When Bryson Guptill saw there was interest in the International Appalachian Trail on Prince Edward Island, he decided to try it out for himself. It took him and another six days to finish. “It was very cool”, he said.
Here’s Bryson’s story, as told by Charlottetown’s The Guardian newspaper. The International Appalachian Trail is part of network along the mountain range in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Maine, Greenland and several European countries. In P.E.I., the trail stretches 150 kilometres, including long stretches along the Confederation Trail. It’s an offshoot of the Appalachian Trail, which starts in Georgia, runs more than 3,500 kilometres to Mt. Katahdin in Maine and takes anyone dedicated enough to try it several months to finish.
Guptill said he made a map of what he thought was the International Appalachian Trail route in P.E.I., posted it to the Island Trails Facebook page and watched as interest spiked. Usually the page gets about 100 views in a week, but the map got more than 4,000 in the first day, Guptill said. “I thought holy crap there’s a whole lot more interest in the (International) Appalachian Trail than I had thought about.” Although he had the route mapped, Guptill said he wanted to make sure it was actually passable from start to finish. He said someone he knew had International Appalachian Trail signs someone sent her, but nobody ever placed them. So he took them and decided to walk the entire route.
Guptill walked the trail with an alternating group of people, including Sue Norton who kept him company throughout the entire trek starting in Borden-Carleton on July 6. They stayed in bed and breakfasts along the way, he said. “We thought that would be more fun than coming home.” Guptill said he had biked the trail before, but wanted to try it at a slower pace. “The thing is when you walk it you see so much more,” he said.During the International Appalachian Trail trip the weather cooperated and the temperatures stayed very cool, he said. Guptill also said he learned a lesson in the importance of putting some mileage on his feet before trying such a long hike. “Your feet just will take a pounding,” he said.