Development of the Coastal Crescent route took a big step forward with completion of a Strategic Plan for development of the trail.  The 270-mile route traverses the diverse and beautiful landscape and welcoming communities of North Carolina’s  Southeastern Coastal Plain in Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland, Bladen, Pender and Onslow counties.

“Hikers are already following the Coastal Crescent to explore this wonderful part of North Carolina. The plan will help us enhance their experience by building new off-road trail and providing amenities like campsites, and we expect that these travelers will bring tourism dollars to the area,” said Kate Dixon, Executive Director of Friends of the MST.

Kipling (Kip) Godwin, an eastern North Carolina native, and Project Coordinator for the CCT Plan added, “We appreciate the help of everyone who participated in developing the plan, including elected officials, stakeholders, public land managers, and the general public.”

The planning process was funded by the Duke Energy Foundation, and Destination by Design, a Boone-based planning firm, provided technical expertise.  Shown here is the public forum at the White Lake Town Hall in 2016.  (From left to right, Smith Raynor, NC State Parks, Dianne de Andrade, Friend’s executive director Kate Dixon, and Carl de Andrade.)

The Coastal Crescent route was developed by Friends to provide a way for MST hikers to explore the southeastern part of North Carolina. The route traverses the “Cape Fear Arch” and “Onslow Bight,” recognized as two of the most biologically diverse areas in the United States. The goal of the plan is to provide vision and guidance to develop new off-road sections of trail and to meet the needs of hikers – whether out for a day hike, weekend trip, or long distance trek – for lodging, camping, supplies and activities.

You can read the entire plan at

Dixon also noted that the strategic plan has been finalized, the Friends staff and board representatives will work closely with staff from the NC Division of Parks and Recreation to incorporate this plan into the overall master plan for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. The Coastal Crescent was officially designated as part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail by a unanimous vote of the NC General Assembly (S244/H361) in June 2017.

For more information, please contact  Kate Dixon at (919) 698-9024 or