The Municipality of Tannourine, in cooperation with the Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature Reserve Committee, the Lebanese Mountain Trail and the Renaissance Club (Nahda Club) in Tannourine El-Tahta, organized its annual eco-tourism activity that aimed to introduce hiking enthusiasts to the village of Tannourine.
More than 200 people from different Lebanese regions participated in the environmental day. The participants were divided into 3 teams and each team then proceeded in different directions from the entrance of the reserve.
Team One took the hiking walk inside the reserve and its surroundings, while Team Two made it from the reserve entrance to Tannourine Fawqa Square, passing Bashir Al-Ribaz and Houb area. As for Team Three, they took off from the entrance of the reserve to Al Fawwar in Wadi Ain Al-Raha area and Tannourin El-Tahta.
Throughout the day, the participants were accompanied by The Lebanese Red Cross and the police of Tannourine Municipality. The guides briefed them all along on the distinctive natural features of the surroundings, as well as on the archaeological features of monasteries and churches.
At the end of the activity, the participants met in the building of the Renaissance Club, where they were received by its president Karl Tarabay and a team of young women and youth of Tannourine El-Tahta.
Mayor of Tannourine Sami Youssef explained that the aim of this annual activity is "to shed light on Tannourine and its historical importance, and natural and environmental wealth." The municipality seeks to attract hiking enthusiasts as well as nature lovers to the walking trails.
Tannourine is a Lebanese mountainous village located in the Batroun District of North-Lebanon, at 75 km from Beirut. It has a rich ecosystem and many historical treasures hidden in every corner. It is also home to one of the largest cedar forests in Lebanon: The Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature Reserve.
That reserve is a dense forest perched at 1500 m to 2000 m above sea level, and that was formed naturally in 1999, protecting one of the largest and densest cedar forests in Lebanon.
Deemed one of the greatest places for hiking in Lebanon, the reserve receives nature-lovers seeking to enjoy the opportunity to discover rock-cut or naturally occurring grottos on their hike, as well as rare flowers that are particular to this high altitude terrain.
It is worth mentioning that Tannourine Cedar Forest Reserve is also sought by European birdwatchers from Holland, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, and New Zealand, among others.
As per the A Rocha Lebanon report (2006), "The Tannourine Cedar Forest Nature Reserve and its surroundings is one of the most unspoiled areas in Lebanon, birds can live there undisturbed. Although the number of resident birds is not large, the forest is an attractive resting place for migratory birds. The gorges and mountainsides also are used by eagles, storks, and pelicans as they soar on their journeys between Europe and Africa. So far, around 80 species of birds have been identified in the forest. The Tannourine Cedar Forest Nature Reserve has been declared an Important Bird Area (IBA) in 2006."