For the first time Scotland will host the annual conference of the International Appalachian Trail.
Inverness has been suggested as the venue for the event next year.
The IAT is an attempt to connect treks in the Appalachian Mountains of North America with others in Europe and Africa.
The areas share geology going back a billion years through a process of ancient supercontinents forming, breaking up and forming again....
The Appalachian Mountains of North America lie between Flagg Mountain, in Alabama, in the US, and the north end of Belle Isle in Canada's Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada....
... However, the Appalachian terrain continues as what are known as the Caledonides of Ireland and Scotland.
Around one billion years ago Scotland and the north-east of the US and eastern Canada were close neighbours on the supercontinent of Rodinia.
Rodinia broke apart around 720 million years ago, but Scotland and parts of North America remained neighbours on the eastern edge of a continent called Laurentian.
Around 400 million years ago England, Wales and south-east Ireland on the continent of Avalonia, and Norway and the rest of Scandinavia on the continent of Baltica collided to form the Caledonian-Appalachian mountain chain.
Further movements of land masses followed.
Scotland was finally separated from the north-east Appalachians around 50 million years ago by the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean.