In July 2015, the International Appalachian Trail crossed the Mediterranean Sea from Spain into Morocco. The addition of the African country marks the third and final continent of IAT expansion beyond borders to all "Appalachian" regions once connected on the super-continent Pangea more than 250 million years ago, when the Appalachians, Caledonians, and Anti Atlas Mountains were formed.
The first phase of IAT Morocco will extend approximately 600 kms from Midelt to Taroudant and be divided into 3 sections - Midelt to Megdaz, Megdaz to Imlil (High Atlas Central), and Imlil to Tagmout (near Taroudant) - taking a combined 40+ days to complete on foot.
Map of IAT Morocco (click to enlarge)
Along the way, hikers will experience geography, culture and religious traditions unlike anything previously experienced along the IAT, from deserts to Berbers to the Muslim call to prayer.
Berber guide holding the IAT Morocco blaze
Highlights include Jebel Ayachi (the highest peak in the middle Atlas), 700m high Tatrout gorge, the famous Plateau Lakes and fortified cliffside village of Irherm n’ Ouchtim, the ridge of Mgoun (the second highest peak in North Africa) and Megdez, arguably the most beautiful village in the Atlas Mountains.
Red earth houses of Megdez
Next up are Anghomer Pass (Tizi n’Timlilt, 3100m) and the tremendous views of Ouazarzate and Jebel Sahro range, Ardrar Mahboub with its superb views south towards the Sahara, Yagour Plateau (well-known for rock carvings), and Mount Toubkal, at 4167m, the highest peak in the High Atlas and North Africa.
Mount Toubkal in Toubkal National Park
Others include the Sultan's Kasbah Gandafa Palace (17th century), Tinmal Mosque (12th century), Jebel Imaradene summit, and the plateau of a thousand peaks.
The IAT Morocco blaze (i.e., trail marker) contains the familiar IAT/SIA layout, with the addition of the country's flag on top and IAT QR code at bottom.
Blazes are currently being installed along the route, with the assistance of IAT partner Morocco Trek and local volunteers.
Hikers looking for assistance in finding the route and planning their IAT Morocco adventure can contact Morocco Trek at http://www.moroccotrek.co.uk/.
Morocco Trek Campsite near Megdez