International Appalachian Trail

The International Appalachian Trail (IAT; French: Sentier international des Appalaches, SIA) is a hiking trail which runs from the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Mount Katahdin, Maine, through New Brunswick, to the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec, after which it follows a ferry route to Newfoundland, and then continues to the northern-easternmost point of the Appalachian Mountains at Belle Isle, Newfoundland and Labrador.

In 2009, IAT discussed with the British Geological Survey in Scotland whether to extend the IAT to the Appalachian terrains of Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales, setting off a series of expansions through Europe and Northern Africa. As of July 2015, there were IAT walking trails in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales, England, France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco.[2]

International Appalachian Trail
ECT AMT Route Map
The International Appalachian Trail is the
Eastern Continental Trail's northern component. This map does not show trails through Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island nor the more recent additions on the eastern side of the Atlantic.[1]
Length1900 mi (3058 km)
LocationMaine, United States, and Canada
TrailheadsMount KatahdinBelle Isle
Highest pointMount Katahdin
Lowest pointCap Gaspé


The IAT was proposed in 1994 by Richard Anderson, a Maine fisheries biologist, with plans to traverse the portions of the Appalachian Mountains in Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec that the Appalachian Trail did not cover. Following route selection, construction of the trail took place through the late 1990s.

The first person to thruhike the IAT, as it then existed, was John Brinda from Washington State, in 1997. He did this as part of his thruhike of the Eastern Continental Trail starting in Key West, Florida. He was the first person to thruhike the entire Eastern Continental Trail.

The Newfoundland and Labrador extension to the IAT was proposed in 2003 and is still under construction. When completed, it will add an additional 1,200 km of trail. The official opening of the first trail section of the IAT Newfoundland was September 23, 2006.


The IAT extends northeast from the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Katahdin, Maine to Mars Hill, Maine, before following the U.S.-Canada border north to Fort Fairfield, Maine, where it crosses the border into Perth-Andover, New Brunswick. It continues up the Tobique River valley to Mount Carleton before crossing the Miramichi Highlands to the Restigouche River valley in Quebec and along the Chic-Choc Mountains of the Gaspé Peninsula, ending at the peninsula's easternmost point, Cap Gaspé in Forillon National Park.

International Appalachian Trail Cap Gaspé
End of the trail in Quebec at Cap Gaspé.

From Cap Gaspé, the IAT skips to Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia,[3] and over the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Newfoundland, where the trail picks up again at Channel-Port aux Basques and follows the west coast of the island up the Great Northern Peninsula before terminating at the island's northernmost tip, Cape Bauld. From there the IAT skips over the Strait of Belle Isle to the northern terminus of the Appalachian Mountain chain at Belle Isle.

Extension to Europe and North Africa

Geological evidence shows that the Appalachian Mountains, certain mountains of Western Europe, and the Anti-Atlas range in North Africa are parts of the ancient Central Pangean Mountains, made when minor supercontinents collided to form the supercontinent Pangaea more than 250 million years ago. With the break-up of Pangaea, sections of the former range remained with the continents as they drifted to their present locations. Inspired by this evidence, efforts are being made to extend the IAT into Western Europe and North Africa.[4]

In April 2010 Greenland became the seventh chapter of the International Appalachian Trail.[5] The route is on the Nuussuaq Peninsula near Uummannaq Fjord.[5]

Greenland was followed by Scotland in June, when the West Highland Way became the first IAT trail in Europe.[6]

In October 2010 the IAT expanded further into Europe when nine new chapters joined the IAT at a meeting in Aviemore, Scotland. The meeting was attended by the IAT President and representatives from Coast Alive, the British Geological Survey, Visit Scotland, and Fáilte Ireland. The new chapters include Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, England, Ulster-Ireland, Wales, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland. The Ulster-Ireland chapter covers territories of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. [7]

Spain also joined the IAT in 2010.[8]


Scenic highlights along the route include:



Parks include:



