Hike Will Bridge Age Gap on Grandparents Day

Looking for a way to bridge the age gap on National Grandparents Day September 9? Take a hike on the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail. (MST)

“We have trail sections for all skills and ages from the Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks and in between,” said Jerry Barker, organizer of the MST Birthday Hike, which will be held that same weekend. He added, “Love of the outdoors is something one generation can pass on to another, whether it is hiking to a waterfall, hilltop, or quiet spot in the woods.”

Between September 7 and 9, 2018, not only grandparents and grandkids, but all North Carolinians can be part of the 41st birthday celebration of the MST. Last year over 1,700 people joined together to hike the 1,175-mile trail in one day on the trail’s 40th.

This year will be more informal, with hikers walking the trail anytime over the weekend with a group goal to accumulate a large number of miles hiked over the weekend. All hikers are invited to record their mileage and/or share their trail experiences at mountainstoseatrail.org/birthdayhike.

Or, you can share photos using the hashtag #mstbirthdayhike on Facebook or Twitter.

Suggested hikes, frequently asked questions and more information are online at mountainstoseatrail.org/birthdayhike. Trail guides for the entire trail are downloadable on the same website.

The MST goes from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks. About 700 miles of the route—more than half the planned length—are currently on natural surface or greenway trail, unpaved forest roads, or beach. A series of connectors on bicycle routes, paddle routes, and backroads knits together finished sections to span the state. It goes through four national parks, two national wildlife refuges, ten state parks and three national forests.

Friends of the MST is a non-profit organization whose volunteers work more than 35,000 hours annually to build and maintain the trail.


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