There’s Always a New Place to Go Long

Arisaig, a stop on the new 300-mile Scottish Sea Kayak Trail     Photo: Photo courtesy Wilderness Scotland

Turns out Benton MacKaye, the scruffy forest ranger who masterminded the Appalachian Trail in 1921, was an early adopter. Nearly 90 years after he birthed the idea, long-distance trails are cropping up all over the planet, allowing trekkers—and bikers and paddlers—new ways to get lost. New Zealand's Te Araroa Trail, the Kiwi answer to the AT, spans 1,980 miles from Cape Reinga, on the North Island, to Bluff, on the southernmost tip of the South Island. The trail is still a work in progress, but many of the huts are completed. Check the Web site for updates and maps: teararoa.org.nz. Eventually the Great Himalaya Trail (thegreathimalayatrail.org) will stretch 2,800 miles from Bhutan to Pakistan. So far 850 miles in Nepal have been officially completed, winding past all of the country's 8,000-meter peaks. World Expeditions set off on the first guided walk of the entire trail in February. But don't worry: the trip lasts until July, with most hikers biting off chunks of 18 to 34 days, so there's still time to join them. From $3,590; worldexpeditions.com. The Scottish Sea Kayak Trail, the first of its kind, is more a designation than an official route, a 300-mile stretch of coastline from Gigha Island to the Summer Isles, on the country's west side. Paddle one of the prime sections with Wilderness Scotland on its new Sea Kayak Trail trip, a six-day highlight reel including turquoise shallows and ruined castles. From $1,205; wildernessscotland.com. The International Appalachian Trail extends the original AT past Maine's Mount Katahdin north through 1,830 miles of rugged eastern Canadian wilderness, including Newfoundland's Gros Morne National Park, which is rife with freshwater fjords. And that's just the start: international agreements are in the works to expand the trail hundreds of miles through Greenland, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Internationalat.org. This past September, Maine finished construction of the 85-mile Down East Sunrise Trail. Open to nordic skiers, bikers, hikers, and horseback riders, Down East stretches through the wetlands and forests of coastal Maine and connects a handful of fishing communities and seaside villages between Hancock and Pembroke; sunrisetrail.org.

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