New trail descriptions help with exploring the MST

I write a fair amount about the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and for good reasons:

  • It’s the longest trail in the state. Eventually, the trail will run about 950 miles, from Clingman’s Dome on the Tennessee border east to Jockey’s Ridge on the coast. At present, about 550 miles of the trail are complete (the remaining 400 miles are on temporary routes, primarily secondary roads).
  • If you live in one of the state’s metro regions that starts with a “T”, you’re just a short drive from the trail. In the Triad, a 22-mile stretch of the MST piggybacks on the 22-mile Sauratown Trail, running from Pilot Mountain State Park east to Hanging Rock State Park. In the Triangle, a 60-mile stretch of the MST runs along the south shore of Falls Lake and another 10 miles is done along the Eno River, from Durham’s West Point on the Eno city park upstream to the Pleasant Green Access of Eno River State Park.
  • It’s growing practically by the day. On May 18, for example, a volunteer workforce will strive to blaze a three-mile stretch of the MST near Penny’s Bend that will link the aforementioned 10 miles along the Eno with the 60-mile Falls Lake stretch, creating 73 miles of continuous trail. (More info on that workday, here.)
  • It’s becoming more accessible.

It’s on the latter point that we write today. The Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, with assistance from, has just completed in-depth trail descriptions to help you find and enjoy those completed stretches along Falls Lake and the Eno. In both cases, the trail has been broken down into easy day-hikes, complete with trailhead information, difficulty rating, connecting trails, maps, photos, a description and other helpful information. For those of you who like a detailed account of where you are on the trail, there’s a step-by-step account of each trail provided by FMST volunteer Mark Edelstein.

Specifically, for each section:

  • Eno River: four day-hikes ranging from 2.2 to 2.9 miles (link them together for longer hikes). Details here.
  • Falls Lake: 18 day-hikes ranging from less than a mile to nearly 7 miles. Details here.

Our ongoing cool weather makes this an ideal time to explore the MST. Check out these trail descriptions, then check out the MST.

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