I hope to get some sort of infographic that will illustrate my route without the need for me to spill a thousand words or so, but for now I will try.
The aim of my route is to link the Triple Crown of Hiking, three North/South routes across the US, each over 2,000 miles long, with a Coast to Coast transcontinental route in a single unbroken footpath, utilizing as much wilderness trail as possible. As such I have taken to Call it the Coast to Coast Triple Crown, or C2C3C for short. (C2C3C sounds like something a chemist would come up with…) My estimate for total distance walked once completed is somewhere north of 15,000 miles, maybe even in the 16k range, depending on how wiggly I get in the southwest this winter.
I started February 12, 2015 at Springer Mt. in Georgia and followed the Appalachian Trail (the first of the Triple Crown) North. Departing from the AT to go on a short canoe trip, and to make a jaunt down to the coast in Connecticut, thus starting my second objective. Once I had finished the AT at Mt. Katahdin, ME, I reversed course and retraced my way South for 200 miles to Stratton, ME where I left the AT behind. From Stratton I walked Roads across the top of NH, to North Troy, VT and the Northern Terminus of the Long Trail, from where I hiked South to Maine Junction, where the North-bound AT departs the LT to head East, however this time I departed to Westward, road walking to the Eastern Terminus of the North Country Trail. Following the NCT thru to ND, where I picked up on roads again and followed them to Glacier NP. Glacier NP marks the start of the Pacific Northwest Trail, which took me further westward to the Pacific Crest Trail, (the second of the Triple Crown) it is also home to my current end goal; the Northern Terminus of the Continental Divide Trail. (The Final trail of the Triple Crown) As I head South on the PCT I will eventually cut west to complete my Coast to Coast route, somewhere likely in SoCal, after I have run out the clock on my opportunity to beat winter to the high sierras. I am not certain what my route between the southern termini of the PCT and CDT will be as of yet, but I have ample time to figure it out as the time between when I expect to finish the PCT at the Mexican Border and when I would like to begin heading back North on the CDT is much wider than I think I shall need.
A quick list of Trails notably encompassed by this route:
- The Appalachian Trail
The Quintessential long distance hiking trail, running from GA to ME
- The Long Trail
A north to south trail that stretches across VT, the AT uses 100 miles of it in the south, my route finishes the northern section aswell. It was also the first long-distance hiking trail in the US
- The North Country Trail
The Longest individual trail on the route, spanning 4,600 miles from NY to ND, and encompassing quite a few other long distance trails into itself
- The Finger Lakes Trail
Travels east to west in NY from the Alleghenies to the Catskills, the NCT uses it for some 450 or so miles
- The Buckeye Trail
circumnavigates Ohio, the NCT utilizes a great deal of it
- The Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail, and Kekekabic Trail
Three Trails in Northern MN, that the NCT fully encompasses
- The Pacific Northwest Trail
Only about half though, as it continues beyond the PCT, and this route, to Olympia NP
- The Pacific Crest Trail
The other classic long distance trail, running from Mexico to Canada thru CA, OR, and WA
- The Arizona Trail, the Grand Enchantment Trail, and the Hayduke Trails
These trails in the American SW are likely to be incorporated into my route between the PCT and CDT in the South
- The Continental Divide Trail
The most formidable of the triple crown, both in mileage and logistical challenge, also the final link in the Great Western Loop, which for me has started and will end in Glacier NP.