Eastern Continental Trail – A Thru Hike of 4,800 Miles, 205 Days, and 10 Million Steps
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). 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 Gaspe, 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 and Labrador.
The trail system was named by long-distance hiker M. J. Eberhart (trailname: Nimblewill Nomad).
Springer Mountain in southern Fannin County is the start of a 2,000+ mile trek to Maine’s Mount Katahdin known as the Appalachian Trail. As the trail follows the eastern ridge of the Appalachian Mountains it passes through 14 states, and although the slogan is “Maine to Georgia,” most people hike the trail the other way, Georgia to Maine. Georgia’s mild climate plays a role in this, since hikers like to start the 6 month trek in April. Another reason: the toughest part of the trail, in New Hampshire and Maine is saved for last, when hikers are in condition to handle it.
The Appalachian Trail begins in Georgia at Springer Mountain and leaves the Peach State 79 miles later at Bly Gap. The rugged, often rocky terrain reaches a height of more than 4400 feet and never dips below 2500 feet. The high point of the trail is at Blood Mountain (4,461 ft.) while the low point is Dicks Creek Gap (2,675 ft.) Access to the beginning of the Appalachian Trail is by foot from Amicalola Falls State Park.
Sorted in trail sequence starting in Springer, GA and provides various map displays based on the latitude/longitude data for AT shelters.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.