In 1997, John Brinda ended his hike of the Florida Trail near Pensacola, having walked the entire pennisula beginning in Key West. Upon reaching the Alabama-Florida state line, he wanted more and continued walking eventually ending his journey in Canada! Soon after, MJ Eberhart ("Nimblewill Nomad") retraced Brinda's steps and coined the trail's new name - the Eastern Continental Trail.
Over 5,500-miles in length, the ECT uses several long paths to take long distance hikers from Key West, FL, to Cape Gaspe', Canada. The path through Alabama takes hikers to their first mountain over 1,000-feet tall, Flagg Mountain, and to the state's highest peak, Cheaha.
While most of the route of the ECT is complete, a 220-mile section in Alabama is currently road walk. AHTS is working with the AHS and Southeast Foot Trail Coalition (SEFTC) to move the ECT off the road in the state and back into the woods.