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September 2011                                                                                 
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Governor Perdue has once again declared October Mountains-to-Sea Trail Month, and we have lots of great ways for you to celebrate. Thanks to all our sponsors for their support.


Month-Long Activities

  • Submit a photograph into our 1st Annual MST Photo Contest sponsored by Great Outdoor Provision Co. Deadline: October 31st.
  • Check out the photos that have already been entered on our Photo Contest Flickr site.
  • Buy a raffle ticket to support the MST and gain a chance to win 18 great prizes of gift cards and gear donated by Great Outdoor Provision Co., Jesse Brown's Outdoors, and Mast General Stores. Tickets cost $5 or $20 for five. E-mail Kate Dixon, FMST Executive Director, at [email protected] to place an order.
  • Test your knowledge of the MST in the Trivia Contest sponsored by Great Outdoor Provision Co. Each day, from October 1 to November 7, they'll post a new question about the MST. The first person to answer the question correctly that day will win a raffle ticket. Anyone who answers all 38 questions correctly will win five raffle tickets and fame as an "MST Trivia Whiz - 2011!" Thanks to Danny Bernstein, the 21st person to complete the MST, for writing the questions.
  • Take the Backpacking NC Challenge and win great prizes by completing at least two of the trips in Joe Miller's recent book Backpacking North Carolina. Deadline: October 31.


Luna Moth on the MST
Luna Moth. Photo by Becka Walling.

Special Events

  • Tuesday, October 4 - World class ultrarunner Diane Van Deren will present an exciting program in downtown Raleigh. Proceeds from VIP ticket sales will be donated to FMST. Sponsored by The North Face and Great Outdoor Provision Co.
  • Friday-Sunday, October 7-9 - Campout! Carolina. Pitch a tent over the weekend to show your support for North Carolina's environment. Campout! Carolina is hosted each year by Earth Share, a partnership of environmental groups including FMST that participate in workplace giving. Last year, more than 8400 people camped out during Campout! Carolina. Register to let Earth Share know you plan to participate this year.
  • Sunday, October 9 - Clues on the Neuse. Join us for a family-friendly scavenger hunt along the MST in dowtown Smithfield.
  • Thursday, October 13 - Trail Grand Opening in Raleigh of the first eight miles of the Neuse River Greenway/MST. 10:00 am at the Falls Lake Dam canoe launch, 12098 Falls of the Neuse Road.
  • Saturday, November 5 - Benefit dinner and concert for the MST at Galileo's in Boone.
  • Tuesday, November 8 - MST Month Closing Celebration when we'll announce the winners of the Backpacking Challenge, the Raffle, and the MST Trivia Whizes. Join us @ 6 pm at the Cameron Village Great Outdoor Provision Co. store, 2017 Cameron Street, Raleigh for fun, fellowship and refreshments. 


Trail Workdays



Sharon McCarthy crossing the Linville River
Sharon crossing the Linville River. Photo by Danny Bernstein.


Sharon McCarthy completed her MST quest when she hiked the final eight miles of a 1000-mile journey at Eno River State Park on August 18.


She chronicled her own adventures in a lively blog, and her final day was also highlighted in Joe Miller's GetGoing NC blog. Check them out so you can start planning your own MST hike.


Sharon's completion already makes 2011 the record year for MST completions, and we know that others are starting their treks this fall.



Bodie Island Lighthouse
Bodie Island Lighthouse. Photo by Becka Walling.

Five breaches in the Outer Banks and massive flooding on the Neusiok Trail near Havelock have temporarily closed some sections of the MST. Fortunately for our fall thru-hikers, NCDOT is erecting temporary bridges over the breaches in the beach that are to be in place in early October just in time for the hiking season. 




Unfortunately, the Neusiok Trail will not be open again so soon. Boardwalk, bridges and hundreds of trees were uprooted. The Carteret County Wildlife Club and FMST volunteers are starting to repair the trail, and they would welcome your help. E-mail John Jaskolka at [email protected] if you'd like to volunteer.



For up-to-date information about these and other trail closings, check out the Trail Updates page on our website.








REI corporate logoThanks to REI for a generous grant of $10,000. We'll use the grant to build bridges and boardwalks at Falls Lake and along the Eno River and also to help with the environmental assessments and construction needed to develop campsites for hikers along the Blue Ridge Parkway.


REI has long been a great partner of FMST. The Durham and the Raleigh stores both sponsor trail workdays, and we appreciate their generous financial support as well. Come out to the Eno River workday on Saturday, October 8th to express your thanks for their help.




Bridge site over Little Lick Creek
Bridge site with old pilings over Little Lick Creek. Photo by Gene Cobb.

FMST recently hired Smith-Rowe of Mount Airy as the contractor to build a 110-foot steel pedestrian bridge over Little Lick Creek on Falls Lake at the site of a former bridge. Generous grants from the federal Recreational Trails Program and the Durham County Open Space grant program are making construction possible. The bridge is to be installed by December 30, 2011, and work to complete the ramps and boardwalk should take about another month.


When this bridge is in place, the MST will stretch 68 continuous miles - 60 miles along Falls Lake built by FMST and Triangle Greenways Council volunteers and another eight miles on the Neuse River downstream of the Falls Lake dam built by the City of Raleigh (due to open on October 13).


That's the longest continuous stretch of trail in Piedmont North Carolina to date, and FMSTs volunteers and several local governments (Orange County, Hillsborough, Durham County, Raleigh, Wake County, and Clayton) are working to make it longer still.


Look for FMST as a giving option in your campaign. This year, FMST became a member of Earth Share NC, a partnership of 60 environmental nonprofits that participate in workplace giving. We're now a giving option in more than 100 campaigns statewide, including the State-Employees Combined Campaign (Code 1102), the Combined Federal Campaign (Code 30392), and Triangle United Way.



A team of 18 Marines from Camp LeJeune and the Occoneechee Boy Scout Council from Raleigh are each planning hiking challenges on the MST this fall.


Marines and Scot On October 2, the first two Marines will set out from Clingmans Dome in what will be a six-week relay hike of the entire MST to raise money for wounded Marines and awareness of the MST. Each week, a new team of two will relieve the previous group to continue the trek. They aim to complete their journey at Jockey's Ridge State Park on Veteran's Day weekend. The Marines are taking personal leave to complete the hike, and they will be aided on the journey by Scot "Taba" Ward, MST hiker extraordinaire who has already completed the trail five times. To learn more about their trip, read the recent article in The Mountaineer.


The weekend after Thanksgiving, Raleigh-area Boy Scouts are undertaking the Occoneechee Holiday Challenge to hike 50 miles of the MST at Falls Lake in a 24-hour period. Their goals are to raise funds for the Camp Durant Charlie Sullivan Training Center and to experience a great adventure together.


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