Nature & Environment Aug 15, 2012

International Appalachian Trail Links North America and Europe

The Wall Street Journal recently posted an article from the Associated Press discussing the extension of the Appalachian Trail to reach three continents. Representatives recently met in Iceland for the annual meeting for the International Appalachian Trail. Read on to learn more:

“The IAT trail extends the Appalachian Trail from its northern terminus at Mount Katahdin, Maine, to eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and then to Europe, where it meanders from Ireland and Britain and south to Spain. The plan is to end the trail in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, said IAT founder Richard Anderson.

Much of the trail encompasses long-used pathways and trails in hiking-happy Europe, so the IAT is now being used. Gaps that still exist are being closed step-by-step as the IAT works with parks and recreation officials in the countries to outline routes, Anderson said. Hikers must find their own ways to cross portions of the ocean that break up the trail, from Newfoundland to Greenland and Iceland, and then to Europe. The trail is free to use in some places and fees are charged in other places.

The exact length of the entire trail on both sides of the ocean isn’t known because it’s incomplete on the European side. But it could be in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 miles in the future — there is no target date — when it’s complete. On the North American side alone, the Appalachian Trail and IAT alone account for roughly 4,000 miles.”

Click here to read the full article.