Skip to content


In the beginning...

The International Appalachian Trail began as an idea that popped into Dick Anderson’s head in October, 1993. Over the next six months, Dick, with the help of Maine conservationists, Don Hudson, Cloe Chunn and Dick Davies, developed a plan to create a hiking trail that followed the Appalachian Mountains, from Maine’s Katahdin to Mont Carleton in New Brunswick and then on to Mount Jacques Cartier in Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula. On Earth Day, April 22, 1994, the proposal to build a hiking trail through the northern Appalachian Mountains was announced at a news conference in Portland, Maine, by Governor Joseph E. Brennan.

"Thinking Beyond Borders"

The International Appalachian Trail (IAT) began as a commitment between Maine and Provincial Canada to work together as neighbors to sustain a common environment and celebrate the grandeur of a common landscape. In North America the trail connects elements of the Appalachian Mountains, crossing rivers, threading open spruce and fir forests, joining the people and cultures of Maine, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. Since 2009, this mission has been embraced in Greenland and Iceland and across the arc of the North Atlantic to Europe and North Africa. The IAT now comprises 23 Chapters on three continents from Maine to Morocco who work to maintain and improve the trail experience and continue in work with landowners, hikers, conservation organizations, and local, regional and national governments.