See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "about us" June 2018
  3. ^ Description of Nova Scotia trail section
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ IAT Chapters
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the Eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is about 2,200 miles (3,500 km) long, though the exact length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy describes the Appalachian Trail as the longest hiking-only trail in the world. More than 2 million people are said to take a hike on part of the trail at least once each year.The idea of the Appalachian Trail came about in 1921. The trail itself was completed in 1937 after more than a decade of work, although improvements and changes continue. It is maintained by 31 trail clubs and multiple partnerships, and managed by the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Most of the trail is in forest or wild lands, although some portions traverse towns, roads and farms. It passes through 14 states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Thru-hikers attempt to hike the trail in its entirety in a single season. The number of thru-hikes per year has increased steadily, with 715 northbound and 133 southbound thru-hikes reported for 2017. Many books, documentaries, websites, and fan organizations are dedicated to the pursuit. Some hike from one end to the other, then turn around and thru-hike the trail the other way, known as a "yo-yo".An extension known as the International Appalachian Trail continues northeast, crossing Maine and cutting through Canada to Newfoundland, with sections continuing in Greenland, through Europe, and into Morocco. Other separate extensions continue the southern end of the Appalachian range in Alabama and continue south into Florida, creating what is known as the Eastern Continental Trail.

The Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail form what is known as the Triple Crown of Hiking in the United States.

Aroostook River

The Aroostook River is a 112-mile-long (180 km) tributary of the Saint John River in the U.S. state of Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Its basin is the largest sub-drainage of the Saint John River.

Ayrshire Coastal Path

The Ayrshire Coastal Path is a coastal long-distance hiking path in Ayrshire, Scotland. The route, which is 161 km long, runs along the coast from Glenapp, Ballantrae to Skelmorlie. South of Glenapp, the route links with the Mull of Galloway Trail to Stranraer.The path was developed by the Rotary Club of Ayr, and opened in June 2008. It is now designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage, and also forms part of the International Appalachian Trail.The route is primarily designed for walkers, but much of the middle and north sections are alongside beaches and thus suitable for horse riding. The northern section, between Ayr and Largs, is coincident with National Cycle Network routes 7 and 73 and so is suitable for cyclists. About 3,000 people use the path every year.

Bealach na Gaeltachta, Dún na nGall

Bealach na Gaeltachta, Dún na nGall (Gaeltacht Way, Donegal) comprises four circular long-distance trails in the Gaeltacht areas of County Donegal Republic of Ireland. All four trails are designated as a National Waymarked Trails by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and managed by Donegal County Council and Údaras na Gaeltachta.Slí an Earagail (Errigal Way) is 77 kilometres (48 miles) long and begins and ends in Dunlewey. It is graded as "easy' by the National Trails Office. The total ascent is 720 metres (2,360 feet). The trail follows a circular route around the forestry, countryside and coastline surrounding Errigal and passes through the villages of Gweedore, Falcarragh, Derrybeg and Bunbeg. The trail links to two shorter loop walks on Tory Island and Gola Island and there is also a 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles) connecting trail to Slí na Rosann.Slí na Rosann (Rosses Way) is 65 kilometres (40 miles) long and begins and ends in Dungloe. It is graded as "moderate" by the National Trails Office. The total ascent is 770 metres (2,530 feet). The trail explores the lakes and coastline of The Rosses region of Donegal and takes in the settlements of Burtonport, Annagry, Crolly and Maghery. The trail links to a loop walk around the island of Arranmore and there is also a 22 kilometres (14 miles) link trail from the townland of Crovehy to Slí na Finne, via Doochary.Slí na Finne (Finn's Way) is 51 kilometres (32 miles) long and begins and ends in Fintown. It is graded as "moderate" by the National Trails Office. The total ascent is 980 metres (3,220 feet). The trail loops around the mountains around Lough Finn and the River Finn and passes through the villages of Cloghan and Commeen.Slí Cholmcille (Colmcille's Way) is 65 kilometres (40 miles) long and begins and ends in Ardara. It is graded as "moderate" by the National Trails Office. The total ascent is 1,600 metres (5,200 feet). The route traverses the mountains and coastline of south-west Donegal, an area associated with Saint Colmcille, who gives his name to the trail. It passes through the villages of Kilcar, Carrick and Glencolmcille. Slí Cholmcille is proposed to be included in the Irish leg of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT), an extension of the Appalachian Trail through Canada to Newfoundland, to all terrain the formed part of the Appalachian Mountains on Pangaea, including Ireland.

