Photo © Elizabeth Jernigan

Thanks for being one of our most generous supporters. You make our work for the MST possible.

We hope you’ll join us for one or many of the events in a special series of hikes and zooms we’ve organized for supporters like you. We’ve scheduled an event or two each month between this May and next year’s Gathering of Friends in April. You will find hikes all along the trail route – from Cherokee to Nags Head – and zooms you can enjoy from your own home.

We have two goals for the hikes and zooms. One is to help you experience special parts of the trail, learn about our work, and meet board members, staff and other MST supporters like you. The other is for us to hear from you. We would love to get to know you, learn what inspires you about the trail, and hear ideas you may have about ways we can expand our impact.

Group sizes will be limited on the hikes, so be sure to sign up early, and please only sign up for hikes you know you can attend. On longer hikes, we will provide box lunches and snacks. Zooms have no size limit, but sign up early for those too!

Before your event, we will send you all the details about meeting location, zoom link, what to wear and bring with you, etc.

A PDF version of the schedule is available here.

Magnificent View Hike

 

Saturday, November 20, 2021 (Rain Date: Sunday, November 21, 2021)

9:30 am to 4 pm

Glendale Springs, 30 miles “north” of Boone on the Blue Ridge Parkway – Segment 5

Moderate. 6.5 Miles. Group Size: Up to 16.

Join MST member and “Triple Crown Hiker” Curly Perzel on her home MST stomping grounds. This is a gorgeous part of the MST with sweeping views from the top of the Blue Ridge. We’ll hike from Alligator Rock Overlook up Bluff Mountain to visit a lean-to. Then we’ll hike across the open meadows of Doughton Park to Wildcat Rock, look down 800 feet to Caudill Cabin built over 100 years ago, and finish at Brinegar Cabin. We’ll provide box lunches, and Curly has promised to bring some of the cookies that have made her famous. After the hike, everyone is welcome to join a side trip to the nearby Holy Trinity Church to see the Ben Long frescoes.

Register for Magnificent View Hike

Zoom – Get Involved with the MST

 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

7 pm to 8 pm

Update by Betsy Brown, Outreach Manager, and Elizabeth Hipps, Operations Manager

Betsy and Elizabeth will give you a sneak peek at plans for the 2022 Gathering at Lake Junaluska, our first in-person meeting in two years. Take a look back at past MST Birthday celebrations and brainstorm ways to ramp it up for the 45th. They’ll also bring you up to speed on new volunteer opportunities to promote the MST. Your questions and discussion are welcome.

Register for Zoom – Get Involved with the MST

North River Preserve Hike

Saturday, December 11, 2021 (Rain Date: Sunday, December 12, 2021)

1 pm to 4 pm

Beaufort – Segment 17

Easy. 6 miles. Group Size: Up to 12.

Explore the 6,000-acre North River Wetland Preserve with our Ben Jones and staff of the NC Coastal Federation that purchased this former farm to restore it as natural habitat. The MST is proposed to be routed on the trails in the preserve, and Ben and NCCF staff will tell you more about the preserve and plans for the trail.

Register for North River Preserve Hike

New Year’s Day Hike

 

Saturday, January 1, 2022 (It’s New Years! We’ll head out rain or shine!)

10 am to 2 pm

Clayton – Segment 11

Moderate. 6 Miles. Group Size: Up to 10.

Walk the newest section of MST along a greenway that leads from Sam’s Branch near the Neuse River into the Town of Clayton’s sweet downtown. Your able guide will be MST Completer and former Board Member Johnny “Chief” Massey who will keep you chuckling with tales of hiking adventures. And we’re working on a special lunch plan to surprise you!

Register for New Year’s Day Hike

Zoom – Engaging with People of Diverse Communities

 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

7 pm to 8 pm

Update by Friends of MST Intern and Betsy Brown, Outreach Manager

Friends is hiring an intern for the 2021-2022 school year to help develop and implement a plan to welcome people from diverse communities to enjoy the trail and engage in our work. This session will be an opportunity for you to meet the intern and other staff and learn more about that plan and how you can help.

Register for Zoom – Engaging with People of Diverse Communities

Haw Headwaters Hike

 

Saturday, February 5, 2022 (Rain Date: Sunday, February 6, 2022)

2 pm to 4 pm

Oak Ridge, north of Greensboro and Winston-Salem – Segment 8

Easy. 2.6 Miles. Group Size: Up to 12.

The Town of Oak Ridge is working hard to build the MST. First they opened a campsite for thru-hikers in the town park; and now they’ve constructed two gorgeous sections of trail, including one in the headwaters of the Haw River. Join MST ‘Task Force Leader’ Joel Deaton and Town Council Member Martha Pittman for a stroll along this latest addition. Joel is a skilled trail builder who is a keen observer of wildlife, and Martha has helped guide the town’s efforts as an MST community.

Register for Haw Headwaters Hike

Zoom – Planning for new sections of the MST

 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

7 pm to 8 pm

Update by Ben Jones, Coastal Crescent Project Manager

Ben will show you detailed plans and cost estimates he’s developed for new sections of MST to be built in the Coastal Plain, Goldsboro and at Belew’s Lake north of Winston-Salem. You’ll see lots of great maps and renderings to give you a sense of what the completed trail experience will be.  Your questions and discussion are welcome and encouraged.

Register for Zoom – Planning for new sections of the MST

Neusiok Hike

Saturday, March 26, 2022 (Rain Date: Sunday, March 27, 2022)

9 am to 1 pm

Havelock – Segment 16

Moderate. 3.4 Miles. Group Size: Up to 12.

The 21-mile Neusiok Trail in the Croatan National Forest is the longest continuous trail in the Coastal Plain and one of the star attractions of the entire MST. Join wildlife biologist Gene Huntsman, who worked with the US Forest Service to build this trail 50 years ago, and MST staffer Jim Grode on an exploration of this diverse and amazing place. Jim will also fill you in on plans for additional MST miles in the Croatan National Forest. We’ll provide a box lunch.

Register for Neusiok Hike

Save the Date: Gathering of Friends

 

Friday through Sunday, April 8-10, 2022

Lake Junaluska (near Waynesville) – MST Segment 2

Friends of MST welcomes you to join us for a very special Gathering – in person for the first time since 2019! And the location couldn’t be more celebratory for the trail’s 45th anniversary. Lake Junaluska was where Howard Lee gave his 1977 speech recommending creation of the MST. In addition to our report to the members about accomplishments and plans, the weekend will be packed with fun activities: hikes, cultural tours, music, food, and lots of opportunities to meet other MST enthusiasts.