The sun finds its sweet spot, the air just warm enough and ahead of you lies an alluring path leading into lush wilderness. Welcome to The Gilbert Trail in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. Beginning at one of the small town’s biggest landmarks, the Kasauli Club, the trail will take you on a picturesque nature walk, culminating at a panoramic Sunset Point. Whether you’re in the mountains for the very first time or an experienced hiker, this short hillside 1.5 km walk is the perfect introduction to this beautiful region nestled at the foothills of the Himalayas.
You don’t need any tour guide or expert to take the Gilbert Nature Trail. Just pick a moment and get on your way. The starting point is just a couple of kilometres away from the bus stand, venturing off the main road beyond the club. The forests you’ll walk past are considered a paradise for bird watchers and photographers, with many migratory species visiting seasonally. Even the flora is richly diverse, displaying the entire spectrum of nature’s colours, from soil to leaves to blossoms. That’s why despite it being a short walk, you could easily end up spending two to three hours wandering the pathway, with countless stops along the way.
At the start of the Gilber trail, the path is quite wide and comfortable to walk on, but it narrows as you progress and can be precarious during certain wetter seasons. But with a good pair of trekking shoes you have nothing to worry about. Take it step by step and let your eyes wander as much as your feet and soul. You’ll hear singing birds the whole way, but how many you can actually spot! This is definitely one of the places for which you need to dust off your old pair of binoculars. Or even buy a pair if you don’t have one. This is one experience that you want to see and remember from the grand natural designs to the intricate details.
After all, that’s what makes this so much more than a simple nature walk at the Gilbert nature trail. It is that much needed time and opportunity to step away from the usual cityscapes and stress of daily life, to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, to feel inspired about the present and future — it’s what holidays are made for.
How to reach Kasauli and the Gilbert Trail
The Gilbert Trail is in Kasauli, an erstwhile British cantonment that’s now a quaint hill-station in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. The town itself is home to many other popular tourist attractions such as churches and temples, heritage colonial bungalows and a thriving mountain marketplace that sells everything from Tibetan handicrafts to local fabrics and souvenirs. While the town itself doesn’t have an airport, the nearest ones are Shimla and Chandigarh airports. There isn’t a train station either, with Kalka Railway Station being the closest at a distance of 40 km away. Bus services run from Shimla, Delhi and Chandigarh that stop right in the heart of town. You can take the same roads by car or taxi as well.
Best time to visit the Gilbert Trail
While Kasauli is a year-round destination, the best time to explore the outdoors and take the Gilbert Trail is between May and October, when the weather is most pleasant. Later in the year, winter sets in and brings with it cold days and heavy fog that can hamper visibility on the trail. If you are taking it on such a day, it’s best to carry a flashlight. Since this isn’t as popular a tourist destination as some other Himalayan towns, the town almost seems deserted in the off-season, with mostly only locals around.
Tips for hiking the Gilbert Trail
- Even the most straightforward walk in nature requires some amount of preparation, especially when it’s high up in the mountains and Gilbert nature trail is one of them.
- The first thing to do is to check what the weather’s going to be like on the day of the activity, so you can plan accordingly.
- No matter what the season is, at least one jacket or sweater must be worn on your trip to the Gilbert trail.
- Sunscreen isn’t just for harsh tropical sun, as the ill-effects can be felt quite strongly at high altitudes. Apply it thoroughly before you depart for the trail.
- You don’t want to have to carry too much weight on this walk, so aside from electronics, try and keep it light with only essentials like water and light packaged snacks.
- It is always better to take on hikes and treks early in the day.
- Remember to charge your camera and phone so that you can take as many pictures as you like.
So, get off the beaten path and onto the Gilbert Trail on your next Himalayan escapade. It’s the refreshingly smooth and rejuvenating getaway you greatly need. And now, you have Thomas Cook tours to help you reach Kasauli and enjoy this activity without any hassle, whatsoever.