Belle Isle (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Belle Isle (French for 'Beautiful Island') is an uninhabited island just off the coast of Labrador and north of Newfoundland at the Atlantic entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle which takes its name. Named by French explorer Jacques Cartier, the island lies on the shortest shipping lane between the Great Lakes and Europe, and also on the main north–south shipping route to Hudson Bay and the Northwest Territories. The northern terminus of the International Appalachian Trail is located on Belle Isle.

Belle Isle rises to about 213 m (699 ft) at its highest point, 52 km2 (20 sq mi) in area, 16 km (9.9 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. It is nearly 24 km (15 mi) from either coast, though slightly closer to the Labrador side of the Strait of Belle Isle, and has a lighthouse (supported by flying buttresses) at both its northern and southern ends. Officially uninhabited, there is some seasonal occupation during fishing season.

Belle Isle is the northernmost peak of the Appalachian Mountains, which extend in various shapes over 3,200 km (2,000 mi) southwest to Alabama, US.

Ice patterns show that the island lies at the meeting point of two sea currents: The Labrador Current flows from the northwest, and a smaller current, driven by dominant westerly winds, flows from the southwest. Flow lines in sea ice give a sense of the movement of the ice. Ice floes embedded in the Labrador Current appear as a relatively open pattern. Sea ice with a denser pattern enters from the strait, banking against the west side of Belle Isle. Tendrils flow around capes at either end of the island, with an ice-free "shadow" on the opposite, downstream side. Eddies off the western coast in the ice patterns (indicated by curved arrows in the photo) show where the currents interact north and west of the island.

Bluestack Way

The Bluestack Way (Irish: Bealach na gCruach) is a long-distance trail through the Bluestack Mountains in County Donegal, Ireland. It is 65 kilometres (40 miles) long and begins in Donegal and ends in Ardara. It is typically completed in three days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by the Bluestack Way Management Committee.The trail was first proposed by a local environmental group, the Bluestack Environmental Group, and was opened in 2000. It was partly funded by the EU Peace and Reconciliation Fund and construction was carried out by workers on a FÁS Community Employment Scheme. A review of the National Waymarked Trails in 2010 considered that the trail was suitable to be upgraded to a National Long Distance Trail, a proposed new standard of trail in Ireland intended to meet international standards for outstanding trails, and also recommended that the development of looped walks off the main route should be considered.Starting in Donegal Town, the trail heads north to reach Lough Eske before crossing the Bluestack Mountains to the village of Glenties. From Glenties, it follows the course of the Owenea River to the end of the trail at Ardara.The Bluestack Way is proposed to be included in the Irish leg of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT), an extension of the Appalachian Trail through Canada to Newfoundland, to all terrain that formed part of the Appalachian Mountains of Pangaea, including Ireland.

Eastern Continental Trail

The Eastern Continental Trail (ECT) is a combination of North American long-distance hiking trails, from Key West, Florida to Belle Isle (Newfoundland and Labrador) a distance of 5,400 miles (8,700 km), not including the Newfoundland section. A thru-hike on this system of trails requires almost a year to complete.

The first person to complete the ECT from Key West to Cap Gaspé, Quebec, was John Brinda from Washington state, in 1997.From south to north, the route strings together the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, the Florida Trail, a walk in forests and along roads through southern Alabama, the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail and part of the Benton MacKaye Trail in Georgia, to reach the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain. The Appalachian Trail connects with the International Appalachian Trail; through Maine, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Newfoundland.

The trail system was named by long-distance hiker M. J. Eberhart (trail name: Nimblewill Nomad).

International Railway (New Brunswick)

The International Railway, officially the Saint-Quentin Subdivision, often also shortened to the INR, was a former railway in the northern part of the province of New Brunswick, Canada. It stretched from Tide Head, New Brunswick, (near Campbellton) in the northeast, to Saint-Leonard, New Brunswick, in the southwest. It was built in the early 1900's and was existent until 1989, when CN was granted permission to abandon the line. The rail line is now a trail, of which about 60% forms part of the International Appalachian Trail.

