Finishing the International Appalachian Trail

ECT Day 243

IAT Day 74

Day 243: 19 miles

This morning we all woke up early in the cemetery. Sparkle started playing “My Way” by Frank Sinatra off of her phone. Today Sparkle and Trucker complete the entire ECT! And they did it their way. They will be the 7th and 8th individuals ever to complete the ECT from Key West to Newfoundland. Sparkle will be the first woman ever to complete it.

Waking up for our last morning along the International Appalachian Trail.

As I packed up, I listened to the song and it fit the moment so perfectly. There have been a lot of ups and downs this year, but all of us did this hike our own way. That’s what’s so incredible about thru hiking. I know that I still have about 1700 miles remaining across Alabama and Florida. But I’m still excited to close the book on this chapter and complete Canada.

Watching one final sunrise along the road in Canada.

Once we were packed up, we got moving. There were only 19 miles remaining before we got to the Tim Hortons near Caribou and officially finished the IAT. It was a really nice morning walking along the road. We saw some deer and a fawn which made me really happy. Our first stretch of the day we walked for about 3-4 hours. Then we passed through New Glasgow.

Entering New Glasgow in Nova Scotia.

There was a grocery store that we stopped at for some lunch. I got a sushi roll, a spinach and cheese danish, and some drinks. We hung out there for a while and relished in the moment. This is our last time side-questing along the IAT for food. I’m gonna miss hiking with Sparkle and Trucker.

Once we finish hiking today, we are actually going to taxi back to this town of New Glasgow. We’ll spend the night here and then take a bus to Halifax tomorrow.

The only snake I saw in all of Canada! A little plastic one alongside the road.

After eating at the store, we continued along. It was around 11:30am and we only had to walk for a couple more hours. The route brought us through town and then along a pretty busy highway. Then eventually we crossed the bridge into Pictou. That meant that we were nearing the end of our journey.

Getting close to Pictou where we were completing the IAT in Nova Scotia.

By 1:40pm we were getting close to the Tim Hortons. I cannot believe that we are about to finish the IAT! A 1500~ mile adventure across Canada. It’s been a wild ride. With all of the cumulative miles hiked this year it puts an odd perspective on mileage. But I have realized recently just how long the IAT truly is. It’s a full thru hike in and of itself. We hiked the entire thing in 60 days, with 14 zero days. Only 74 total days spent along the IAT. Most of those zeros were spent waiting for Sparkle to catch up, then waiting for shoes to arrive, and traveling between provinces. We certainly didn’t rest much along this journey.

Walking alongside the ocean on the road one last time, in Canada at least.

Around 2:30pm we arrived at the Tim Hortons. It was such an odd feeling but a bit anticlimactic. Finishing a thru hike without a terminus is a unique experience. But once we got to the coffee shop, ordered drinks, and sat down, it began to sink in. We treated ourselves to possibly our last Tim Hortons pumpkin spiced latte ever. That’s been my Canadian staple. Then we sat there for a little while before taxiing over to the holiday inn express in New Glasgow.

A beautiful painting on an electric pole.

Once we got to the hotel, we all showered and relaxed. Sparkle went thrift shopping and I talked on the phone with my dad for a long while. It felt so good to be done, truly. On Sparkle’s way back from the thrift store she brought back food for Trucker and me. We ate some delicious A&W. Then Sparkle and I wound up going in the hot tub by the pool. She also went down the pools water slide about 10 times like a happy little kid.

When we got back to the room I showered again. Then I wound up sewing my shorts which had a bunch of holes in them. I also got in touch with a hiking friend Beer Run. He’s about to finish the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in New Mexico. Then he plans to hike the Florida Trail. So he just might meet me in Alabama to head south together! We will see.

I wound up staying up super late on my phone. I did some writing and then finally booked accommodations for Alabama. I’m planning on flying into Birmingham and then staying at a hotel a short drive from the airport. The room is incredibly affordable which is great. I want to finally be able to rest and relax for a few days before I embark on the final leg of my adventure. Then I will head back to Pinhoti Outdoor Center in Sylacauga and spend a day or two there before heading south.

It’s going to be wonderful to be able to take a few days off to rest my body. And the timing might just work out perfectly for my friend to meet up with me and hike together. Today marks the end of a huge chapter along my ECT journey. And the beginning of my next adventure, hiking from Alabama to Key West to complete the ECT.

