Mountains To Sea Trail Celebrates 42nd Anniversary

The mountains so sea trail (MST) begins at the iconic Clingmans Dome observation tower.

The mountains so sea trail (MST) begins at the iconic Clingmans Dome observation tower.

Mountains To Sea Trail Celebrates 42nd Anniversary. The 42nd anniversary of North Carolina’s the Mountains-to-Sea Trail celebrates with some 33 planned group hikes.

Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail invite interested parties, of all skill levels, to participate in one of 33 group hikes in 27 trail towns across the North Carolina beginning Friday, Sept. 6 through Sunday, Sept. 8. Hikers (or walkers) can choose any of one -12 mile hikes which traverse all types of terrain (rated from easy to strenuous) scheduled from Cherokee to Nags Head. Hikers can opt for the closest trail or venture to another area of North Carolina and explore.

Chuck Millsaps, president of the Great Outdoor Provision Co., the exclusive sponsor of the MST Birthday Hike, was quoted as saying, “We are thrilled to see so many communities hosting hikes across the state as we celebrate the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Its fun to send folks out on the trail then hear their hike stories the next time they stop by.” Great Outdoor Provision Co. is a North Carolina-based outdoor equipment and clothing retailer, with nine stores across the area.

 According to Wikipedia, this long-distance hiking and backpacking trail, established in 1977, will connect the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks by weaving a thread of interconnected trails. A little more than half the trail is complete in multiple segments across the state. Sometime, in the near future, you can step on MST at Clingman’s Dome and many, many miles later dip your weary toes into the waters of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

The Mountains To Sea Trail offers a wide variety of terrain to explore!

The Mountains To Sea Trail offers a wide variety of terrain to explore!

MST’s western point begins at Clingman’s Dome, connects to the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and culminates at its eastern end point in Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the tallest sand dune on the east coast, according to information provided by Wikipedia. The trail’s architects designed the route to connect as many trail systems and scenic areas as possible. Granted official land-based unit status of the state park system on Aug. 2000, MST has expanded to cover some 691 acres in three tracts and 87 acres in conservation easements. Each of these tracts is leased to local governments for management as nature parks, under the guidance of the NC Division of Parks and Recreation (NCDPR). The vast majority of the foot trail is located on lands not directly managed as part of a state park unit. The trail is a part of the North Carolina State Trails System, which is a section of NCDPR, and as of January 2019, 669 miles of trail has been designated as a part of the MST by NCDPR. The segments of MST along the Blue Ridge Parkway were designated as National Recreation Trail in 2005.The MST has the distinction of being the highest elevation long-distance trail in the eastern United States as it crosses Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet.

Betsy Brown, outreach manager for the Friends of MST, was quoted as saying “This will be a great opportunity to explore North Carolina’s natural beauty with the help of hike leaders who have extensive local knowledge of the trail and area attractions.

Those hikers who want to push their mileage and also raise funds to support the Friends’ work on the MST can do the 42-Mile Challenge. Hikers will trek 42 miles on the trail near Blowing Rock raising $10 for each mile hiked. Or hike wherever and however long you like over the weekend and share your hiking tales on the Friends website.

Detailed information about all the hikes may be found at MSTHIKE.

More Hey Smokies Features:

Smoky Mountain Hellbenders
Smoky Mountain Hellbenders...
Smoky Mountain Hellbenders are the largest aquatic salamanders in the national park. You may recognize the Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganien[Read More >>]
Spur Tunnel Repairs Begin
Spur Tunnel Repairs Begin...
Smoky Mountain road closures set to snarl traffic. Spur tunnel repairs begin. Northbound Spur traffic will be one lane beginning January 3 t[Read More >>]
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe...
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe. What is behind the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Years day? Some folk[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail Mushrooms...
Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail mushrooms are always in season! Trametes versicolor (common name Turkey Tail mushroom) is a decomposing polypore[Read More >>]
Christmas Cookie Recipe
Christmas Cookie Recipe...
Christmas Cookie Recipe. When the holidays arrive in the Great Smoky Mountains there are many HeySmokies sweet treat favorites but the tradition[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Long Cold Full Moon
Smoky Mountain Long Cold Full Moon...
Smoky Mountain Long Cold full moon is on the rise! Smoky Mountain Long Cold Full Moon is on the rise! The final full moon for 2022 will appe[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountains Fall Red Beauty Mountain Ash!
Smoky Mountains Fall Red Beauty Mountain Ash!...
Smoky Mountains Fall Red Beauty Mountain Ash! Who wouldn’t love a beautiful ornamental tree, not too large or too small, with an abundance of [Read More >>]
Laurel Falls Trailhead Closure
Laurel Falls Trailhead Closure...
Laurel Falls Trail Closure Laurel Falls Trailhead closure will begin Monday, November 7, 2022 and end Thursday, November 17, 2022. A geotech[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Ghost Stories
Smoky Mountain Ghost Stories...
Smoky Mountain Ghost Stories. The Smoky Mountain region is steeped in strange and unexplainable occurrences that some say are supernatural. We h[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe is the perfect side dish for any meal and sometimes it is a great meal all by itself. All you ne[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Hunters Full Moon
Smoky Mountain Hunters Full Moon...
Smoky mountain full hunters moon HeySmokies.com Smoky Mountain Full Hunters Moon. Most of the time, the full moon isn’t completely full. We [Read More >>]
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains!
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains!...
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains! Perhaps no image is more stereotypical of the rural South than that of the [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Elk Rut
Smoky Mountain Elk Rut...
Love is in the air for Smoky Mountain Elk. Smoky Mountain Elk Rut is on. The call of the wild echoes in the Smokies as Bull Elks seek mates.[Read More >>]
10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains
10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains...
10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. Packing the 10 Essentials for Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains is like your insurance [Read More >>]
All You Need to Know About Snakes in the Smoky Mountains
All You Need to Know About Snakes in the Smoky Mountains...
Yes, there are 23 species of snakes found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but only 2 of them are poisonous; so don't let that keep y[Read More >>]
Giant Hogweed Invades Smoky Mountain Region
Giant Hogweed Invades Smoky Mountain Region...
Giant Hogweed Invades Smoky Mountain Region. Giant Hogweed looms large on it's march toward the Smokies. Giant Hogweed can reach up to 20-f[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Southern Fried Green Tomato Recipe is the perfect solution to all the extra tomatoes from your garden. The HeySmokies.com culinar[Read More >>]
The Big Creek Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Big Creek Experience in Great Smoky Mountains National Park...
Big Creek ranger district is found on the eastern edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a small campground for 12 sites for tents onl[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Parsons Branch Road Opens
Smoky Mountain Parsons Branch Road Opens...
Smoky Mountain Parsons Branch Road Opens after a six year closure. GSMNP officials celebrated the reopening of Parson Branch Road with a ri[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains  Seeks Help Identifying Historic Homesites
Great Smoky Mountains Seeks Help Identifying Historic Homesites...
Dan Lawson place is one of the many historic homesites preserved in the Smoky Mountains. Great Smoky Mountains Seeks Help Identifying Histor[Read More >>]