Iron Horse Trail, Alberta

The Iron Horse Trail is a rail trail located in east-central Alberta in Canada. The 300 km-long, multi-use recreational trail is used by all-terrain vehicles, but also by horses, mountain bikes, hikers, and snowmobiles, depending upon the season.The trail occupies a former Canadian National Railway line's right-of-way from Waskatenau to Cold Lake, with an arm branching off to Heinsburg. It is part of the Trans Canada Trail.

Lewis Hills

The Lewis Hills is a section of the Long Range Mountains located on the west coast of Newfoundland, along the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

An ophiolite and Peridotite complex, the Lewis Hills is the southernmost of four such complexes located within the Humber Arm Allochthon, a world-renowned geological area. It is located in an area stretching between the town of Stephenville in the south and the city of Corner Brook in the north.

The Lewis Hills is an excellent backcountry wilderness hiking destination. The most accessible day-hiking route to the Lewis Hills is by the International Appalachian Trail, with the southern trail head located almost at the end of Cold Brook Road, and the northern trail head at the end of Logger School Road

At 814 m (2,671 ft) above sea level, the highest elevation on Newfoundland is The Cabox located in the Lewis Hills at 48°49′59″N 58°29′03″W.

Lists of long-distance trails in the Republic of Ireland

These are lists of long-distance trails in Ireland, and include recognised and maintained walking trails, pilgrim trails, cycling greenways, boardwalk-mountain trails, and interconnected national and international trail systems. Access is noted as the greatest obstacle to developing trails as Ireland has weak supporting legislation.

There are 43 National Waymarked Trails by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council. Each trail is waymarked with square black posts containing an image, in yellow, of a walking man and a directional arrow, a symbol reserved for use only by National Waymarked Trails. The oldest trail is the Wicklow Way, which was opened in 1980, and there are now over 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles) of waymarked trails Ireland. The most frequented trails are the Wicklow, Sheep's Head, Kerry, Dingle, Beara, Burren and Western Ways. The standard of many of these trails are below international comparison, with access noted as the greatest obstacle.

In 1997, the Heritage Council, started developing a series of walking routes based on medieval pilgrimage paths, and there are now 124 kilometres (77 miles) of major penitential trails: Cnoc na dTobar, Cosán na Naomh, St. Finbarr's Pilgrim Path, Saint Kevin's Way, and Tochar Phádraig. These pilgrim trails, and seven others, are supported by Pilgrim Paths of Ireland who follow the same guidelines for developing National Waymarked Trails.

In 2017, the 46-kilometre Waterford Greenway was opened for cyclists, and many others are planned or in development. Many of the National Waymarked Trails form part of larger long-distance and transnational trails such as European walking route E8, the Beara-Breifne Way and the International Appalachian Trail.

Long Range Mountains

The Long Range Mountains are a series of mountains along the west coast of the Canadian island of Newfoundland. They also form the northernmost section of the Appalachian chain on the eastern seaboard of North America. In 2003 it was announced that the International Appalachian Trail would be extended through the Long Range Mountains.

The Great Northern Peninsula of Western Newfoundland contains the Highlands, the largest external basement massif of the Grenville Orogeny in the Appalachian Orogen. This Precambrian basement is known as the Long Range Inlier, Long Range Complex or Basement Gneiss Complex, consisting of quartz-feldspar gneisses and granites that are up to 1,550 million years in age. The Long Range dikes are mafic in composition and have an age of about 605 million years.Running along the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the range includes the following sections:

Anguille Mountains,

Lewis Hills,

Tablelands (a section of the Earth's mantle exposed at the surface)

main section of the Long Range Mountains (running northeast from the Tablelands through Gros Morne National Park)

Martin Goodman Trail

The Martin Goodman Trail is a 56-kilometre (35 mi) multi-use path along the waterfront in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It traverses the entire lake shore from one end of the city to the other, from Humber Bay Arch Bridge in the west to the Rouge River in the east. The Martin Goodman Trail is part of the 730 km Waterfront Trail around Lake Ontario.

Mont-Albert, Quebec

Mont-Albert is an unorganized territory in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region of Quebec, Canada.

