The MST turns 47 this September

Each year, we celebrate how far the trail has come since September 1977, when Howard Lee (pictured far right), then the Secretary of the NC Department of Natural Resources and Community Development, proposed “establishing a state trail between the mountains and the seashore in North Carolina.”

This year, there are several great ways to get involved:

  • Hike – Participate in the Birthday Challenge by hiking or paddling 47 miles or biking 147 miles on the MST or volunteering 15 hours between Sept. 1st through Sept. 30th or explore the MST by joining one of our many group hikes listed below.
  • Participate in a Volunteer Workday – Check out the multiple workday opportunities listed below or locations and dates across the state to help maintain the MST.
  • Hear from 40 Great Day Hikers – Join us on Zoom as we hear from our 40 Great Day hikers and Jim Grode. See below for details.
  • Give or Fundraise to Support the MST give a special $47 birthday gift to the trail.

As part of our continuing commitment to making the MST a welcoming, diverse and inclusive place, we encourage you to invite friends, colleagues, family, and neighbors who have not been on an MST adventure to join in.

Howard Lee

Birthday Challenge

47 Mile Challenge

Hike or Paddle 47 miles or Bike 147 miles or Volunteer 15 hours
on the MST between September 1st – 30th, 2024

Hike or paddle 47 miles or bike 147 miles or volunteer 15 hours on the MST during the month of September for a chance to win great prizes from REI, Rip Stop by the Roll, and Insect Shield. You can repeat your favorite sections over and over or explore new mileage on the MST.

  • This year we celebrate hikers, paddlers, bikers AND volunteers along the MST!
  • All walkers or paddlers who complete 47 miles or bikers who complete 147 miles or volunteers who work 15 hours on the MST between September 1st through September 30th, 2024, are eligible to win a prize.
  • Please track mileage, dates of hikes or hours of service and submit via this form by October 7th to be eligible for prize drawing.
  • For logistics, we recommend using our trail guides (which are available for free to all current members of Friends of the MST) or Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail. If you would like to log volunteer hours, visit our workday calendar HERE.

Group Hikes and MST Events in September 2024



If you don’t see your area represented, consider creating an informal group with your hiking pals, work pals, neighbors or family to get more folks out on the MST.

Donate to support the MST

It’s not a true celebration until you’ve given the trail a birthday gift!

limited-edition, wooden MST trail sign

Our work to build, maintain, protect and promote the MST is supported by people like you. Consider giving a special $47 gift to the trail in honor of the MST’s 47th birthday to support our work. While a gift of any amount is always appreciated, the first 20 people who donate $100 or more from August 28-September 30 will receive a piece of MST art. This beautiful, limited-edition handmade wooden MST trail sign is created by volunteer Andres Sarre. You can read more about Andres HERE.

After our first 20 supporters are identified, the remaining donors who make a special gift of $100 or more between August 28th and September 30th will be entered into a random drawing for the remaining 10 signs.

None of the work we do would be possible without our donors. Your employer may also have a matching gift program – an easy way to double your giving.

Fundraise to Support the MST

Commit to raise funds to help build, maintain, protect and promote the MST.

Raise $470 or more to receive a special surprise!

Invite your friends to support your love of the MST by setting up a Facebook fundraiser (or other peer-to-peer system that you prefer.)

You can set up a peer-to-peer fundraiser through Facebook quite easily. If you choose this route, let us know so we know to watch for those gifts because we aren’t notified by them. It’s easy to do, click here to find our fundraising page on Facebook. You’ll be on a pre-filled template for general donations – you can edit the standard donation copy by downloading 47th Birthday Campaign copy. We can also send you photos from the trail or any logos you may need.

MST 46th Birthday

MST Birthday Hike Photos

We’d love to see the MST through your eyes and lens!

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