I’ve been spending a lot of time along the Blue Ridge Parkway of late, exploring the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. I’d be spending even more time if the Parkway facilities, specifically the campgrounds, were open. Which they soon will be.
The National Park Service has announced 2012 opening dates for their seasonal facilities along the Parkway. I’m finding them useful for trip planning, figured you might, too. Here are some key locations for the pedestrian explorer, when they open and some thoughts for how these locations might play into your plans. For locations, go here for a Parkway map.
I cringed when I picked up the July Outside magazineand saw that it had the Mountains-to-Sea Trail listed under “Best Through-Hikes You’ve Never Heard Of.” No mention was made of the fact that the roughly 1,000-mile MST is only a little over half done, meaning that roughly 500 miles of this best-trail-you’ve-never-heard-of actually is on pavement, often competing with cars. Not exactly the escape most of us seek when we hit the trail.