As expected, fewer people hiked (and completed) the Mountains-to-Sea Trail last year than in recent years. For those that did, they had to be incredibly self reliant. Most trail angels weren’t offering rides or places to stay this year. Many in town services were limited or nonexistent. There was a pandemic to contend with. Etc.

One recent completer, Tara Dower, was originally planning a traditional thru-hike, but ended up scrapping that plan entirely due to Covid. Instead, she decided to do the trail as quickly as possible with as little impact as possible. In doing so, Tara set the Fastest Known Time on the 1175 mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail!

She began her journey at Clingmans Dome on September 1, 2020 and finished atop Jockeys Ridge 29 Days 8 Hours 48 Minutes later on September 30.

Along the way Tara filmed a documentary which she has published to YouTube in three parts: MOUNTAINS | PIEDMONT | COASTAL.

The final part has just gone live and we have absolutely loved following along on her journey across North Carolina. It has been fascinating watching what a person goes through when they push themselves to the limit. There is a quote at the beginning of Part 3 of the film which we think applies to anyone one who sets out to complete the MST, whether it be in 29 days or 15 years:

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.” – Unknown

Check out Tara’s film below





Congratulations Tara on the completion of your Mountains-to-Sea Trail adventure!

You join a Wonderful List of folks who have completed the trail in some form or fashion from the mountains to the sea. Some people walk the entire way, while others may bike or even paddle part of the MST. Some folks complete the trail really really fast (29 days), while others take their sweet time (15 years to the day). We always love when we receive a new Completion Form in the mail and eagerly await the next one. So, get out there and get hiking (and biking and paddling) and send us those completed forms!