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 (available February 2017, but you can pre-order now).
To access the MST trail guides, we welcome you to join our e-mail list.
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.
Hiking North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail by Allen de Hart
This guidebook was published in 2000 by the University of North Carolina Press and is available in many bookstores and on Amazon.com. Although the hiking directions are out of date because new trail is being added every year, the book contains much valuable information about the areas the trail goes through and the history of the trail.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 Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail by Heather Houskeeper
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 www.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 the Great Smokies to Mount Mitchell and Beyond by Walt Weber for the Carolina Mountain Club
This book was published by Grateful Steps Press in 2009. It 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. Information about where to buy the book is available from the Carolina Mountain Club.
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
- Portions of the MST within Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Segments 1A and 1B) are 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– this map, prepared by the Elkin Valley Trails Association, shows the route of the MST between Pleasant Ridge and Carter Mill Roads north of Elkin.
- 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.
- Falls Lake, Raleigh– this map shows the route of the MST at Falls Lake (aka “Falls Lake Trail”).
- Holly Shelter Game Land– this map shows the route of the MST through Holly Shelter Game Land.
- Stones Creek Game Land– this map shows the route of the MST through Stones Creek Game Land.
- The Neusiok Trail– this map is provided by the Carteret County Wildlife Club which maintains the Neusiok Trail.