Hiking - Destination

28 Gorgeous Trails Across Kerala Trekking Enthusiasts Dream About

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It is very difficult to stop yourself from getting attracted to the natural beauty that adorns the Indian state of Kerala. It is best known for ecotourism and backwaters. However, not many people are aware that there are plenty of options for trekking in Kerala. After reading our compilation of some very exciting trekking destinations here, you will be tempted to plan your next trek in Kerala.

Trekking Places in Kerala - We Bet You Haven't Seen it All!

Kerala offers the beauty of nature in its pristine form. The great thing about Kerala trekking is that you get the perfect scenic blend of mountains, valleys, waterfalls, plantations, rivers and meadows. If this enticed you enough, then you should read on to know about the different trekking places in Kerala. These are the best places to check out for Kerala trekking and camping!

1. Soochipara Waterfalls

Difficulty level- Moderate

Best time to visit- May to August

soochipara waterfalls wayanad
Soochipara waterfalls in Wayanad (Source)

The Soochipara waterfalls in Wayanad is a animated waterfall. It is a place that must be visited when you are in Wayanad, Kerala. The trek to these falls will be a visual treat. You will witness glorious views of tea estates and verdant plains lined by a dense green forest cover.

As you reach the waterfall, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of this three-tiered wonder that merges with the river Chaliyar. Don’t stop yourself from taking a dip in the pool that lies at the bottom of the falls.

2. Silent Valley National Park

Difficulty level- Moderate

Best time to visit- November to March. But many visitors choose to go here in monsoon season (May to July)

Living up to its name, a trek in this park will be an experience of walking through a pristine and undisturbed trail through the forest. The park lies within the Nilgiri reserve and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has to be kept in mind that treks here can only be undertaken under the supervision of the committee in charge of the area and that the park is only accessible between 8 am and 2 pm.

You have the option of choosing a river trail, a waterfall trail or a forest trail, each of which gives a unique experience.

Silent valley national park
Silent valley national park

3. Eravikulam/ Rajamalai National Park

Difficulty level- Moderate

Best time to visit- Anytime of the year except for February- March, and May to July

Rajamalai National Park
Eravikulam National Park (Source)

The Eravikulam National Park is a part of the bigger wildlife sanctuary, known by the name of Annamalai. This park is home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr.

Visitors are only allowed in a restricted section of the park where they can trek up to Eravikulam peak to witness amazing views of the Western Ghats and Anamudi peak trekking.

4. Anamudi Peak Trekking within the Eravikulam National Park

Difficulty level- Moderate to difficult

Best time to visit- October to January

This peak is the highest among non-Himalayan/non-Karakoram Mountains in India. You will need special permission to be part of a guided trek that takes you all the way to this peak.

Anamudi trekking takes about 2-3 days and requires a lot of paperwork. However, it promises to be one of the unique experiences of trekking in Kerala.

Anamudi Peak
Anamudi Trekking

5. Chembra Peak

Difficulty level- Moderate to challenging

Best time to visit- November to March

Chembra Peak Trek, Kerala
Chembra Peak, Kerala

The trek to Chembra peak is yet another fabulous option for trekking in Kerala. With an altitude of 2100 meters, this peak is the highest in Wayanad district. The trek begins at the base of the mountain and it takes about 2 to 3 hours to reach the top.

On the way, you will notice a lake that is shaped like a heart. Trekkers are rewarded with amazing panoramic views from the top.

Check out the Complete Guide to Chembra Peak Trek in Kerala: The Crown Jewel of Wayanad

6. Vellari Mala Trek

Difficulty level- Challenging

Best time to visit- December to April

This is precisely the kind of trekking routes that are described in travel books. With a trail composed of a thick forest, steep climbs, a cascading waterfall and a meandering river, the Vellari Mala Trek is not for the faint-hearted. You would require prior permission from authorities for this trek and taking a guide along is highly recommended.

Vellari mala
Vellari mala

7. Agasthyakoodam Trek

Difficulty level- Moderate

Best time to visit- November to April

Agasthyakoodam Trek
Agasthyakoodam Trek. Kerala (Source)

The Agasthyakoodam Trek is a perfect option if you are looking for spiritual trekking in Kerala. This mountain is a holy place for Hindus and Buddhists, and also the point of origin of the river Kallar. As for many other trekking places in Kerala, prior permission from authorities is required for this trek, and guided tours are the best option for this adventure.

8. Ramakalamedu Trek

Difficulty level- Easy

Best time to visit- Anytime of the year except between May and July

Ramakalamedu Trek
Ramakalamedu Trek, Kerala

The Ramakalamedu Trek is the perfect trek for those who don’t wish to walk on a very arduous trail.

This trek goes to the top of the Ramakalamedu hill and offers excellent panoramic views of the Western Ghats and the beautiful villages that lie in the verdant valley. The greenery and the crispy clean air found here is sure to cast magic on you.

9. Thoovanam Waterfalls Trek

Difficulty level- Moderate

Best time to visit- November to April

This trek counts among the most scenic options for trekking in Kerala. The Thoovanam Waterfalls trek commences within the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary and culminates in the waterfalls that are extensions of the river Pambar.