The only population centre within the territory is Cap-Seize, located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) south of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts along Quebec Route 299. It was established circa 1940 as a forestry centre and named after the nearby Cap-Seize Creek, a tributary of the Sainte-Anne River. While the name literally means "Cape Sixteen", it is actually a transformation of the English word "capsize", the creek's original name. A post office operated there from 1946 to 1969.The ghost town of Saint-Octave-de-l'Avenir is about 18 kilometres (11 mi) south-southeast of Cap-Chat, at an altitude of 380 metres (1,250 ft). It was formed in 1932 as part of the Vautrin Settlement Plan to encourage colonization of Gaspésie's interior and intended to bring relief during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The settlement was named after founding priest Louis-Octave Caron (1879–1942) and a hopeful outlook of the future (avenir is French for "future"). It grew to 1200 residents in 1937, but then declined until it was abandoned in 1971. Only summer camps remain.The territory is home to the Chic-Choc Wildlife Reserve and Gaspésie National Park where the eponymous Mount Albert and Mont Jacques-Cartier are located. Mount Albert, with a 1,151-metre-high (3,776 ft) peak, is the 9th highest peak in Quebec. It was named in honour of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha because geologist Alexander Murray made the first recorded ascent of the mountain on the Prince's birthday, 26 August 1845. Mount Jacques-Cartier, with an altitude of 1,270 metres (4,170 ft), is Quebec's second highest mountain.Both mountains are popular with hikers (the International Appalachian Trail traverses them both) and share a unique ecology for its latitude: snow cover for 9 months of the year and alpine tundra vegetation. Furthermore, the territory is also home to migratory woodland caribou, the only remaining herd south of the Saint Lawrence.

Mount Carleton

At 817m, Mount Carleton, in Mount Carleton Provincial Park is the highest peak in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, and the Maritime Provinces. It is one of the highlights of the Canadian portion of the International Appalachian Trail. It is also part of the eighth and final section of the Nepisiguit Mi'gmaq Trail. The mountain was named after Thomas Carleton, New Brunswick's first lieutenant governor, and forms part of the Notre Dame Mountains chain, which is visible on Map 24 of the NB Atlas.Before aerial surveillance was extensively used, a hut was maintained on the summit for fire-spotting in the remote north-central part of the province. A very similar hut was maintained on Big Bald Mountain. Triangulation among these huts and other fire towers allowed the locations of wildfires to be determined quickly and easily.

Mount Carleton is a monadnock, an erosional remnant of resistant igneous rocks that remained after an ancient Mesozoic peneplain surface was uplifted in the Cenozoic to form a plateau, and subsequently dissected via millions of years of erosion by wind, water and glacial ice. It consists of 400 million-year-old rhyolitic and basaltic volcanics.

Mull of Galloway Trail

The Mull of Galloway Trail is a coastal long-distance path in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The route, which is 59 km (37 mi) long, runs along the coast from Glenapp near Ballantrae (where the trail links with the Ayrshire Coastal Path) to the Mull of Galloway. The path was developed by the Rotary Club of Stranraer, who maintain the route on a voluntary basis. It opened in 2012, and is now designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. It also forms part of the International Appalachian Trail.The northern section of the route, between Stranraer and Glenapp section was previously designated as the Loch Ryan Coastal Path, with the southern section to the Mull being added later. Waymarking on the northern section is still (as of 2018) distinct from the newer southern section.A marathon, also organised by the Rotary Club of Stranraer, is held annually along the southern section of the route between Mull of Galloway and Stranraer. A shorter 16-kilometre (10 mi) race is also run: this route starts in Sandhead to also finish in Stranraer.

Rideau Trail

The Rideau Trail is a 387-kilometre (240 mi) hiking trail in Ontario, Canada, linking Ottawa and Kingston. Crossing both public and private lands, the trail was created and opened in 1971. It is named for the Rideau Canal which also connects Ottawa and Kingston, although the two only occasionally connect. The trail crosses terrain ranging from the placid farmland of the Ottawa River and St. Lawrence River valleys to the rugged Canadian Shield in Frontenac Provincial Park. The trail also passes through Richmond, Perth, and Smiths Falls. It is intended only for walking (hiking), snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.


Saint-André-de-Restigouche is a municipality in Quebec, Canada.

Its economy is mostly dependent on agriculture, as well as forestry. The International Appalachian Trail traverses the municipality.

Bike and hiking trails in Canada

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