Eastern Continental Trail

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Eastern Continental Trail
ECT AMT Route Map.jpg
Route of the Eastern Continental Trail through the eastern United States and Canada
Length 5400 mi (8690 km)
Location Eastern United States and Canada
Trailheads Key West, Florida
Belle Isle (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Use Hiking
Elevation change 6,643 ft (2,025 m)
Highest point Clingmans Dome
Lowest point Key West
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Moderate to Strenuous
Season Summer in northern sections, year round in southernmost sections
Sights Appalachian Mountains
Florida Keys
Gaspé Peninsula
Hudson Valley
Lake Okeechobee
Mount Katahdin
Springer Mountain
Hazards Alligators
American black bears
Fire ants
Limited water
Tick-borne diseases
Poison ivy
Severe weather
Steep grades
Venomous snakes

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.[1]

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 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).[2]


Trails listed in order from north to south.


  1. ^ "Resume: John C. Brinda". John C. Brinda. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  2. ^ "Eastern Continental Trail Guide". M. J. Eberhart. Retrieved 2009-12-20.