The David Scott Trail is one of Meghalaya's earliest trails and an exciting journey through time and natural beauty. It is a 16 km long trek winding its way through majestic mountains, historic sacred groves, verdant meadows, stunning valleys, pristine rivers, natural pools, and bridges as it passes through the Eastern Khasi Hills.
The David Scott Trail, at 4,892 ft altitude, runs between Mawphlang and Lad Mawphlang, two well-known Khasi villages famed for their heritage, traditions, and legends. Along with being breathtakingly beautiful, the trek also has significant historical importance because it is a section of a 100-km trade route that dates back to the early years of British colonialism in India. It bears the name of the British administrator David Scott stationed in northeastern India in the early 1800s.
The David Scott trail is a lovely one-day hike starting from Mawphlang village, allowing you to take in the surrounding beauty of hills and valleys and feel refreshed amidst nature. Stop for a rest at the Ka Kor Ka Shonmai rest area, capture the beauty of Camilla's tomb, unwind by the hanging bridge over the River Umain, and visit a few Khasi villages along the way to learn about their folklore. The David Scott trail is suitable for people of all ages, including beginners, children, and senior citizens.
Maximum Altitude: 4892 ft
Grade: Easy to moderate
Duration: 3 days / 2 nights
Trekking Distance: 16 km
Trail Type: Moderate to Difficult
Rail Head: Guwahati Railway Station is easily accessible by shared cabs and private taxis.
Airport: Guwahati Airport easily accessible by road.
Service From: Shillong, approx. 25 km from Mawphlang.
Base Camp: Ka Kor Ka Shonmai.
Best Season for David Scott Trail: Winter from November to February for being the sunniest and driest season.
Region: Shillong, Meghalaya.
Who Can Participate: Anyone who loves nature and adventure, as well as novice to experienced trekkers
Guwahati to Mawphlang (3 h 6 min / 145.9 km)
Meet our representative on the first day of your David Scott Trail at either Guwahati railway station or the airport, where you will be greeted warmly and then driven to Mawphlang in a comfortable vehicle.
Enjoy the approximately three-hour scenic drive while learning about the area's history from your knowledgeable driver.
Arrive at the sacred Mawphlang Sacred Forest's trekkers huts, located 25 km from Shillong.
The forest is one of the most striking aspects of the Khasi Hills, which has long been protected by traditional religious laws.
Check-in and rest in your cosy hut for the night.
Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang Trail (16 Km)
Wake up to a beautiful morning, eat a filling breakfast, and then get ready to hike the 16-km David Scott Trek from Maphlang to Lad Mawphlang.
The trailhead is about 6500 feet, and it leads to the "Ka Khor Ka Shinmai" rest area. Pass through majestic mountains, breathtaking valleys, and alluring streams to the Camilla Tomb at Mawkorsahep, the next stop after which you will cross the suspension bridge.
You will arrive at Laithsohma village after a number of ascents and descents; have lunch there.
Enjoy Lad Mawphlang's surroundings, stay overnight in your camp, and take in a lovely night in the midst of nature.
Mawphlang to Guwahati
Get up early in the morning with amazing memories of the David Scott Trail trek, have your scrumptious breakfast and pack your bags.
Check out and bid adieu to your campsite and lovely surroundings.
Get in your vehicle for the scenic drive back to the airport or train station in Guwahati.
Return your home with a bagful of lovely memories of the David Scott Trail, camping, and the breathtaking Meghalayan landscape.
By Air: Guwahati Airport is about 140 km and Shillong Airport is about 53 km from the trek. You can take shared taxis or private cabs from there to reach Shillong or the start point of the trek.
By Train: Guwahati Railway Station is the nearest railhead at 117 km from the trail. There are shared taxis available from here that travel to Shillong every day and take almost 3 hours to get there.
By Road: The best way to get to Mawphlang, the starting point of the trek, is by a shared vehicle from Bada Bazaar. Even taxis can be reserved through regional tour operators. Since the David Scott Trek is one of the most popular tourist attractions near Shillong, cab/taxi drivers know about the start point and will leave you comfortably there. The distance between Shillong and Mawphlang is approx. 25 km and takes about one hour, and the journey is amazingly breathtaking.
