Jennifer Pharr Davis hits the trail

Jennifer Pharr Davis and her whole crew – husband Brew, daughter Charley, and son Gus – are starting the first steps down Clingmans Dome to begin an epic three-month journey across NC on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail today. The whole family will hike 4 miles, likely with a few M&Ms dispensed to nudge the children along (well, and maybe the grown-ups, too)....

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Jennifer Pharr Davis to start Mountains to Sea Trail Trek August 15, 2017

Follow the adventures of Jennifer Pharr Davis on her three-month, 1,175-mile hike of North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Although Jennifer is most famous for setting hiking speed records, her goal this time is different. She is undertaking this journey on the MST’s 40th anniversary to “encourage a love of the outdoors and help people experience...

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The Land Between Two Wildernesses – A Photo Essay

I like to do most of my summertime hiking in the high country to avoid the heat, and the bugs. It’s like getting extra, added months of spring. So when the first week of summer rolled around, I thought of that section of Pisgah National Forest that lies between Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wildernesses, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Parkway, Hwy 215, and Black...

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Help Hike 1,175 Miles in One Day

On September 9, 2017, Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail need you to collaborate with hundreds of others across North Carolina to hike and paddle the entire 1,175 miles of the MST in one day. Registration is now open for all legs – follow the instructions on mstinaday.org to sign up. MST in a Day commemorates a speech on September 9, 1977 by Howard Lee, then the...

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Friends of Mountains to Sea Trail to Kick Off 40th Anniversary Celebration

The 40th anniversary celebration for North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail will kick-off March 24-26,2017 at a Friends of MST annual meeting in Elkin. On September 9, 1977 Howard Lee, then Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development, proposed a “state trail from the mountains to the coast.” The annual meeting, called the Gathering of Friends, will be the...

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Shut-in Ridge Trail to Ferrin Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway

The Shut-in Ridge Trail and the Mountains to Sea Trail are one as they traverse the Blue Ridge from the North Carolina Arboretum to Mt. Pisgah. Along the way, there are several jumping on and off points where you can access this trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway, enabling short day hikes. One of these short sub-sections is along Bent Creek Gap Road at BRP milepost 400....

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From mountains to sea: North Carolina woman relives six months spent hiking the state

  If you’d polled Kimberley Brookshire’s friends a couple years ago, they’d likely have said the chances were slim to none that the Charlotte resident would ever think seriously about leaving it all behind to hike more than 2,000 miles through North Carolina. “I wasn’t much of an outdoors person,” said Brookshire, 32. But she is now. Last fall, Brookshire...

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Mountains to Sea Trail 40th Anniversary: Gathering of Friends

Pencil in the weekend of March 24th through 26th, 2017 to kick off the 40th Anniversary celebrations of the Mountains to Sea Trail with an expanded annual meeting, the Gathering of Friends, in Elkin, a friendly trail town between Stone and Pilot Mountain state parks that has enthusiastically embraced the MST. The weekend will officially begin Friday evening with a Hiking...

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Building Bridges Together

Join the celebration for the opening of the Boone Fork Bridge on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in the popular Price Lake Picnic Area, milepost 297 Blue Ridge Parkway, this Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 10 a.m. This 80-foot pedestrian span allows hikers to avoid wading across Boone Fork as they trek from the Boone Fork Trail to Shulls Mill Road, where the path continues to...

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Mark your Calendars: 2017 is the MST’s 40th Anniversary!

On September 9, 1977, Howard N. Lee, then Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development, made an audacious speech to a National Trails Symposium at Lake Junaluska which has fired the imaginations and energy of NC trail enthusiasts ever since. In that speech, Lee recommended that North Carolina build a “trail from the mountains to the coast, a trail...

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Construction starting on Mountains-to-Sea Trail bridge in Price Park along the Blue Ridge Parkway

On Wednesday, August 24, 2016 construction began on a new 80-foot pedestrian bridge for North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail near Boone and Blowing Rock. The bridge, in the popular Price Lake Picnic Area along the Blue Ridge Parkway, will allow hikers to avoid a knee-deep wade across Boone Fork as they walk from the Boone Fork Trail over to Shulls Mill Road,...

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Mountains to Sea Trail Near Old Bald, Nantahala National Forest

Love the high country in summer. It’s like getting an extra month of spring. For much of its length through the Western North Carolina mountains, the Mountains to Sea Trail parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is an area near mile marker 434 on the Parkway, beneath Old Bald, where the MST winds through mixed forest and high mountain meadows teeming with...

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New section Mountains to Sea Trail opens along the Haw River

Thanks and congratulations to Alamance County and Mountains to Sea Trail Friends volunteers for completing another four miles of trail, known as the Sellers Falls Section, along the Haw River near Burlington, NC. This new stretch of trail brings the total continuous miles of MST in this area to eight, and this is in addition to several shorter sections of trail along the...

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Black Balsam to Silvermine and Chestnut Balds on Mountains to Sea Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway

Looking for a short, easy, serene getaway in the high country that offers outstanding long distance views of the Blue Ridge Mountains? This is the trail for you. This little stretch of the famous Mountains to Sea Trail will take you from Black Balsam Road, through a dark and deep balsam spruce forest, across Silvermine Bald and on to Chestnut Bald to a splendid overlook...

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NC Mountains to Sea Trail Interactive Map

Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail have provided an interactive map that allows you to explore multiple aspects of the MST – the route across the state, terrain, and satellite imagery. They have also added icons to help you find places along the trail where the route has been updated, as well as photos taken along the trail route by FMST members. Learn more about the...

