Largely as a result of a dogged, decadelong effort by Dick Anderson, a former commissioner of the Maine Department of Conservation, the Appalachian Trail now has an unofficial appendage that goes deep into Canadian wilderness: a 690-mile pathway that crosses New Brunswick and Quebec and winds its way along the St. Lawrence River and then into Forillon National Park before terminating at a lighthouse atop a rock face called La Vieille.
As Mr. Anderson, an avid hiker, bird-watcher and fly fisherman, explained in a recent interview, he slowly began to realize that the summit of Mount Katahdin marked a somewhat arbitrary end to the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Mountains actually extend into Canada; why shouldn't the trail itself?
"I was driving along Interstate 95, in Freeport, when it just popped into my head," Mr. Anderson recalled. "I was so excited that I stopped at a gas station and just started talking to a guy who was pumping gas. He didn't know what I was talking about, but I was so excited I couldn't resist."