“We’re excited to have one of the world’s great athletes experience one of the world’s great trails!” said Kate Dixon, Executive Director of Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. “We know Diane will be wowed by the beauty of North Carolina and the friendliness of its people. We look forward to welcoming her here in May.”
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) is North Carolina’s flagship trail. It stretches almost 1000 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks over rugged Blue Ridge mountains and Piedmont foothills, through swamps and pocosins in the coastal plain, and along remote beaches of the Outer Banks. Along the way, it passes through many small, historic towns which allow hikers to experience the culture and friendliness of North Carolina’s people as well as its extraordinary natural beauty. The MST is part of North Carolina’s renowned state park system, and the trail crosses land managed by a diversity of federal, state and local agencies.
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is the vibrant citizen support group which raises money and organizes volunteers to build, protect and promote the trail. They work all over North Carolina building and maintaining trail, encouraging communities to create new sections of trail, and helping people hike it. In July 2011, Outside magazine voted the MST the “Best Through-Hike You’ve Never Heard Of” in its feature on America’s Best Trails. You can get involved and help support the trail through Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Plan your hike. Become a member. Volunteer. And start exploring North Carolina, one step at a time!
Check out amazing pictures of the MST here!
At A Glance: The Mountains-to-Sea-Trail
* Is North Carolina’s longest marked footpath
* Is North Carolina’s state trail
* Climbs both the tallest mountain peak and the highest sand dune in the Eastern United States
* Is being built and maintained by trail clubs, local communities and state parks
* Passes through 37 counties
* Showcases the state’s diverse landscape —hardwood forests and tea-colored swamps, fading tobacco crossroads and reviving urban centers, courthouse square towns and rugged gorges, remote lighthouses and mountain overlooks.
* Passes through three national parks and two national wildlife refuges
* Meanders through three national forests
* Passes three lighthouses, including the nation’s tallest
* Connects to seven state parks
* Was proposed in 1977 and added to the state park system in 2000.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE MST
* Highest elevation: 6,684 feet —on Mt. Mitchell
* Lowest elevation: sea level — Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
* Takes approximately 2,112,000 footsteps to complete.
* Includes three ferry rides
* 1026 volunteers worked more than 18,000 hours to build and maintain the trail in 2010
* The Mountains-to-Sea Trail showcases the diversity of North Carolina’s natural beauty from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean.