e-news masthead

May 2012
Donate Now                                                                             Find us on Facebook



Diane Van Deren
On Thursday, May 10th, Diane Van Deren, a 2010 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, will set off from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to attempt a new speed record for the MST. To do that, she will need to reach Jockey's Ridge State Park in less than 24 days to break the record set last year by Matt Kirk of Marion, NC.
Diane Van Deren is an extraordinary athlete who spent 10 years of her life racked by epilepsy. Radical brain surgery left her seizure-free and with a side benefit of super-human endurance. She has completed many extraordinary ultra-races including the Yukon Artic Ultra - 430 miles of frozen tundra in the dead of winter.
Diane first learned of North Carolina's Mountains-to-Sea Trail when she spoke in Raleigh last October during a speaker series sponsored by The North Face. She says "I was immediately intrigued by the diversity of terrain and natural beauty of the MST."
Diane's run is being sponsored by The North Face and by Great Outdoor Provision Co. in honor of its 40th year in business, Great Outdoor is also seeking to raise $40,000 for FMST in conjunction with Diane's expedition.

You can be part of Diane's expedition in several ways:
  • Track Diane's progress. Diane will be wearing a SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger which will allow you to follow her progress online.
  • Sign up for e-mail or twitter updates on Diane's run.
  • Recruit a "cheer team" of people to join you to cheer for Diane as she runs the trail in your area. (Contact FMST Executive Director Kate Dixon for more information at [email protected]).
  • Help Great Outdoor Provision Co. raise $40,000 for the trail by:
  • Come to the party to celebrate Diane's run at your local Great Outdoor Provision Co. store on National Trails Day - Saturday, June 2nd from 5 pm to 7 pm.




Installing bridge over Little Lick Creek
Installing the bridge over Little Lick Creek. Photo by Gregory Scott


A 100-foot steel bridge over Little Lick Creek was the final link needed to complete 60 miles of continuous trail at Falls Lake north of Raleigh and Durham.


Volunteers swung mattocks and hammers to construct the trail and install smaller bridges, boardwalk, kiosks and signs, but this creek crossing required some heavier lifting. Thanks to grants totaling $205,611 from State Parks' Recreational Trails Program and the Durham County Matching Grants Program, FMST was able to hire the engineers and contractors needed to install the bridge and build ramps and boardwalks. Volunteers stepped in at the end to install native plants around the bridge to stablize the banks and beautify the site.


Construction of the trail at Falls Lake has been one of FMST's most successful projects thanks to the leadership of volunteer Task Force Leader Jeff Brewer, a crew of hundreds of volunteers, and the support of the land managing agencies at Falls Lake: the US Corps of Engineers, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, NC Division of Parks and Recreation, Durham and Wake counties, and the UNC Botanical Garden. Thanks also to Triangle Greenways Council for constructing the first 25 miles of the trail in the 1980s. 


On Saturday, May 19th from 10 am to noon, FMST is holding a celebration of the MST at Falls Lake at Rollingview Recreation Area. For more information, please e-mail Kate Dixon, FMST Executive Director at [email protected].




Show your love of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail by being one of the first 300 people to buy a speciality MST license plate 

MST License Plate


Why buy an MST plate now?

  1. It's a fun way to show your love of hiking and the MST
  2. It's a great way to provide financial support for the MST - $20 of the $30 annual cost will be returned to FMST to build, protect and promote the trail
  3. Your plate will have a low number which willl identify you as one of the early supporters of the MST.
  4. If you want a personalized plate, most options are still available if you order now.

How can you order your plate? Fill out the application form and mail it with your check to FMST today.


When FMST has pre-sold 300 plates, the NC Division of Motor Vehicles will produce the plates and mail them to everyone who has pre-ordered. To date, we have sold 155 plates. Just 145 to go!


Please act now.The NC General Assembly has given us only a short time to sell the first 300 plates before the authorization for the plate expires. Now is your chance to have an MST plate.


Questions? Please contact Kate Dixon, FMST Executive Director, at 919-698-9024 or [email protected].


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