The vast majority of the trail is situated within designated wilderness. The trail passes through large swaths of alpine and high mountain scenery, and lies almost entirely at or above 8,000 feet (2,400 m) in elevation. About 35% of the trail, including the entirety of the last 30 miles (48 km), lie above 10,000 feet (3,000 m). The trail has been described as “America’s most famous trail”; known for its relative solitude, the trail sees about 1,500 thru-hiking attempts each year (including Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers), many fewer than the number of attempts on comparable walks such as the southern portion of Appalachian Trail or the Way of St. James.
The Eastern Continental Trail (ECT) is a combination of North American long-distance hikingtrails, 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.
The American Discovery Trail is a system of recreational trails and roads which collectively form a coast-to-coast hiking and biking trail across the mid-tier of the United States. Horses can also be ridden on most of this trail. It starts on the Delmarva Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and ends on the northern California coast on the Pacific Ocean. The trail has northern and southern alternates for part of its distance, passing through Chicago and St Louis respectively. The total length of the trail including both the north and south routes is 6,800 miles (10,900 km). The northern route covers 4,834 miles (7,780 km) with the southern route covering 5,057 miles (8,138 km). It is the only non-motorized coast-to-coast trail.