On September 4-5, 2014, FMST convened its first-ever Trail Towns Conference.  We had a dynamic group of speakers who shared information about how a community can benefit from its relationship with a long-distance trail like the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Representatives from 22 North Carolina counties attended, including tourism & economic development professionals, elected officials, and government staff.  The conference facilitated networking, strategic planning, and ideas were generated for boosting the economic benefits of the trail and for improving the experience of people walking the trail. See below for some of the presentations that were shared at the conference.  Thank you to the sponsors who made the conference possible: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, First Citizens Bank and the Hillsborough Tourism Development Authority and Tourism Board.


View our Photo Album from the Inaugural Trail Town Conference 2014.


Overview of MST Progress

Trail Town Vision– Kate Dixon, Executive Director-Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

2014-2015 MST Master Plan– Carol Tingley, NC Division of Parks & Recreation

Video Summary of these two presentations-video by Randy Johnson


3 Great Trails-How Trails and Towns Work Together

Appalachian Trail Community Program– Julie Judkins, Appalachian Trail Conservancy Community Program Manager

Appalachian Trail Community-Franklin, NC- Bill Van Horn, AT Volunteer

How to Assist Local Communities in Becoming a Trail Community

Trail Community Program- 12-Step Process

2010 Hiker Survey  and 2010 Hiker Survey Results

AT Community Action Items Prioritized

Signed Proclamation


The Great Alleghany Passage & The Trail Town Program– William Prince, Program Manager-Progress Fund


Tour of MST in Hillsborough

Riverwalk Planning & Funding– Margaret Hauth, Planning Director-Town of Hillsborough, NC


MST Trail Towns at Work

The Haw River Trail in Alamance County– Brian Baker, Haw River Trail

Roseboro/Pondberry Plant Conservation Preserve- Roland Hall, Roseboro Town Commissioner and Bill Scott, FMST Task Force Leader/Board Member

Elkin Valley– Bill Blackley, Elkin Valley Trails Association and Leslie Schlender, Elkin Economic Development Director


State Government: How We Can Help

Grant Programs for Trail Acquisition and Development– Brian Strong, NC Division of Parks & Recreation

Supporting Recreational Infrastructure– Libby Smith, NC Department of Commerce

Visit NC– Mark Shore, Marketing Manager, NC Division of Tourism

NC Department of Transportation & the MST– Lauren Blackburn, Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation, NCDOT