Beacon Heights | Photo © David Pozo
On September 9, 1977, Howard Lee, then the North Carolina Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development, made an audacious speech which has fired the imaginations and energy of trail enthusiasts ever since. In that speech, Lee recommended that North Carolina build a “state trail from the mountains to the coast, a trail leading through communities as well as natural areas.”
Now almost forty years later, that trail has become a reality. Nearly 700 miles of trail have been built and people follow the MST across North Carolina, using back road connections where trail has not yet been built. Every year new trail opens, and more and more people enjoy the trail for day hikes with their families, overnight backpack trips with friends, and even cross-state treks which become adventures of a lifetime.
Friends of the MST organized a series of events to celebrate the accomplishments of the first 40 years and build for the future.