The MST turns 45 this September

Each year, we celebrate how far the trail has come since September 1977, when Howard Lee (pictured right during our 2022 Gathering of Friends), 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:

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

Hike in September

Walk 45 miles on the MST between September 1st and 30th or join a group hike on September 8-10.

45 Mile Challenge

Hike 45 miles anywhere on the MST during September for a chance to win great prizes from REI (including REI brand Flash Carbon Trekking Poles, a Flexlight Air Chair, a Flash 22 Park, a Flannel Fleece blanket and large zip pouches)  Ripstop by the Roll (creating a custom, limited edition pouch), VisitNC and others. You can repeat your favorite sections over and over, explore a new 45 miles, walk over a series a days a little at a time or do it all at once!

  • This challenge only counts hiking miles – paddling and biking miles are not eligible. 
  • All walkers who complete 45 miles on the MST by midnight on September 30th will be entered to win a prize packs.
  • Please track mileage and dates of hikes and submit via this form by October 7th to be eligible for prize drawing.
  • For hike 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.

For those walkers around the Triangle who want to complete the challenge, Friends’ of the MST Jennifer Browndorf and Iwona Birk are hosting a series of hikes around Durham and Raleigh in September. These hikes begin and end with a trailhead litter pick up and are designed to help folks get the miles in and give back to the MST. More information can be found here.

Report Challenge Completion

Group Hikes on September 8, 9 & 10 – REGISTRATION CLOSED & HIKES COMPLETED – THANKS TO ALL WHO JOINED US!

THURSDAY, 8TH

  • Surf City Bridge Hike led by Kathy Tucci – Meet at 9 am in Soundside Park for a beautiful, family-friendly hike over the Surf City Bridge and back. You can register through our form or call 910-259-1536 or email Tammy directly. Approximately 2 miles total.

FRIDAY, 9th:

  • FULL: Falls Lake led by Jerry Barker – Meet at 9 am at the Rolling View Rec Area, Baptist Road MST parking lot (link to google map), hiking along Falls Lake, exploring farm ruins, a new trail re-route, to “Tinker Toy Bridge” and return. 2.5 miles total.
  • Burgaw Hike on Osgood Canal Greenway led by Parks & Rec Staff – Meet at 9 am at Hankins Park (310 North Walker Street, Burgaw) for a hike along the paved canal greenway.  You can register through our form or call 910-259-1536 or email Tammy directly. Approximately 2 miles total.

SATURDAY, 10th:

  • FULL: Asheville-area led by Les Love – Meet at meet at 8:15 am at the Folk Art Center (BRP milepost 382.0) to carpool to Greybeard Overlook and leisurely hike 1.5 miles out to the gorgeous view at Lunch Rock.  3 miles total.
  • Elkin-area led by Elkin Valley Trails Association – Meet at 9 am at Grassy Creek Winery (235 Chatham Cottage Ln, State Rd, NC 28676) to hike to Bridge of Dreams location at Carter Falls. 4.5 miles total
  • Hillsborough Riverwalk to Occoneechee Speedway led by Lynne Bresler – Meet at 9:15 at the entrance to the Riverwalk (just to the west of the Hillsborough Public Parking Garage at the corner of Nash and Kolloch Streets) to hike the Riverwalk, past the Occaneechi Village Site and to the historic speedway. Take a lap there and return to the Eno River Farmers Market or continue to Gold Park to complete the entire Great Day Hike 20. 3-5 miles total.
  • Kids’ hike Falls Lake led by Friends of the MST’s executive director Brent Laurenz – Meet at 9:30 at the MST directional sign in Blue Jay Point County Park along Falls Lake. For parking, take the first left after entering the park, following signs to the Lodge, and then park in the first parking lot on the right. We’ll take a short hike on the MST and then spend time on the playground.  Juiceboxes and snacks will be provided! 1.5 miles total.
  • FULL: Falls Lake led by Jerry Barker – Meet at 9 am at the Rolling View Rec Area, Baptist Road MST parking lot (link to google map), hiking along Falls Lake, exploring farm ruins, a new trail re-route, to “Tinker Toy Bridge” and return. 2.5 miles total.
  • Moores Creek National Battlefield led by Park Staff – Meet at 9 am at the Visitor Center, 40 Patriots Hall Dr, Currie, NC 28435, for an informative and historic hike around Moores Creek Battlefield. This is the site of a 1776 victory of Patriots over Loyalists. You can register through our form or call 910-259-1536 or email Tammy directly. Approximately 1 mile total.
  • Croatan Forest hike and cookout with Roger Mays – Meet at 9 at the NCCF office at 3609 NC 24 (Ocean) in Newport for a fun walk along for forest service roads and Patsy Pond in Carteret County. After the hike, join folks for a cookout at the NC Coastal Federation Office. To make sure there is enough food, RSVP to Roger by email or call at 252 723-1612.

