Running on National Trails can be some serious trail running. National Trails often offer running trails that are less traveled, which lends them to be more technical and secluded. The Appalachian Trail is a great example of a fun run where you can find some great remote running trails. With 2,175 miles of trail running along the Appalachian mountains you could spend a good part of a year trying to run this whole trail, even in segments. If you are a little more extreme, you could try Fast Packing to cover more ground over a longer period, being able to sustain yourself with a small pack of supplies, but distance limits are usually around 600 miles for fast packing. So do it in two fast packing trips. Too late, it looks like it’s going to take more than two trips to cover the entire Appalachian Trail because of a new expansion effort to Europe underway.
In 1994 the Appalachian Trail, whose Southern point starts in Northern Georgia, was expanded from it’s Northern end in Maine to the edge of Canada’s Maritime Province to form the International Appalachian Trail. Well, the IAT is going to grow even farther now, across the Atlantic to Western Europe where the Appalachian mountain chain’s other half goes into Morocco. A few hundred million years ago the continental plates of Europe and North America collided, then broke up and drifted to their current locations. The new IAT will brush the East Coast of Greenland before picking up in Ireland and Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. It will resume on mainland of Norway and proceed South through France, Portugal, nip Western Spain, and end in Morocco. Now that’s an extreme Trail Run! Travelers will have to take a ferry or train to pick up the route across coasts, or you can just try running on water. Although I’m sure someone will run the entire length of the trail someday, this length of running trail is way too much Trail Runners to swallow; however, the new segments in Europe look to be very exciting! Trail Running trip across Europe anyone?