Slightly outside the city of Kelvin, Ukraine, a two-mile stretch of private railway has turned into the stuff of fairytales. One of the most photographed places in all of Ukraine, the train track has garnered the attention of tourists from around the world due to its enchanting tree tunnel. Also known as the ‘Green Mile Tunnel’, the train tracks are used to transport wood to a nearby fibreboard factory three times a day. Other than those trips, the tracks are used by tourists for gorgeous photographs or even for a romantic stroll.
The origins of the tunnel can reportedly be traced back to the Cold War. Near the fibreboard factory, the train track splits off in two directions. The left direction leads to a military base hidden in the forest. During the paranoia of the Cold War, it is said that this tunnel of trees was planted in order to deliberately conceal the transportation of military hardware.
The tunnel has remained in its unique shape not through public maintenance, but through the continued passage of the train. Although the Tunnel of Love is a gorgeous natural wonder, tourist staple, and one of the most photographed places, it has received no official protections. In 2013, there was an outcry from the public after several of the trees were cut down to aid the passage of the train. The trees have remained untouched since then.
The best times of year to visit the Tunnel of Love is during the spring and summer months when the trees are a bright lush green, but the colorful fall leaves and the snowy trees can provide their own unique sense of beauty too. The magical nature of the site is aided by local legend, which states that couples who visit the Tunnel of Love will be granted a wish (provided their intentions are sincere).