WHOLE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER: For those walkers around the Triangle who want to complete the challenge, Friends’ of the MST Jennifer Browndorf and Iwona Birk are hosting a series of hikes around Durham and Raleigh in September. These hikes begin and end with a trailhead litter pick up and are designed to help folks get the miles in and give back to the MST. More information can be found here.

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.

“I Am the MST” 

Mountains-to-Sea Trail Mini Series

Julie Gayheart and Austin DuFresne have written and produced a mini series documentary to celebrate the 45th Birthday of the MST.  For more information regarding “I Am The MST,” watch this short announcement from Julie and Austin! Tune in for a sneak peak of the series on 8/27 as the trailer releases on Austin’s YouTube Channel, Side Trail Adventures.  Then follow along as a new episode of the mini series releases each Saturday in September.

Podcast Episodes:

  • 8/27 – Mountains To Sea Trail, Mini Series “I AM THE MST” (Behind The Scenes)
  • 9/3 – The Vision (Behind The Scenes)
  • 9/10 – The Foundation (Behind The Scenes)
  • 9/17 – The Partners (Behind The Scenes)
  • 9/24 – The Legacy (Behind The Scenes)
Listen to the Podcast

Video Mini Series:

Watch the Mini Series
Austin DuFresne and Julie Gayheart

Austin DuFresne and Julie Gayheart

In addition to this mini series, don’t miss the great opportunity to witness the first live & in person premiere of “I Am The MST,” (The Foundation, featuring Beverly Scarlett). Join Julie Gayheart, Austin Dufresne and Hillsborough native Beverly Scarlett on Saturday, September 24 at 9:30am at the Main Branch Library in Hillsborough NC (137 Margaret Lane, Hillsborough NC) for this meet and greet & exclusive screening. Coffee and muffins are being provided by the Mebane Trail Rangers, and folks from Keep Durham Beautiful will be on hand as well.  After the show, join Beverly as she leads a hike to a few of the locations featured in this episode, and maybe she will tell a story or two along the way! Come join the fun!

For a true “behind the scenes” account of how Julie Gayheart and Austin DuFresne created and produced the mini series “I Am The MST”, check out the “Jester” Section Hiker Podcast starting Saturday August 27 and each Saturday through the end of September.  Listen to the “Jester” Section Hiker Podcast

MST buttons

Give a Special Gift

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

Our work to build, maintain, protect and promote the MST is supported by people like you. Consider giving a special gift to the trail to support our work. A gift of any amount is always appreciated, and with a special birthday gift of $45 or higher you’ll receive an MST button and an exclusive Friends of the MST button! And all those who give for the 45th have a chance to win a super cool limited edition screen print of the trail by Bob Goldstein! Winner will be drawn at random on October 7.

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.

Give

Fundraise to Support the MST

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

Raise $450 or more to receive a special personalized pottery mug handcrafted by Court Pernell, maker of our MST mugs.

1 – 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 also 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 45th Birthday Campaign copy. I can also send you photos from the trail or any logos you may need.

2 – Invite a business to become a trail partner.

Business donations are a big help in our efforts to build and maintain the trail. Right now, our corporate gifts have slowed significantly, and finding new corporate trail supporters is critical. If you have someone in mind, reach out to us and we can help make the pitch. See who supports the trail now.

A Zoom Celebration 45 Years in the Making – THANKS FOR BEING WITH US ON SEPTEMBER 9th!

Hear from MST notables, celebrate the MST and hang around for time to connect with others.

Join us online at 6:30 pm on September 9th for 45ish minutes (1 minute for every year the MST has been in existence, get it?) featuring notables from the MST Community! Hang around for another 45 minutes for Q&A with our speakers and online social time!

SIGN UP FOR ZOOM

MST Birthday Hike Photos

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

Share photos on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag:
#MSTbirthday #MST45Mile