In Maine, the IAT/SIA starts in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in the U.S. State of Maine. The trail heads northeast along the East Branch of the Penobscot River and then east towards Mount Chase and, eventually, Houlton. At Houlton, the trail turns north again and continues to Mars Hill Mountain in Aroostook County. It follows the United States/Canadian international border northward to Fort Fairfield where it crosses into Perth-Andover, New Brunswick.
In New Brunswick, the trail accompanies the Tobique River through the village of Plaster Rock to Mount Carleton and on to St. Quentin, Kedgewick and the Upsalquitch Valley, crossing the Restigouche River into Québec at Flatlands, New Brunswick.
In Québec, the trail leaves Matapedia and proceeds to Amqui then through the Reserve Faunique de Matane to Mount Logan in the western portion of the Parc de la Gaspésie. The trail then turns eastward to Mont Albert, Mont Jacques Cartier, and the legendary cliffs of Cap Gaspé in Forillon National Park.
On Prince Edward Island, the trail begins at the Confederation Bridge in Borden, travelling northeast to the center of the island and then turning east to Mt Stewart. Here, the trail heads south to the ferry at Wood Islands.
In Nova Scotia, the trail picks up at the Ferry Terminal in Caribou, NS and meanders along the coast of Northumberland Strait to the Canso Causeway where it crosses to Cape Breton Island. On Cape Breton, the trail continues mostly along the coast to Inverness, where it turns inland, threading between the Bras d’Or Lakes and then heading to the North Sydney Ferry Terminal.
After crossing the Gulf of St. Lawrence by ferry, the trail resumes in Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland, heading northeast along the Long Range Mountains. Adventurous hikers can explore numerous side trails into extremely remote and scenic areas such as the Lewis Hills and Gros Morne National Park. The Newfoundland/Labrador section of the trail ends at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site.
There are two sections of the IAT in Greenland, one in Eric the Red Land near Greenland’s southern tip and the second 800 miles to the north (and 200 miles above the Arctic Circle) crossing the Nuussuaq Peninsula on Greenland’s west coast. Both of these sections are obviously remote and require careful planning to hike.
In Iceland the IAT follows the Kjalvegur hinn forni (Old Kjalvegur hiking trail). The former horse track extends through a highland desert valley between Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers.
The IAT in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are jointly managed by the Ulster-Ireland Chapter of the IAT. The trail begins near Bunglass Point, County Donegal, and crosses the impressive coastal cliffs of Slieve League before turning east and crossing historic Kelley’s Bridge into Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland the trail heads north to the coast at Castlerock, following it, with occasional treks into the hills, to Larne and the ferry to Stranraer, Scotland.
In Scotland, the southern end of the IAT is located on the Firth O Clyde Rotary Trail at the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, about 20 miles / 30 km south of Stranraer Ferry Terminal. From here, the IAT heads north along the coast to Glasgow. North of Glasgow, the IAT follows the famous West Highland Way though Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park to Fort William. The trail continues north on the Cape Wrath Trail to the North Sea.
All National Trails in England and Wales are part of the IAT. In England, these include:
Cleveland Way, Cotswold Way, England Coast Path, Hadrian’s Wall Path, North and South Downs Way, Norfolk Coast Path, Pennine Way, The Ridgeway, South West Coast Path, Thames Path, and the Yorkshire Wolds Way.
In Wales, the trails include: Glyndŵr’s Way, Offa’s Dyke Path, and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. There are numerous ways to combine these trails into circuits of various lengths. Consult the National Trails website for more information
On the Isle of Man, the IAT follows the Raad ny Foillan or “Way of the Gull” around the island’s coast.
In Norway, the IAT follows the historic Child Wanderer Path near the country’s southern tip. Eventually, the planned North Sea Trail will connect this section to Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. See the North Sea Trail website for more information.
Southern Europe and North Africa
In France, the proposed route of the IAT would follow the E9 European Coastal Path (Sentier Européen du Littoral) along the country’s coast to the Spanish border where it could join the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) to Portugal.
The active section of the IAT in Spain is in Las Villuercas region at the center of Spain’s “Appalachians”, located between the rivers Tagus and Guadiana in Southeast Cáceres. In Portugal, the “Trilho Internacional dos Apalaches” follows GR38 – Grande Roto Do Muradal-Pangeia in the Naturtejo Geopark.
Finally, in Morocco, the IAT traverses the Anti Atlas Mountains from Midelt to Tagmout. This section of the trail is best hiked with the aid of local guides.