Chairperson meets the International Appalachian Trail delegates

Published: 19th September 2016

A delegation from an international walking trail that extends into the continents of Europe, North America and Africa visited the Fermanagh and Omagh district today to experience the trail and the surrounding area.

The International Appalachian Trail (IAT) is a walking route that spans across countries and regions that were home to the Appalachian Mountains some 250 million years ago; when the continents of Europe, Africa and North America were landlocked.

When the continents separated, remnants of the mountain range remained across them forming the path of today’s International Appalachian Trail.

On the island of Ireland the trail runs from Slieve League in Co. Donegal, into the Fermanagh and Omagh district – the Derg Valley and the Sperrins – and on to the North Coast and Glens of Antrim before finishing in Larne.

Chairperson of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Mary Garrity, welcomed the delegates to the district during their visit to the Ulster American Folk Park and said their visit provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase the unique walking and wider tourism product within the district.

“The Appalachian Mountains attract millions of walkers to North America’s East Coast. The extension of the trail into the district over the last couple of years enables us to tap into this global tourism brand and welcome even more visitors to the area,” said Councillor Garrity.

“This marketing initiative will help to address some of the objectives set out in the Council’s Tourism Development Strategy by increasing visibility of the product in the international marketplace, particularly in North America. It also helps maintain the focus on the disapora connections with the Ulster American Folk Park and the genealogy resource available in the Mellon Centre of Migration,” she added.

The International Appalachian Trail delegation are visiting Northern Ireland as part of its Annual General Meeting which takes place in Derry City and Strabane district on 22 September.

There are further plans to expand the International Appalachian Trail across the globe. Once complete the trail network will be the largest in the world crossing 21 countries and three continents.




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