Celebrate the Mountains-to-Sea Trail with a hiking challenge

Discover four ways to celebrate the iconic trail’s 45th anniversary.

Falls Lake

Falls Lake offers some of the most stunning views on the MST.

Photo by John Goldfield

Have you ever considered hiking the whole state of NC? Did you even know it was possible?

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail — a 1,175-mile footpath stretching from the Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks — can take you all the way through the Tar Heel state. And it has an exciting birthday coming up.

In honor of the legendary trail’s 45th anniversary this September, the Friends of MST have suggested fun, outdoorsy ways to celebrate. Here’s how you can participate:

Join a guided group hike

  • Jerry Barker, a MST completer, will lead a hike at Falls Lake on Fri., Sept. 9 + Sat., Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. The 2.5-mile trip will start near the Rolling View Recreation Area and will pass by farm ruins and the “Tinker Toy Bridge.” Register to attend.
  • MST’s executive director Brent Laurenz will lead a 1.5-mile hike for kids at Falls Lake on Sat., Sept. 10 at 9:30 a.m. The hike begins at Blue Jay Point County Park + juice boxes will be provided. Register to attend.

Participate in the 45 Mile Challenge

  • It’s as simple as it sounds. Walk or hike 45 miles anywhere on the MST during September + submit your mileage log by Fri., Sept. 30 for a chance to win prizes. Pro tip: Check out these trail segments near Raleigh to plan your adventure.

Attend a virtual party

  • Celebrate the trail and hear from special guests Howard Lee, NC Director of State Parks Dwayne Patterson, plus filmmakers + podcasters Julie “Jester Gayheart” and Austin DuFresne at this Zoom party on Fri., Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. Register to attend for free.

Make a donation

  • Anyone who gives a gift of $45+ during September will receive special MST buttons. People who raise $450+ through peer-to-peer fundraising will receive a personalized pottery mug. Get more deets.
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