Ulster Way A 625 mile (1000km) circular walking route in Northern Ireland

About the International Appalachian Trail

 

THE APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS

The Appalachian Mountains were formed more than 250 million years ago, when the earth’s plates collided to form the supercontinent Pangea. They straddled the central part of that continent in what is known today as eastern North America, eastern Greenland, Western Europe, and north west Africa. When today’s continents separated to form the Atlantic Ocean, remnants of the Appalachians ended up in eastern United States, eastern Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, the British Isles, Brittany, the Iberian Peninsula, and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Algeria.

THE INTERNATIONAL APPALACHIAN TRAIL

The idea to build a hiking trail through the northern Appalachian Mountains was proposed in 1994. The aim was to develop a hiking trail that followed the Appalachian Mountains along the coast of North Eastern America and Canada. From here the idea of a truly international trail was born.

In 2009, representatives of the IAT invited the British Geological Survey in Scotland to come to the British Isles to explore interest in extending the IAT to the Appalachian terrains of Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Greenland became the first IAT chapter outside of North America. This was followed by Scotland, when the West Highland Way was welcomed to the IAT.

By the end of 2011 there were IAT chapters in the following jurisdictions: Maine, United States; New Brunswick, Canada; Quebec, Canada; Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; Nova Scotia, Canada; Prince Edward Island, Canada; Greenland; Scotland; Republic of Ireland; Wales; England; Netherlands; Denmark (Faroe Islands); Sweden; Norway; Iceland; Spain and France.

In 2014 the IAT Ulster-Ireland section was developed and it is hoped that many walkers enjoy this valuable addition to the IAT.

The IAT continues to expand into new areas of Appalachian Terrains, based on the original premise that the trail will eventually connect all the mountains that were created when the ancient continent Pangaea was formed 300 million years ago.

Further information on the wider International Appalachian Trail can be viewed at www.iat-sia.org.