The route that I walked over the last 2+ months across northern Maine, New Brunswick, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. 1500~ miles.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 20

  • John "Tercius" Rutkowski : Nov 14th

    Well done; I’ve been anticipating these final posts.
    I’ve been reading since the start in Alabama last spring.

    I’ll be in FL in December. It would be nice to lay some trail magic out for you

    But heal the legs and hips, you really need some down time to recoup.

  • Terry Stockton : Nov 14th

    I have certainly enjoyed taking this journey with you and your trail family. The only hiking I’ve done was in Vietnam in a jungle didn’t enjoy that very much but you have made and incredible journey and made it very enjoyable for many others. Who knows you may want to write a book.
    Be safe and keep blogging.

  • jen l : Nov 14th

    Congrats on an incredible journey!! 🍾🥂✨️ Thank you for sharing and I will anticipate your next blog! Enjoy your time off trail.

  • Mary : Nov 15th

    Congratulations! I look forward to reading about part 3.

  • Lynn Benedict : Nov 15th

    Have loved following your adventure. Appreciate the time you spent to share!

  • Stride : Nov 15th

    How wonderful ,you are now a part of History forever. looking forward to Future posts .congratulations. you have inspired me to return to the AT.

  • Rem : Nov 15th

    Wooohooo! You go girl.

  • David O : Nov 15th

    👏👏👏 Well done and thanks so much for taking us along!

  • Ellen R : Nov 15th

    It’s been enjoyable following your adventures up the AT & IAT. I hope your knee problems are history as I can relate to creaky knees. Wishing you a relaxing next few days before you continue your journey in Alabama. Thank you for posting regularly after exhausting days of hiking- I get tired just reading about the mileage you post !

  • Chris : Nov 15th

    I’m so glad you’ll be continuing south. Your blog is one that I always look forward to reading. Good luck with your southern travels!

  • thetentman : Nov 15th

    Congrats on the completion of this leg. What fun.



  • Old man Paul : Nov 15th

    Awesome. Congratulations. It’s been a pleasure following your journey. Lifetime of memories for you.

  • Leah Love : Nov 15th

    Congratulations! Thank you for letting us follow along on this historic endeavor, for all 3 of you! Your trio makes a great team. 😁

  • Ralph B. Mahon : Nov 15th

    You slept in a cemetery? Seriously?
    You don’t think that’s disrespectful?

    • Jeff Greene : Nov 24th

      Cemeteries all over the country host events and tours and movie nights and firework watches. The dead don’t care.

  • Lish : Nov 15th

    So incredibly proud of you three “strangers”. Going to miss this tramily so much- Roxy and Sparkle were such magical companions for such a magnificent being such as yourself. And all the boys/men just such amazing support. I really am impressed how much Trucker made Canada seem “easy” with sidequests, breakfasts and platinum planning. Does that mean Sparkle was 1st woman to complete ect in a year?! I cannot wait to see you finish even though it will be bittersweet. Sending purrs and snuggles from our pounce to you. Hopefully the 🇨🇦 juju transfers to Bama and beyond!

  • SkirtedWalker : Nov 15th

    Congratulations on completing your IAT chapter along your ECT journey. Fantastic accomplishment. Thanks for taking us along with your impressive narrative and images. Look forward to your next ECT chapters.

  • Stuart : Nov 15th

    Congratulations on finishing the IAT 👏, 1500 miles is longer than the entire length of my home country of Scotland. That being said I read somewhere that the people who came up with the idea of the IAT envisioned extending it to Scotland and other parts of western Europe, so if you run out of trails in North America you know there’s always somewhere else just around the corner! Well done though and good fortune with your future travels 👏👏

  • Herdy : Nov 15th

    Congratulations on your completion of the IAT, you are a true endurance hiker, can wait to hear to rest of the journey. Hats off to Trucker and Sparks on their incredible hike of the ECT!

  • Jeff Greene : Nov 24th

    Amazing. When you said you were going to be the second woman to do the ECT, I didn’t realize Sparkles was going to be the first! And thank you for publishing the Canadian map. I’m a total map geek, and while I’d been trying to resist plugging in each stop, my head was exploding trying to figure out how this all tied together, and now I know it is more an idea than a straight line… 🙂

    Can’t wait to see the big finale back down south!


What Do You Think?