David Miller, executive director of A2A, told Lonely Planet: “Alice the moose was sort of the inspiration but the main connection is the landscape between the two.
“Alice was tracked from the Adirondack through Algonquin and so we had this idea of using [her travels] as a trail initiative – how would you get from one area to the other?”
He explained that while there were highly developed trails in both the Algonquin and the Adirondack, hiking was less developed in the area that would ultimately connect the two. “Some trail sections are quite well known and developed,” he said, “but others are not really promoting the trail as much.”
Another obvious issue the planned pathway would face would be crossing the frontier between the two countries, making it a ground-breaking cross-border trail between the two close neighbours.
David Miller said: “The idea is you would identify connectors, rails to trails, pathways, country roads. The border is part of the exploration you have to [look at and people could] walk across the [border] bridges.”
The story behind Alice the Moose is a famous tale from US conservation history. The moose – tagged with a radio collar – was released in the wilderness of the Adirondacks in 1998 and tracked for several years on her travels. She swam lakes, traversed the great St Lawrence River and managed to get across busy roads and a national highway before settling in Algonquin Park where she died of unknown causes in 2001.
If all goes to plan, the A2A route – almost the same length as the route of the Camino de Santiago – would be completed over the course of the next five to six years.