The International Appalachian hiking trail has just become the largest trail network in the world. Ireland and six other European countries have signed themselves on to the famous North American leg’s name.

Trail clubs in Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, England and Wales formily joined the International Appalachian Trail at a meeting in Scotland.

This trial is now an extension of famous North American trail which starts in northern Maine and stretches as far as northern Georgia along the Appalachian Mountains. Hikers can now extend their trail by crossing the Atlantic Ocean by boat or plane and picking up the trail in Greenland and Iceland.

IAT geologist Walter Anderson said “By joining, they will set up a trail in their territory...Now we have jumped the pond.’’

The idea is that the trails continuation will bring hikers on a walk along the mountains which formed millions of years ago when America and Europe collided.

It is hoped that the group will add Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Algeria next year. When the trail is completed it will be the largest in the world and will be spread over three continents.