Building on our vast experience to date, as well as on previous efforts to establish a side trails going through many villages, the LMT Association has provided the following services and skillets to Ehmej:
1. Identified alternative side trails that start and end on the LMT while traversing Ehmej. The side trail branched off from the LMT at the level of Chatine and Baatara Pothole, and El Aqoura village. It has been done using local knowledge and Lebanese Army topographic maps (scale 1:20000).
2. Test-walk alternative side with local volunteers and tour operators were made. We envision the selected side trail to provide 2-days of hiking and discovery, including 1 overnight in Ehmej.
3. Trails mapped using GPS, cleaned up and blazed to render the trail safe and enjoyable.
4. Design trail map for outreach and marketing material, with technical content and place description.
Trail 1, Ehmej “Haklet el Heya” – el Aqoura (North West entrance)
Start your hike from the main trail of “Haklet el Heya” (1192m) walk upward North-East toward “Qornet el Raheb” to reach “Ain el Nasouh”. Walk towards the west on a dirt road until you reach a small empty terraces, convert to a clear path uphill to reach “Sahlet Beit Abi Ramia” a nice place to have a short rest and enjoy silence and tranquility. From here start a remarkable ascent on a clear path that will lead to “El Ouata” and “el Azer” where thousands of apple orchards scattered under the cliffs, at this point take a dirt road, reach a paved one and turn right to start climbing to “Qornet el Tillaj” (1899m) where stunning views and wonderful landscapes are waiting for you.
At this, level walk downward to “Ayoun el Nekhaa” to reach a beautiful natural hanging bridge. Continue and climb under a peak called “Qornet el Jraid” passing by scattered juniper trees, precisely known as Juniperus excels and oxycedrus, to cross “el Matkoube”to reach “Aarab el Laqlouq” district at “Ain el Charbine”. Cross the main paved road at “Sahlat el Marj” and continue toward the outstanding apple orchards of “el Aqoura” village, later walk downward the main paved road at “Dahr el Jaouz” level and reach the village of el Aqoura(1460m).
Trail II, Chatine “Balouaa” – Ehmej “Arz Ehmej Auberge”
Start your hike from the natural bridge of Balaa (1530m), walk south – west and take a short dirt road along the orchards, continue on goat trail under Aarid Baatara, cross a spring, keep walking under the cliffs to pass by “Skhour el Istiraha” (Army barrack). At this level, walk on towards the air tower and start your decent toward “Ain el Chhahir” to pass under “Qrani el Mogher” and reach “el Ramliye” church (1570m).
From this point walk a steep uphill toward the east on a goat trail to reach the point 1736, from here walk downhill to reach “Ouadi Hafroun”, continue west-south and take an off road path to reach the main paved road. Cross the road and walk downstream into “Wadi el Mihal” diverse forest to reach Auberge “Arz Ehmej” (1360m).