Triangle: MST | James M. Johnston Nature Preserve


Floodplain forest, mountain creek, Piedmont river, mountain laurel tunnel, towering bluffs — you’ll find it all on the MST in the James M. Johston Preserve. All on just one mile of trail.


If there were an award for syntax in the trail world, for compacting as much diverse nature into a short stretch, the James M. Johnston Nature Preserve section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Hillsborough would be an odds-on favorite to win. There’s a small, rocky creek that’s accessible and easy to explore; passage through a mountain laurel tunnel; a “mountain” summit; and, some rocky areas to deal with: basically, an outdoor playground that you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to explore. And it’s all along a mile of trail.


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