Mountains To Sea Trail

From The Appalachian Mountain Range and Through Linville Gorge Is One Of THe Best Hiking Trails In North Carolina

The Mountains To Sea Trail is a concept that originated as long ago as 1973 when the State Assembly passed the North Carolina Trails System Act. The trail then became a part of the State Park system in August 2000.

The idea was for a footpath to reach right across the State of North Carolina

from the Great Smoky Mountains in the west to the Atlantic coast in the east. At present the trail consists of a mix of footpaths, bike trails and sections of roads.

However, volunteers are working to turn the trail into one continuous track. In 2010 over a thousand volunteers worked more than 18,000 hours to improve the trail. To date roughly half of the planned 945 miles of the trail has been completed.

It is being built and maintained by state parks employees, local communities and trail clubs. An organisation called the Friends Of Mountains To Sea Trail exists to promote the idea and to raise funds to complete the project.

The western end of the trail begins at an altitude of 6,643 feet at a place called Clingman`s Dome high up in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. After passing through 37 counties

it ends at the highest sand dune on the eastern coast of America in Jockey`s Ridge State Park.

The route taken by the Mountains to Sea Trail travels through as many of North Carolina`s natural scenic areas as possible. It passes through three National Parks, three National Forests, two wilderness areas - one of them being Linville Gorge -passes many beautiful mountains, such as Grandfather Mountain and Hawksbill Mountain, it connects to seven North Carolina State Parks, passes three lighthouses, including the tallest one in the country, includes three ferry rides and wading across two rivers.

The Trail aims to showcase the beauty and diversity of the North Carolina landscape.

Up until 2010 the whole length of this long distance hike has been completed 22 times by 19 different people. As a rough estimate it takes about two months walking, depending on the fitness of the walker.

If you want to get more information about hiking this amazing trail there is a paperback book available or you should contact The Friends of MST.

You can get a description here of each of the sections together with their mileage

The route of the trail was planned by using some existing trails and with the idea of visiting some of the key natural features of the beautiful North Carolina countryside. Some of the trails that help to make up the MST include several miles of the Appalachian Trail, the Art Loeb Trail,most of the Tanawha Trail, most of the Sauratown Bridle Trail and the entire Neusiok Trail.

Parts of the trail also follow the main road route through the western part of the state, which is the Blue Ridge Parkway. These sections along the Parkway were designated as a National Recreation Trail in 2005.

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