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Yew-tree grove in Khost

The yew-box grove is a picturesque part of the Kolkhida forest, which is located on the southeastern slopes of Akhun mountain in the Khostinsky district of the Big Sochi resort. The nature monument occupies an area of ​​301 hectares and is part of the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve. Thousands of yew yews, Caucasian endemic plants and relict species that have survived on Earth since preglacial times grow here. For most of the year, the yew-boxwood grove is filled with bird singing. In the protected forest there are more than 50 rare species of flora and fauna under protection. The territory of the grove is unique and is included in the UNESCO list of natural World Heritage sites.

In our country, yew-boxwood grove received protected status as early as 1930. After 6 years, the first equipped path along which tourists could go to the White Rocks was laid along it. From this place there was an excellent view of the mountain spurs and the valley of the Khosta River, originating on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. From the White Rocks, the trail led to a thousand-year-old yew growing at the entrance to the protected grove. Thus, the first circular route formed, later called the Boxwood Ring.

Yew-tree grove
Scheme of Tiso-boxwood grove
Entrance to yew-boxwood grove
Entrance to yew-boxwood grove
In 1938, a walking trail to the ruins of a fortress of the 8th-10th centuries was built for the excursionists, and in the mid-1950s, the road was taken from the fortress to Khosta.

Today, for everyone who wants to visit the yew-boxwood grove, there are two equipped circular routes. One of them has a length of 2 km. It is laid without any special height differences, simple and physically accessible for everyone, including preschool children and elderly people. Another route is 2.5 times longer. It is designed for people with average physical fitness. Usually tourists overcome it in 2.5-3 hours.

You can get into the reserved forest on your own, or by purchasing a tour at any of the travel agencies that organizes excursions in the resort area of ​​Greater Sochi.

White stone labyrinth trail in yew-boxwood grove
White stone labyrinth trail in yew-boxwood grove
Route on the Small Ring
The length of the tour of the Samshit or Small Ring is 2 km. The route goes along a concreted path and begins in a ash alley. From here the trail goes to the landslide beam, the slopes of which are formed by shale rocks. Tourists can cross this ravine on a high bridge. Behind the beam begins a section of relict yews that are several centuries old. Behind these old-timers, a fig tree (or Korean fig) is clearly visible.

After the yews, the trail makes a sharp turn and leads to the rocky Labyrinth girder, where black hornbeam grows, rowan-berek, privet bushes, and low bushes with red berries line the prickly needles lining the forest base. Here and there, the trunks of tall trees are twined with green vines – this is the famous Colchian ivy, which can rise to a height of 30 m and live up to two hundred years.

Through a forested beam, in its narrowest place a small pedestrian bridge is thrown. The trail descends to him on steep steps. From here, the faults of the rock are clearly visible. The stone labyrinth, which gave the name to the shady gorge, was formed as a result of a strong earthquake.

After the beam, the tourists follow the path laid along the rocky slabs, and soon get to the high cliff above the Khosta valley. It has viewing platforms, from which the expanses of yew-boxwood groves open in all its glory. Above the tree crowns, layers of white limestone are visible, and the top of Yegosh rises above all, bordering the protection zone of the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve from the south. The bottom of the beam is overgrown with laurel, needle and boxwood.

From here, the path leads from an old linden tree that has two trunks, and then to a giant yew tree, whose age has passed for a thousand years. Such trees are very rare. But in the depth of the yew-boxwood grove there are instances of yew twice as old. Another 100 meters of the way, and the Small Ring trail ends at the beginning of the route, at the bridge over the Landslide beam.

If you move at a slow pace, a trip along the Small Ring takes 30-40 minutes. It is on this route that all scheduled excursions in the yew-box grove pass.

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