Route 1: Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang
Total distance: 16 km
Total Time: 4 to 5 hours
Route 2: Lad Mawphlang to Mawphlang (Trek in reverse order)
Although the David Scott Trail is a simple hiking route, you must be physically fit and adhere to specific safety precautions and guidelines. Everyone starting out on this adventure should keep the following imperative advice in mind to have the most enjoyable time possible on the David Scott Trail trek, regardless of whether they are an experienced traveller or a first-timer:
If you're trekking alone, consider hiring a knowledgeable guide because there are a few tricky turns.
Watch your step and exercise caution, especially when walking on loosely embedded rocks.
Carry trekking poles because muddy rocks can be slippery even though there aren't any steep slopes in the David Scott trek.
Keep sipping a little water throughout your trekking expedition to prevent being dehydrated.
Wear comfortable shoes to enjoy the expedition without putting too much strain on your legs.
Bring extra plastic bags to take the trash back and dispose of it sustainably.
The weather is very unpredictable so carry a jacket, an umbrella and a sun cap to keep yourself prepared for all conditions
Trekking Footwear as you will cross several incline and lengthy stretches.
A sturdy backpack (40–60 litres) with strong straps, a sturdy frame, and a rain cover.
Two sets of hiking pants, one set extra in case one gets wet.
Two lightweight, long-sleeved, quick-dry t-shirts to
Thermals (optional in summers) as the temperature drops at the night.
Sun hat and sunglasses for protection from the UV rays.
Hand gloves and balaclavas/woollen scarves to protect from the night chill.
A lightweight warm jacket if its get cold after the rain.
Two pairs of trekking socks and a pair of warm socks for the evening.
Headlamp or LED torch.
Trekking pole to navigate the steep sections.
Toiletry kit with moisturiser, sunscreen, lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, hand sanitiser, light towel.
Sanitary Ziplock bag to store soiled napkins that you can take home with you and discard once you get there.
Cutlery kit with a coffee mug, spoon, and lunch box.
Two 1-litre water bottles.
Raincoat/Umbrella as it can rain anytime in Meghalaya.
Plastic covers to store wet clothes and compartmentalise items.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
1-inch medical tape
6 packs ORS
Cotton roll & Bandage
Tablet for motion sickness, acidity, mild pain relief
When is David Scott Trail open?
The David Scott Trek is open all year round, although the rainy season is not advised because the terrain can become muddy and difficult. You must be ready to deal with the sun, rain, and chills because the weather around here is very unpredictable.
Can you complete the David Scott Trail in a single day?
The David Scott Trail trek distance is about 16 km and can be easily completed in a single day. It takes about 5 to 6 hours to complete the most popular route from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang. The Lad Mawphlang to Mawphlang route will take 7 to 8 hours because there is a steep ascent that will extend your tracking time. Regardless of the route, it is an easy-to-moderate trek that even a novice can complete in a few hours.
How long is the David Scott Trail?
David Scott Trail is around 16 km from Mawphlang to Lad Mawphlang. The hike takes 5 to 6 hours to complete and offers you the chance to stop by streams, rivers, and a tomb, cross a hanging bridge and arc bridge, visit rustic villages, take in natural scenery, and spend some relaxing moments away from the city's bustle.
Is the David Scott Trail safe?
The David Scott Trek is an easy and safe trek with only a few steep sections, making it one of the most popular trekking destinations in Meghalaya. It attracts hikers of all ages, nature photographers, and adventure seekers for being complete with natural beauty, incredible flora and fauna, and easy to moderate difficulty.
Which time of year is best for David Scott Trail?
The David Scott Trail trek is accessible all year round offering breathtaking views of mountains, valleys, falls, streams, and dense forests. However, the best time to take this trek is in the winter when the weather is the most pleasant and in late September to early November after the monsoon when the scenery is at its most beautiful.