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
Length5400 mi (8690 km)
LocationEastern United States and Canada
TrailheadsKey West, Florida
Belle Isle (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Elevation change6,643 ft (2,025 m)
Highest pointClingmans Dome
Lowest pointKey West
Hiking details
Trail difficultyEasy to Strenuous
SeasonSummer in northern sections, year round in southernmost sections
SightsAppalachian Mountains
Florida Keys
Gaspé Peninsula
Hudson Valley
Lake Okeechobee
Mount Katahdin
Springer Mountain
Amicalola Falls State Park
Clingmans Dome
McAfee Knob
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), not including the Newfoundland section. 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 Gaspé, 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 part of 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.

The trail system was named by long-distance hiker M. J. Eberhart (trail name: Nimblewill Nomad).[2]


Trails listed in order from north to south.


  1. ^ "Resume: John C. Brinda". John C. Brinda. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  2. ^ "Eastern Continental Trail Guide". M. J. Eberhart. Archived from the original on 2010-03-28. Retrieved 2009-12-20.