On Sept. 9, 1977, Howard Lee, then secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural Resources and Community Development, introduced the notion of a trail spanning the state. That notion has since evolved into the 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail, extending from Clingman’s Dome high in the Smokies on the Tennessee line, to Jockey’s Ridge, occupying a lower post at the coast.
This year, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail, its birth dating to Sept. 9, 1977, when Howard Lee, then Secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural Resources and Community Development, told a National Trails Symposium in Waynesville that North Carolina should blaze a “state trail from the mountains to the coast, leading through communities as well as natural areas.”
As you contemplate your plans to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, contemplate this: what would be the most appropriate way to celebrate your independence, that sense of truly expressing your freedom?
With a hike, of course.
In honor of Independence Day, we’ve come up with 11 hikes that capture — in name at least — the spirit of the day. Find one near you and enjoy. (For additional information, check the links at the end of the list.)
I miss winter.
I realized just how much on Sunday when I found myself in need of a second layer. Light gloves wouldn’t have been bad, either. Or a hat. There’d been snow a ways back, I recalled, and it was cold for a couple days after. But since? I couldn’t recall the last time a hike had started in 30-degree weather.