PORTLAND (AP) – A national trail advocate plans to set out today on a 700-mile hiking and kayaking trip that will take him from the Atlantic coast to the Great Lakes.

Al LePage will begin his trip at the Portland Headlight and follow what’s envisioned as the Great Northeast Trail. He plans to hike 400 miles and then paddle another 300 miles before reaching Oswego, N.Y., and Lake Ontario by mid-September.

“I expect to have a great trail experience in the Northeast,” LePage, of Portland, Ore., said as he prepared to leave. His Web site noted that his itinerary will take LePage to the Presidential Range in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont and Lake Champlain.

LePage, 50, wants to build support for a trail linking the Atlantic and Lake Ontario through existing and proposed segments of trails in northern New England and New York. And he wants to become the first person to complete the Great Northeast Trail.

LePage, who has completed the 1,800-mile West Coast Trail and hundreds of miles of other regional trails, is founder and executive director of the National Coast Trail Association, which envisions a 10,000-mile trail around the United States.

Today’s event marks a personal milestone for the Framingham, Mass., native. LePage and his wife Kathy Christy will mark their 10th wedding anniversary by hiking through the urban trail system of Portland.

West of Portland, his route will take LePage along the Mountain Division Trail, a total of about 45 miles from Windham to Fryeburg.



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