Join us for the 2024
Gathering of Friends

May 3 – 5, 2024

Black Mountain, North Carolina

Registration for the Gathering of Friends is now closed through Blue Ridge Assembly.

We’re thrilled to announce that Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s Gathering of Friends will be held at Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC, the weekend of May 3-5, 2024.

Gathering of Friends 2024
YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly

Join others from the MST community for our annual membership meeting and a fun weekend exploring trails and nearby towns. We’re also excited to share the work being done locally to build community and make trails inclusive for all neighbors.

When?

May 3rd – May 5th, 2024

Where?

Blue Ridge Assembly, 84 Blue Ridge Circle, Black Mountain, NC 28711. The Blue Ridge Assembly Retreat and Conference Center is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains on 1,200 sprawling acres and is over 100 years old. The beautiful campus, dotted with streams and trails, is a great spot for our Friends to spend time together, strengthening our already vibrant community.

Who?

You! All are welcome to attend the annual Gathering of Friends. If you are a current member of the Friends of the MST, we’re excited to have you back. If you aren’t a current member, you are welcome to join today or when you register for this event. Become a member today or join the Friends of the MST when you register by simply selecting non-member pricing.

Registration?

Different from years past, lodging, meals and registration for Friday’s Welcome Reception and Dinner and Saturday’s annual Gathering of Friends meeting will be made directly through our host, Blue Ridge Assembly, HERE.

The Gathering is our annual membership event. We welcome anyone to attend, and if you are not a member of the Friends of the MST, you’ll see non-member pricing that includes your annual membership of $35. Once we have confirmation for all hikes and excursions, we will update our website and contact our already registered guests so that can register.

The weekend includes:

  • Early bird meet-up in Black Mountain Thursday evening
  • Friday’s Welcome Reception and Dinner
  • Saturday’s Friends of the MST annual meeting and workshops
  • Recognition of MST volunteers and completers
  • Guided hikes and fun excursions
  • Opportunities to learn from and connect with local partners
  • Time for fellowship with Friends of the MST and MORE!

Check out all the hikes and excursions!

2024 Schedule Overview

  • Thursday, May 2nd

    If you arrive early, come out and connect with Friends! We’ll explore the area and play around downtown Black Mountain; we’ll gather that evening at a fun location in downtown Black Mountain.

  • Friday, May 3rd

    Multiple guided hikes, a trail workday and fun excursions to explore Black Mountain and surrounding areas; lunch on your own; Welcome Reception and Dinner beginning at 5pm at Blue Ridge Assembly to celebrate our volunteers and trail maintainers.

  • Saturday, May 4th

    Annual meeting for Friends of the MST will be held at Washburn Center at Blue Ridge Assembly; guest speakers will provide updates on the trail, volunteer opportunities, and so much more, followed by a group hike on the property; and wrapping up with dinner on your own. Check-in begins at 8am, and the meeting starts at 9am.

  • Sunday, May 5th

    Guided hikes and excursions in the area!

  • SELF-GUIDED HIKES

    We’ve polled our local Friends and here’s their list of fabulous self-guided hikes.

Registration

Registration is now open for lodging, meals, Friday’s Welcome Reception and Dinner, and Saturday’s annual meeting. The Gathering is our yearly membership event. We welcome anyone to attend, and if you are not yet a member of Friends, you’ll see non-member pricing that includes a yearly membership. These prices do not include lodging nor the $20 venue cost for all attendees.

  • Full event for members: Friday (dinner) and Saturday (breakfast, lunch) $85
    • Non-member $120 (includes your $35 annual membership)
  • Friday Only for members: Welcome Reception and Dinner $45
    • Non-member $80 (includes your $35 annual membership)
  • Saturday only for members: 2024 annual meeting, breakfast and lunch $55
    • Non-member $90 (includes your $35 annual membership)

Sponsors

Sponsorships are available for the Gathering.
This event is possible because of the strong support of our partners.

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Logo
Mast General Store

Accommodations & Local Info

We are happy to offer several types of lodging located on the campus of Blue Ridge Assembly. All lodging is reserved through Blue Ridge Assembly and can be booked HERE.

  • Tent camping! The tent camping package is $35 per tent and there are 15 spots available. Campers will have access to bathrooms that are within a short walk of the sites. This bathroom does not have showers.
  • Cottages! The newly renovated 3- bedroom cottages that sleep up to 8 people are also available for rent starting Thursday, May 2nd. Click HERE to preview.
  • Hotel style rooms! Asheville Hall and Blue Ridge Center offer hotel style rooms located in the heart of campus. To view the rooms at Asheville Hall and Blue Ridge Center, click HERE.
  • Budget lodging! For a bunk-style room, we offer Hibbard Hall. If you are interested in double occupancy, you are welcome to submit the name of your roommate or reach out to Josh Sartori to coordinate. Click HERE to view Hibbard Hall.

 Cancellation Policy

We’re excited to welcome you to the 2024 Gathering of Friends at Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain. If for any reason you need to cancel, please follow the policy listed below and on the registration site.

Blue Ridge Assembly’s cancellation policy: housing payments are refundable if reservation is cancelled prior to Wednesday, April 3, 2024. After Wednesday, April 3, 2024, $100 deposits are non-refundable, however, are transferable to a replacement participant. If a housing cancellation is made within the month before The Gathering, Blue Ridge Assembly keeps $100 dollars as a deposit and refunds the remaining amount. No refunds will be issued for reservations cancelled during program dates. Packages cannot be divided or discounted for missed nights, meals, or programs. Reservations will not be made without a deposit. The Gathering of Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail event package will be refundable until April 24th (less a $20 handling fee). All cancellations must be requested in writing to Josh at Blue Ridge Assembly; jsartori@yblueridge.org.