“On the mountain, moments occur at which something moves between me and it. Place and a mind may interpenetrate till the nature of both is altered. I cannot tell what this movement is except by recounting it…the power of the landscape draw(s) people into intimacy with it, and shows how particular places might make possible particular thoughts.”

– Robert McFarlane, The Old Ways / Photo of Clingmans Dome by Christine Hoye




“A long time from now, those of you who kept your promise to work on the trail will say to your children, ‘I was one of the ones who made the Mountains-to-Sea Trail dream come true. Let’s go hiking on this trail I helped to build.’”

– Joe Mavretic / Photo of Friends of MST Founder Allen deHart by Les Love







“This is the most beautiful place on earth. There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, actual or visionary.”

– Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire / Photo by Greg Yahn along the Greensboro Watershed Lakes
















“I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on my way.”

– Carl Sandburg / Photo by Mary Stewart of MST signage at Blue Jay Point









“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

Rainer Maria Rilke / Dwarf Iris submitted by Doug Veazey




“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate …”

– J.R.R. Tolkien / Photo by Carrie Bonds taken at Greensboro County Farm

“I take long walks because I have a body, and if I do not use my body then I become bad-tempered and apathetic. Those who concentrate solely on their intellect and leave the body behind tend to be rigid, stern characters, and unhealthy. As far as I can tell, each of us seems to have a primal drive toward life, which finds its easiest expression in the act of walking, in the act of moving forward through the natural world and marveling at its beauty. In my experience, all anxious and depressive feelings seem to dissipate when walking along a woodland path. And if you walk far enough you eventually achieve a state of joy — a quiet, inner happiness — and you are relieved, as you have escaped the walls, the squares, the eternity of sitting, of stagnation; now you are moving over the landscape, over the hills and far away, fighting against gravity, breathing fresh air, with a pulsing heart and an appetite for flowers and sunlight. You are free in search of the springs of life. A long walk is a rebirth of consciousness; one never returns quite the same, and is always better off for it.”

Harry J. Stead – Jan 8, 2020 – “Why Long Walks Will Change Your Life” / Photo of Stone Mountain State Park taken by Joe Mickey





“We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.”

― David Brower / Photo of the North Fork of the Catawba River in McDowell County Submitted by Steve Pierce