Hiking And Kayaking Russia's Lake Baikal

Visitors to Siberia's Lake Baikal encounter endless coastline, brown bears, and exotic hiking to last a lifetime.

As the great blue eye of Russia, Lake Baikal has the honor of cradling 20 percent of the world's freshwater, more than all five of North America's Great Lakes combined. Hike in the tracks of immense brown bears along Baikal's 1,200 miles of coastline or kayak while being watched by the world's only freshwater seals. Outfitters, such as the Center of Adventure Travel (www.baikal.eastsib.ru), offer 11-day kayaking trips and 12- to 16-day hiking trips to the lake, or try a research trip with the Earthwatch Institute (800-776-0188; www.earthwatch.org). For more information, check out the Baikal Homepage at http://baikal.irkutsk.org.