The Tar Heel state is a treasure trove of superlatives: she is home to the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains (Mt. Mitchell, elevation: approx. 6,684 ft.), and sports the highest sand dune on the Atlantic coast (Jockey’s Ridge). As luck would have it (or perhaps, fate?), we have also been blessed with a trail that not only provides an opportunity to experience the highlights of North Carolina’s “great outdoors,” but also serves as an enjoyable tour for the points in-between.

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail, established in 1973 with the approval of the North Carolina Trails System Act, has sought to connect the western and easternmost reaches of the state. According to Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the nonprofit organization charged with maintaining the trail’s integrity and original vision, the trail runs over 1000 miles, “consisting of footpaths, roads, and state bike routes.” And fortunately, most of the trail is easily accessible – perfect for the outdoor enthusiast with a busy schedule.