Don’t refrain from splashing in the waterfalls and the adjoining pool. Prior permission from the authorities is mandatory and guided tours are conducted.

Thoovanam waterfalls
Thoovanam waterfalls

10. Trek to Thusharagiri Waterfalls

Difficulty level- Easy in the beginning but challenging after the first waterfall

Best time to visit- September to December

Thusharagiri Waterfalls
Thusharagiri Waterfalls, Kerala

Your experience of trekking in Kerala will not be complete until you visit these waterfalls. The trek to Thusharagiri Waterfalls is considered to be among the most beautiful treks in the region. The source of these waterfalls is the river Chalippuzha that gives rise to three falls.

While the first waterfall can be reached easily, the other two require involve more arduous trails and should be attempted only by experienced trekkers.

11. Top station

Difficulty level- Challenging

Best time to visit- November to March

Standing true to its name, this hilltop, Top station is the highest road in the southern part of India, at an elevation of 2200 meters. This is among the most popular destinations for trekking in Kerala. Though the trek is very tricky, it is a popular trek because of the complete panoramic views of the entire Western Ghats.

Many other trails start from this point and go through some national parks, but some of them require prior permission.

Top station
Top station

12. Dhoni Hills

Difficulty level- Easy to moderate

Best time to visit- October to March

Dhoni Hills
Dhoni Hills, Palakkad

Trek to Dhoni Hills, Palakkad is ideal for experiencing the pristine nature while trekking in Kerala.This beautifully lined trek gives ample views of lush green valleys and passes along the lively Azhakampara waterfall. The sight of cows grazing along the valley and of the farmhouses is a sweet reminder of Swiss villages.

13. Pakshipathalam Trek

Difficulty level- Moderate to challenging

Best time to visit- November to January

Trek to Pakshipathalam
Pakshipathalam Trek

Pakshipathalam Trek derives its name from the numerous kinds of birds that inhabit this mountain. It is also a sacred place for Hindus as it is believed that Garuda- the chariot of Lord Vishnu, landed here.

Also, it is believed to be the meditating place for ancient sages. This trek is only open until sunset and encompasses dense forests, rocky terrain, open meadows, and caves.

This mountain is considered to be among the best trekking places in Kerala. Prior permission is required for this trek.

Know the complete details for Pakshipathalam Trek: Trekkers and Bird Paradise in Wayanad!

14. Periyar Tiger Reserve

Difficulty level- Moderate to challenging

Best time to visit- September to April

For those of you who yearn for some real hard-core outdoor adventure, this option for trekking in Kerala is perfect. The Periyar Tiger Reserve trek can be undertaken only under the supervision of guides and involves at least a night-stay in the wild. Since the park is a protected area of tigers, it is likely that you spot some during your trek. Also, elephants are common here.

Periyar tiger reserve
Periyar tiger reserve

For those of you who don’t want to undertake the complete jungle trekking in Kerala, and are happy to visit the park from the periphery, the trek to Periyar Lake is ideal. This trek can be completed in within a day and offers tranquil, green surroundings along the lake. Many other options like jungle patrol, bamboo rafting, and border hiking trails are possible. Prior booking is mandatory.

15. Nelliyampathy Trek

Difficulty level- Easy to moderate

Best time to visit- October to March

 Nelliyampathy Trek
Nelliyampathy Trek

If you are searching for a combination of nature and adventure, the Nelliyampathy Trek in Kerala is the perfect match for you. The trail will not only enchant you with the amazing views of verdant valleys and plantations of tea and coffee, it will also give you a chance to witness some rare birds like Nilgiri flycatcher and Nilgiri Pipit.

The view of Pothundi dam from the top of the mountain is mesmerizing, to say the least.

16. Peerumedu Trek

Difficulty level- Easy

Best time to visit- September to March

Peerumedu Trek
Peerumedu Trek, Kerala

The Peerumedu Trek is perfect for plantation trekking in Kerala as the trail takes you through vast plantations of rubber, tea and coffee. The verdant green surroundings in the form of vast meadows and misty hills offer the best visual treats.

When in Kerala, trekking through plantations is a unique experience and must not be missed.

17. Ponmudi Trek

Difficulty level- Easy to moderate

Best time to visit- November to March

Ponmudi Trek
Ponmudi Trek, Kerala

Trekking in Kerala is incomplete unless you have experienced the tranquillity and serenity of Ponmudi peak. The Ponmudi trek is surrounded by lush green valleys that are home to a huge diversity of flora and fauna. The river Kallar is easily sighted as you tread on this trek. Your trek to the top will pass through numerous small rivulets and dense forest covers, and finally offer you some of the most amazing views of the valley.

18. Peeru Hills

Difficulty level- Moderate

Best time to visit- September to May

Peeru Hills
Peeru Hills near Kuttikanam, Idukki

Peeru Hills near Kuttikanam is a famous hill station and a hot destination for trekkers of all levels of expertise. There are many options for trekking and hiking. Camping and other outdoor adventure activities are also possible here.

The beautiful views of tea, coffee and spice plantations are sure to remain etched in your memories for a long time.

