Friends of the MST Has announced plans to celebrate the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s 43rd birthday during the month of September. This year, four new challenges help hikers and trail friends celebrate in a socially responsible and safe way. The trail runs 1175 miles across North Carolina, from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky National Park to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks, and passes through areas of natural beauty, historical significance and cultural interest.
The three hiking challenges use Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail as a reference. The guidebook features 40 different day hikes from across the trail of varying lengths, and showcases many natural and cultural gems that are connected by the MST. The guidebook is published by UNC Press and edited by Jim Grode. The fourth challenge is a fundraising campaign. All are to be completed during September of 2020. Hikers are encouraged to hike following all local Covid-19 guidelines for safe outdoor recreation.
Challenge #1: Take a Great Day Hike. Walk one or many of the 40 hikes in the new Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail guide.
Challenge #2: 43-Kilometer Challenge. Hike one of the three designated 43-kilometer stretches of the MST in 24 hours to complete the 43K-Challenge. These stretches are:
• Mountains: Segment 5 -Jumpinoff Rock Overlook to Brinegar Cabin. Hike through rolling hills in Doughton Park and Brinegar Family homestead.
• Piedmont: Segment 10 – Rolling View Recreation Area to Yorkshire Center. Hike along the shores of Falls Lake.
• Coastal Plain: Segment 15 – Holly Shelter Game Lands, Surf City Bridge and Topsail Island. Hike through long leaf pine savanna and onto Topsail Island.
Challenge #3: Triple Crown. Complete each of the three 43K hikes in a 24-hour period during the month of September to complete the 43K Triple Crown.
Challenge #4: Raise funds for the MST. Friends has created a peer-to-peer campaign system for trail friends to help raise funds to build, maintain, protect and promote the MST.
More details about the 43rd Birthday Celebration and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail are available on www.MountainstoSeaTrail.org. Step after step, mile after mile, the MST was made for times like these.