.