19. Parambikulam Trek

Difficulty level- Easy to moderate

Best time to visit- October to April

Adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers will get a true taste of trekking in Kerala when they reach Parambikulam. There are two very popular trekking routes here. One takes you along an old tramway path and allows you to absorb the grandeur of nature.

The other trek route, known as the Kariyanshola trail, enchants trekkers by taking them through dense forests that are replete with orchids and rare medicinal herbs.

Parambikulam
Parambikulam

20. Forest Camping in Kerala/Munnar

Difficulty level- Easy

Best time to visit- September to April

Those of you who are enthralled by the idea of camping in the lap of nature would definitely be interested in this option. Munnar is an immensely famous region in Kerala with lush green valleys, vast verdant meadows, and crispy air. Planning an overnight camping trip to Munnar is a sure way to experience the beauty of nature in a serene setting.

21. Trekking at Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary

Difficulty level- Easy

Best time to visit- September to March

chimmony wildlife sanctuary trekking
 Trekking in Chimmony wildlife sanctuary

A trip to Chimmony wildlife sanctuary is a must when you are exploring options for forest trekking in Kerala. Surrounded by the rivers Mupliyam and Kunumali, this sanctuary is abode to a rich diversity of birds and animals.

Overnight camping under the stars is the best way to soak the beauty of this place.

22. Trekking in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Difficulty level- Easy

Best time to visit- September to March

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary trekking
Trekking in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

A stark contrast to the otherwise lush green vegetation of Kerala, Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is the abode of the thorny cacti, that are abundant amidst other kinds of vegetation. As you explore the sanctuary, you will sight the mighty bison, spotted deer and sambar. Boarding and lodging options for an overnight stay are available here.

23. Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Trek

Difficulty level- Moderate

Best time to visit- October to March

Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Trek
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Trek (Source)

The Kolukkumalai Tea Estate Trek is the preferred destination for those who are looking for options for camping and trekking in Kerala.This trek begins at Kurangani village and takes you through a thick forest cover, crisscrossing streams, and moderately steep slopes.

As you reach Kolukkumalai tea estate, you will be welcomed with amazing views of misty valleys and verdant plantations. Overnight camping is highly recommended here.

24. Paithalmala Trek

Difficulty level- Easy to moderate

Best time to visit- Anytime of the year except May to July

A trek to Paithalmala is sure to enchant you with its beautiful views and lush green valleys. This hill station is unique because the average temperature here remains between 21 and 22 degrees Celsius.

The misty valleys add an element of mystery to this hill station that is surrounded in the lap of Brahmagiri forest cover. Needless to say, this is an ideal destination for landscape photographers and trekkers.

Paithalmala
Paithalmala

25. Eddakal Caves

Difficulty level- Easy to moderate

Best time to visit- September to March

Eddakal Caves, Wayanad
Eddakal Caves, Kerala (Source)

Among the many options of adventure activities that you can do in Wayanad, trekking and camping at Eddakal caves are unbeatable. In addition to the marvellous natural formation of the caves, you will also be drawn to the amazing views of misty valleys and surrounding plantations.

An overnight stay in an outdoor camping tent and a bonfire is highly recommended

26. Lakshmi Hill Trek

Difficulty level- Easy to moderate

Best time to visit- September to April

Lakshmi Hill Trek
Lakshmi Hill Trek

Lakshmi Hill Trek is ideal for family trekking in Kerala. With its awesome views of serpentine roads entwining the surrounding mountains, this trek is sure to bring a smile on your face. The trek takes you through green meadows and verdant plantations before your reach the peak. Don’t forget to take your camera along.

Also, check out Hiking with Kids: Awesome Ideas to Make Your Hike Memorable!

27. Chokramudi Peak Trek

Difficulty level- Easy

Best time to visit- October to April

Trekking in Kerala can be a great family activity if you choose to go to Chokramudi peak.

The trek begins at the base of the mountain and as you make way to the top, you will find yourself getting carried away in the beautiful views of the valleys and plantations that are visible from the trail.From the top, the clouds spread like a blanket over faraway mountains and valleys will enchant you beyond measure.

Chokramudi
Chokramudi peak

28. Sahibkkunnu Peak Trek

Difficulty level- Challenging

Best time to visit- September to March

Sahibkkunnu Peak Trek
Sahibkkunnu Peak Trek

If you yearn for some exciting trekking in Kerala, then you should consider the Sahibkkunnu Peak Trek. The trek commences at the base of Banasura range and takes about 7 hours to reach the top. On your way, you will pass through dense green forests, serpentine turns, green valleys, animated waterfalls and steep slopes. The view from the top will be worth the effort.

Summing Up

Kerala has immense options for trekking and camping. Some of the most popular among these options are mentioned above. It must be noted that National Parks and sanctuaries might be subject to closure seasons and it is advisable to call them beforehand to avoid last minute disappointment.

Also, trekking in monsoons (May to August) should be avoided because most of the trails become slippery and dangerous.

Trekking in Kerala is a great way to beat the blues and to experience the thrill of trekking at all levels of expertise. Have you decided your next destination in Kerala?

Read about more Indian treks here: 7 Destinations for Trekking in the Himalayas.

Cover image source!

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