Join us in Surf City – Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 24 – for the 2019 Gathering of Friends. You’ll get to hear the latest MST news, meet fellow trail enthusiasts, learn new skills, and explore some of the special places along the Coastal Crescent route of the MST.

Highlights at the Gathering will include:

A kick-off reception at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, followed by dinner next door at Surf City’s Community Center.

The member meeting on Saturday when our keynote speaker will be Walker Golder, Atlantic Flyway Coast Director at National Audubon Society. Walker will speak about the unique natural areas in this part of North Carolina and how they fit into the ecosystem of the eastern coast.

Throughout the weekend, guided hikes and excursions will showcase the natural beauty and special places along the MST route in Pender and Onslow counties. Excursions will include:

  • Friday: A base tour of Camp LeJeune. MST members will have a special opportunity to see first firsthand examples of the Marine Corps’ work to restore natural habitat and protect endangered species in the Onslow Bight, ranked by The Nature Conservancy as one of the most diverse ecosystems in all of North America.
  • Saturday: A sunset hike over the new Surf City bridge. Surf City is getting permission for all of us to walk, as a group, the new bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway. The views are spectacular, and you’ll be logging MST miles at the same time.
  • Sunday: Andy Wood of the Coastal Plain Conservation Group, will lead a special tour of the diverse natural habitats at Holly Shelter, the 66,000 acre game land which hosts 19 miles of MST.

Watch for registration details soon.