World’s longest marked trail proposed around Great Lakes

It’s a big idea — a 10,900-mile-long one.

Melissa Scanlan, an associate professor, associate dean and director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School, seeks to establish a hikers version of Mt. Everest — the Great Lakes Trail on the shores of the Great Lakes.

All of the Great Lakes. And all of their shoreline.

It would span at least eight states and two Canadian provinces, and would be the longest continuous marked trail in the world — five times larger than the 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, and more than four times bigger than the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail from the U.S. border with Canada to its border with Mexico.

“I love the Great Lakes,” said Scanlan, who grew up in the region in Wisconsin. “They are just an awesome, binational treasure that often goes unrecognized. We can use something like this to capture people’s attention to the awesome resources that exist in the Great Lakes region.”

It was while hiking a National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin — the Ice Age Trail — that Scanlan said the idea came to her.

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