Thank you for your interest in Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s guides to the MST. These guides require a significant investment of time and resources to produce and update so they remain timely and accurate. If you find them helpful, please consider supporting our work by becoming a member of Friends or purchasing a printed guide. Please also look at the “Books” tab below for information about our new day hike guide, Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
To access the MST trail guides, we welcome you to join our e-mail list.
Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail by Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, edited by Jim Grode
The first-ever guide to day hikes along the crown jewel of North Carolina foot trails, this book features 40 hikes from throughout the state carefully chosen to appeal to hikers of all experience levels. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or new to the outdoors, this official guide from Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is your go-to companion for exploring all the trail has to offer, showcasing everything from scenic mountain vistas to surprising escapes in the state’s Piedmont region and the wonders of coastal plain pocosins. It is available through our store, from UNC Press, or at online or brick-and-mortar bookstores and outdoor stores.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina: Walking a thousand miles through wildness, culture and history by Danny Bernstein
Danny wrote an account of her MST journey, focusing on the beauty, quirkiness, and vibrancy of the trail. Her book, published by the History Press (2013), is not a hiking guide but will give anyone interested in hiking the trail a great sense of the highlights and challenges of completing the trail. The book is available in bookstores and outdoor stores throughout the state and on Amazon.
This guidebook was published in 2000 by the University of North Carolina Press and is available in many bookstores and on Amazon. Although the hiking directions are out of date because new trail is being added every year, the book contains much valuable information about the areas the trail goes through and the history of the trail.
A backpacker’s practical guide to identifying and harvesting edible and medicinal plants found along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, complete with recipes to transform them into delicious backcountry meals and snacks. Heather has thru-hiked the MST twice. This guide can be purchased directly from the author at TheBotanicalHiker.blogspot.com. [Note: all information, suggestions and recommendations are made by the author. Friends has not verified the content within and is not endorsing the recommendations as either safe or unsafe for consumption. Also, the harvesting of plants on state or federal lands is restricted. Contact the land managing agency for more details.]
MST Trail Profiles and Maps: From Clingmans Dome to Mount Mitchell and Beyond by Walt Weber and “the Gang” for the Carolina Mountain Club (3rd Ed.)
This book includes maps and profiles for about half of the mountain sections of the trail. It also includes valuable information about the history and natural features of the trail. The book can be purchased through our store as well as many bookstores and outdoor stores and on Amazon.
US Forest Service (USFS) Maps
- Craggy Gardens to Woods Mountain: South Toe River, Mount Mitchell & Big Ivy Trail Map.
- Linville Gorge Wilderness is on Linville Gorge Wilderness.
National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps
- The MST within Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Segment 1) is on Great Smoky Mountains National Park #229.
- Balsam Gap South to Beech Gap/NC-215 (part of Segment 2) is partly on Nantahala & Cullasaja Gorges #785.
- Richland Balsam to just south of Asheville (parts of Segments 2 and 3) is on Pisgah Ranger District #780.
- East of Asheville to near Grandfather Mountain (part of Segment 3, Segment 4, and a short portion of Segment 5) is on Linville Gorge/Mt. Mitchell, Pisgah NF #779.
Additional Resource Maps
- Blue Ridge Parkway- this map shows the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Greensboro Lakes– this map shows the trails at Greensboro’s Watershed Lakes.
- Elkin Valley Trails– the Elkin Valley Trails Association has created Google Maps for several sections in the Elkin Valley: Elkin Alleghany Rail Trail, Isaacs Trailhead/Grassy Creek Vineyard/Carter Falls, Wells Knob, and Sawyers Trail.
- Eno River State Park– this map shows the route of the MST through Eno River State Park.
- Eno River: Pleasant Green Road to Hickory Hill Boat Ramp– this map shows the western half of segment 10.
- Eno River- a beautifully detailed map of the Eno River trails from the Hillsborough Riverwalk to Old Oxford Highway near Penny’s Bend is available to purchase here.
- Falls Lake, Raleigh– this map shows the route of the MST at Falls Lake (aka “Falls Lake Trail”).
- Falls Lake Trail- a beautifully detailed map of the Falls Lake Trail from Old Oxford Highway near Penny’s Bend on the Eno River to Falls Lake Dam is available to purchase here.
- Holly Shelter Game Land– this map shows the route of the MST through Holly Shelter Game Land.