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Raleigh man puts heart and soul into NC hiking trail

Jeff Brewer, of Raleigh, is a hiker’s hero and a driving force behind North Carolina’s flagship trail. Brewer fell in love with hiking in 1996 when he took a hiking class with author Allen DeHart at Louisburg College. “Well, it’s good to get away from the hustle and bustle of traffic and take the cell phones and put them away,” Brewer said....

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Coastal Crescent Trail – a new alternate hiking option

The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation and the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (FMST) are pleased to jointly announce the naming of the Coastal Crescent Trail as an additional option for hikers seeking to walk across North Carolina. The Coastal Crescent Trail will serve as an option in eastern North Carolina until the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail (MST)...

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Master plan to be prepared for NC’s Mountains-to-Sea State Trail

Ideas to be gathered from partners, stakeholders and the public will be a major component of a master planning process underway to guide completion of the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The 1,000-mile trail corridor will ultimately link Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the...

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Douglas Falls Trail from Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway

Sometimes you have to work for the reward at the end of the trail. Hiking from Craggy Gardens to Douglas Falls is a prime example. You will descend 1,350 feet from the Blue Ridge Parkway to this 70-foot waterfall through a luscious forest of birch, maple, and beech, even enjoying old growth hemlock along the way. Expect a rough hike, as the terrain is very rugged in the...

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Mountains to Sea Trail Over Blackstock Knob to Balsam Gap, Mt. Mitchell State Park

Hiking among the giants of the East. That’s what you’re doing when you take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Mitchell State Park for this trek on the Mountains to Sea Trail in the Black Mountains. With fabulous views of the Blacks and the Great Craggy Range, and closeup experiences with gnarly old growth fir and spruce krummholz, this stretch of the MtS is some...

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Craggy Gardens, Blue Ridge Parkway

June means catawba rhododendron at Craggy Gardens. Located northeast of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Craggy Gardens is loaded with the purple and maroon beauties. There are two short, easy trails near the Visitor Center that access mountaintops for spectacular vista views and bunches and bunches of rhodies. Craggy Pinnacle takes you above 5,800 feet for a view of...

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Buck Spring Trail to Pisgah Inn, Pisgah National Forest

There’s a trail from Scenic Hwy 276 that parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway as it winds around 10 ridges and makes 13 easy stream crossings on its way to the Pisgah Inn on the Parkway. Buck Spring Trail eventually ends up at the site of the former hunting lodge of George W. Vanderbilt II, the father of Pisgah National Forest. In the spring this trail is alive with...

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New guides available for local day hikes on Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Hikers hoping to explore a portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina without lugging an overnight pack now can consult a detailed series of online day hike guides. The new guides focus on three sections of the 1,000-mile trail, including the 60-mile Falls Lake Trail. The guide for Falls Lake features 18 day hikes that range from shorter than one mile to...

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Graveyard Fields Waterfalls, Blue Ridge Parkway

Graveyard Fields is an anomaly — a high mountain meadow and bog surrounded by 6,000 foot mountain peaks. The wide-open spaces found at Graveyard Fields are a rarity, an exception in the otherwise lush and densely forested slopes of Pisgah National Forest and Shining Rock Wilderness. Popular with locals and tourists alike, no trip to the high country of Western...

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Blind hiker finishes 950-mile Mountains to Sea Trail

Led by his guide dog, Tennille, and cheered by well-wishers, Charlotte native Trevor Thomas finished his extraordinary cross-state trek of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail June 22nd on the Outer Banks of North Carolina becoming the first blind person to hike the 950-mile trail. Thomas, 44, who lost his sight to a rare eye disease in 2005, began his journey on April 6th in the...

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Blind hiker and trusty Lab cross Tar Heel state

In eight months’ time, Trevor Thomas’ eyesight declined from the point of maybe needing contact lenses to total blindness – a surprise delivered by a rare eye disease. Friends told him he’d never skydive again, never race Porsches, never feel the adrenaline surge he’d get from strapping on a pair of skis. They were right. Instead, Thomas hiked the entire Appalachian...

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Mountains to Sea Trail work day at Eno River

After several years of planning and negotiating, Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail in North Carolina are ready to start building new trail to connect the MST from Eno River State Park to Falls Lake. Once this approximately 3 mile stretch of trail is completed, the MST will be continuous from Pleasant Green Road in Orange County to Clayton except for one bridge at...

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Mountains to Sea Trail to Fork Ridge, Middle Prong Wilderness

Back to Rough Butt Bald Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and another visit to the Mountains to Sea Trail. The MST follows, or remains close to the Parkway through much of Western North Carolina, so there are a number of easily accessible jumping off points that head into the backcountry. Middle Prong Wilderness was designated in 1984 and spans rugged high-elevation...

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Asheville hiker writes book on Mountains-to-Sea Trail

The one thing Danny Bernstein might love more than hiking is talking. The avid Asheville hiker has walked all 900 miles of trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, more than 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail and all 40 peaks higher than 6,000 feet in Western North Carolina. She has just written her third hiking book, “The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North...

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Mountains to Sea Trail Over Green Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway

Quite frequently in winter, the Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed for snow and ice. Not great fun for those who wish to drive along the beautiful ridges. Ah — but it’s the perfect time for hikers to get out on the trails that parallel the Parkway — like the Mountains to Sea. Between Pigeon Gap and Bennett Gap at miles 412-414 the Mountains to Sea Trail...

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