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June 2010                                                                                 
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Check out our newly redesigned websiteWe've tried to make it easy to navigate and packed full of useful information about the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Please feel free to e-mail me (kdixon@ncmst.org) with comments and suggestions so we can keep making it better.
REI corporate logoThe website redesign was made possible by a special grant from REI.  We appreciate their generous support, and also thank web designer Les Stewart of Seamless-Design for his work on the site. 
The state legislature's session is winding to a close, and they are still considering three items that would make a big difference for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail: 
  • A bill which would allow a specialty license plate for the MST. These plates are not only a fun way for people to show their support of the MST.  They've made a big difference for other parks and trails at no cost to state government, and one could make a big difference for the MST too.
  • Continued funding of $108,000 for the Adopt-A-Trail program which makes small grants to support trails all over the state. The budget is so tight this year that we are concerned that this great program may be eliminated entirely unless legislators hear from people who care about it.
  • Continued funding for the state's four conservation trust funds that help acquire land and easements for trails, parks, clean water, farmland protection and wildlife. Over the last two years, these funds have helped acquire key tracts for the trail in Guilford, Alamance and Johnston counties. 
Becka Walling's hiking boots.
Hiking boots at Falls Lake
Please e-mail your
House Member and Senator to let them know that you're excited about the MST and would appreciate their support of the license plate, Adopt-A-Trail program and conservation trust funds. 
Legislators appreciate knowing what their constituents care about.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail was selected as one of North Carolina's 10 Natural Wonders by voters in a contest sponsored by Land for Tomorrow. 
Land for Tomorrow solicited nominations of landscapes, natural features, animals, and plants unique to North Carolina. Some 1,300 nominations yielded 200 potential candidates. A panel of prominent North Carolinians selected 25 finalists. More than 3,000 citizens cast votes to choose the 10 natural wonders.
Six of the other ten wonders selected are on the MST route or a short distance from it:
The other three sites are wonderful places too. They are:
FMST is delighted that contest voters recognized that the MST is a natural wonder in itself - a place where one natural wonder follows another.
Volunteer Steve Lund clears storm debris. Shelton Wilder.
Steve Lund clears storm debris
Thanks to the help of many volunteers, substantial progress has been made in clearing mountain sections of the MST of trees and debris that fell during severe winter storms. A few areas are still difficult to traverse, but we continue to make progress and we're back on track to open 25 miles of new trail in South Ashe and Watauga counties in October. The High Country Press and Mountain Times both ran stories about the "Big Push/Spring Clearance" week when volunteer chain sawyers from all over the state helped clear the trail.

Possible bridge design..
possible bridge design for Falls Lake
At Falls Lake near Raleigh and Durham, we received approval from the land managing agencies to construct the final four miles of trail. In addition, survey and design work have now started on an 110-foot pedestrian bridge that is to span Little Lick Creek -- the only break in what will soon be a continuous 60-mile stretch of trail between the Falls Lake dam in north Raleigh and Penny's Bend Natural Area in Durham. The bridge is made possible thanks to grants totaling $205,000 through Durham County and the federal Recreational Trails Program.

Georgia Tech students build MST bridge. Shelton Wilder.
About three miles upstream of Falls Lake, FMST has already started building trail at Eno River State Park, but we've been waiting for State Parks to give formal approval to our construction drawings for six bridges that will link short sections together into a long continuous trail. We're delighted that approval has now come through, and we'd welcome volunteer help when trail workdays pick up again in October. 

So many things happened on the MST last year. Read all about them in FMST's annual report of trail progress. 
Would you like to receive your own printed copy of the beautiful report in the mail next year?  That's one of the benefits of being an FMST member. Join today and leave a legacy for future generations.
The MST has been in the news a lot recently when the trail was voted one of NC's Top 10 Natural Wonders and when FMST volunteers helped clear the trail in the mountains (see the stories above). Other big stories included News 14's video of our first workday on the Haw River near Burlington and three feature articles about the MST: one in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine; another on the National Parks Traveler website; and a poetic article about the trail in Appalachia magazine.
Financial donations make this trail possible. You can join online or print and mail your membership form.
Your donation will leave a legacy for future generations. 
Thanks for your support of the trail!
Contact Info
Kate Dixon
Executive Director
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail