A Memorable weekend on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

The MST through Doughton Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We have this remarkable path working its way across the state called the Mountains-to-Sea-Trail. It’s western end is atop Clingman’s Dome, on the Tennessee state line in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To the east, it ends (or begins) atop Jockey’s Ridge — whichever dune happens to be highest on the day in question. About 550 miles of the estimated 1,150-mile trail is complete.

We mention this because May is Mountains-to-Sea Trail Month, an opportunity, we believe, to get to know the trail a little better.

For instance, you may be thinking, “550 miles is finished, what’s up with the remaining 600 miles?”

A lot, it turns out. Earlier this month we caught up with Kate Dixon, executive director of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to catch up on the trail’s progress. Find out what we learned — including the especially interesting news about the trail’s route from the Triangle to the coast — here.

You may also be thinking, “550 miles: I wonder where the best hikes are, and the hikes closest to me?”

“Best” is certainly subjective when it comes to hikes. For some, the best hike includes a great view, or a waterfall. For others, the best is one that’s flat. Or, better still, downhill. Get one perspective of the best of the MST in a piece we wrote for the Great Outdoor Provision Co. blog, here.

The MST closest to you? Your best bet there is to check out the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail website, which has a rundown of finished trail statewide.

Finally, maybe you’d like to share your MST experience with others. Our GetHiking! hiking clubs in Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle have been hiking the MST almost exclusively all month. Here’s how you can join in the fun:

GetHiking! Charlotte

Saturday, May 24: 5-7 miles, Harper Creek Wilderness, Wilson Creek area
Saturday, May 31: 7.9 miles, Tanawha Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway along the east flank of Grandfather Mountain

GetHiking! Triad

Saturday, May 24: 7.3 miles, Greensboro watershed lakes (Peninsula, Osprey and Townsend Trails)
Saturday, May 31: 10 a.m., Doughton Park to Devil’s Garden Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway

GetHiking! Triangle

Saturday, May 24: 11 miles, MST along Falls Lake (Cheek Road to Red Mill Road)
Wednesday, May 28: 3.8 miles, MST along Falls Lake (Red Mill Road to Penny’s Bend)

For more information on these hikes, click the link to the respective Meetup group.

There are nine hiking days left in Mountains-to-Sea Trail Month: make the most of them.

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