We are sharing tales from the MST as hikers are pursuing the 40 Hike Challenge.

This week we are exploring the Great Day Hike #26: Bentonville Battlefield: Harper House to Cole Plantation hiked by Phil, Krista, and Damon Baker

Exploring the site of North Carolina’s largest Civil War battle, this easy 2.3-mile hike follows a recently opened trail that meanders through woods and fields, along the 1865 battle lines, and across surviving remnants of earthworks built for the battle. It is well marked with interpretive panels and plaques and historical displays that help hikers envision how the battle unfolded.

“We visited the Bentonville Battlefield and Harper House, Great Day Hike # 26 with a foster dog from Burlington Animal Services.

Known primarily as the final major NC battle in the civil war, we started off near the visitor center and Harper house.  The trail itself was an easy going stretch of just over 2.5 miles one way.  Hugging some woods, the trail skirts the farmlands where the battle took place.  Placards along the path notated the timing of the march of the troops across the landscape.

From the cannons set in the field to the cemeteries and memorial stones, the walk was a quiet and somber look back at a critical turning point in our countries young history.  The foster pup loved the mostly level trail, and all the exciting smells from the farm fields!”

From the Bakers:

We are currently working with Burlington Animal Services.  We started with them last year, with a goal to pick up one of their pups each weekend, and hike at the different state parks.  We thought it would be a great way to help bring attention to the wonderful adoptable dogs while exploring the state.  COVID threw a bit of a wrench in those plans, but we were still able to visit quite a few parks with quite a few pups!  We document these experiences on the A_dog_in_every_park Instagram page, hoping to help find them homes!

We had previously visited all state parks in 2019 on our own.  As we began this new year, Krista found the 40 Great Day Hikes book and we ordered it, thinking it would be great way to experience new areas of NC.  We definitely wanted to continue working with the shelter, because the hikes are always more fun with a dog, and they have so many wonderful animals looking for forever homes!

Currently we both work FULL time in health care and grocery supply chain.  We reach out to the shelter when we know we’ll be able to go hiking that weekend.  They select a pup they want us to take.  We pick them up Friday afternoon, spend Friday evening with them, take them hiking on Saturday, and drop them back off Saturday afternoon with some observations.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!  We look forward to experiencing more of North Carolina’s beauty through the Mountains to Sea Trail!


We invite you to hike all 40 of the hikes in Great Day Hikes – take the 40 Hike Challenge!  If you’ve hiked one of the 40 Hikes, share your story with us. Hashtag #MST40Hike or email with your tale.

MST 40 Hike Challenge