It’s was in the fall of 1993 when the idea of an international Appalachian trail popped into Dick Anderson’s head as he was driving north on I-95 in Maine. As recounted in Robert Moor’s wonderful book “On Trails

“It was … as if his mind’s antenna accidentally intercepted a message intended for someone else. Holy sh*t! he thought. How come no one ever thought of this? This is a wicked idea! He pulled over to get gas, and, impatient to share his plan, he began explaining it to a man at an adjacent pump. “Of course, he’s over there looking at me like I’m freaking nuts!”

Dick soon recruited a more receptive group in Maine to flesh out his ‘wicked idea’. A few months later, on Earth Day, April 22, 1994, former Governor Joe Brennan, Dick, and Don Hudson (now Maine IAT President) proposed a trail to connect the three highest points in Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec.

Commemoration of the IAT through the Parc de la Gaspesie at Gite de Mt. Albert, Quebec

Later, in June 1994, Dick urged the planning delegation in Mt. Carleton Park, New Brunswick, to “think beyond borders”, and the International Appalachian Trail was born.

To celebrate here’s a photographic review of some places the IAT now reaches and the friends made over the past 27 years.

John Brinda (center - white-brimmed hat), first IAT thru-hiker to Quebec
Nimblewill Nomad (center - grey beard) first IAT thru hiker to Newfoundland
Opening of a new section of the IAT in Newfoundland
North American Chapter Meeting in Joggins Nova Scotia
A ceilidh at the Red Shoe Pub on the IAT in Mabou, Nova Scotia
2016 Group hike with Uummanaq Children's Home and Maine IAT members in Greenland
North American and European Chapters of the IAT Annual General Meeting in Iceland in 2012
IAT lunch break on a rainy afternoon near Loch Lomond, Scotland
Kents Cavern, just off the South West Coast Path section of the IAT in Devon, UK
IAT gathering on Pico de Villuerca in Spain, 2013
Ruth Hernández Paredes, the dynamo of IAT Espana
Long-distance hiker Cotton Joe on a 2016 IAT scouting expedition along the TransCantábrica trail in Spain
Hikers climb the first hill at the GR38 - IAT Portugal Launch
Mule wrangler Ibrahim on the Moroccan section of the IAT in the Atlas Mountain, near Amizmiz
Moroccan IAT guide Latifa Asselouf and hiker Jim Kern

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