Southeast of Dehradun near Ramnagar, the Corbett National Park is known for hiking and trekking in the India state of Uttarakhand. It is a 521 square kilometer national park known for tigers, elephants and leopards. The main feature of this ridged valley is the Ramganga River, running broadly west by south west, the catchment streams of which vivisect the land into numerous little ridges and ravines.
Corbett National Park has captured the imagination of many with its diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. The natural uniqueness of the area was recognised long ago and so in 1936 Corbett attained the distinction as the first national park to be established in mainland Asia. Corbett National Park lies in two districts – Nainital and Pauri.
Its geographical location between the Himalayas and the terai, and the streams, rivers and ridges crisscrossing the terrain, present Corbett with a remarkable variety of landscapes. This vivid mosaic of habitats – wet and dry, plain and mountainous, gentle and rugged, forests and grasslands – supports numerous plant and animal species, representing Himalayan as well as plains kinds. The most famous of Corbett's wild residents are the Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant, but with about 600 species of avifauna Corbett is one of the richest bird regions of India.
In recent years the number of people coming here has increased dramatically. Presently, every season more than 70,000 visitors come to the park from India and abroad. Corbett remains open to tourists from 15th November to 15th June. The main reason for closure of the Park during the rest of the year is that during the monsoons most of the roads get washed away. Repair work starts after the rains end and it is only by November that roads are back in motorable condition.
The town of Ramnagar forms the headquarters of Corbett Tiger Reserve. It is well connected to important places by road and rail. No Highway passes through the Reserve. There is a State Highway (Moradabad-Tehari S.H.No.4) lying on the Eastern boundary of Corbett Tiger Reserve from Ramnagar to Marchula for about 35 km. Ramnagar is connected by road to Delhi, Moradabad, Bareilly and Naintial. State transport buses ply regularly from Delhi, Moradabad, Haldwani to Ramnagar. The approach routes are:
1) Delhi-Gajrola-Moradabad-Kashipur-Ramnagar (240 km)
2) Bareilly-Kichha-Haldwani-Ramnagar (160 km)
To reach the Corbett National Park by train, use the train station in Ramnagar from New Delhi.
To reach the Corbett National Park by air, use the airport at Phoolbagh, Pantnagar (50km).
For the convenience of visitors and streamlining tourism management Corbett Tiger Reserve has been divided into five mutually exclusive tourism zones, each having separate gate for entry.
Note: In any national park known to have lions or tigers, hikers need to exercise extreme caution. It is highly recommended to us a park-approved guide prior to hiking or trekking in these regions.
Overall, Corbett National Park is the 8th most popular hiking trail of all 42 hikes in India.