The Great Eastern Trail blazes from Alabama to New York. Running parallel to the original Appalachian Trail, It is 80% complete and will be 1800 miles long.
This new trail was originally the idea of Earl Shaffer, the first person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail back in 1948! The brochure states that Shaffer noted a network of parallel trails running west of the Appalachian Trail, and his idea was to link those trails into a new long-distance trail through the mountains.
And that’s how it’s been done. From the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama, the Cumberland Trail in Tennessee, and other trails, all the way to the Crystal Hills Trail, which eventually connects to the Finger Lakes Trail in New York, the Great Eastern Trail offers a premier hiking experience.
This nicely conceived trail provides a long-distance footpath through nine states, and for hikers and backpackers wishing for something different, it looks exciting. I suspect some hikers are already making plans to thru-hike it in 2012.