Statewide North Carolina Trail Nearly Completed on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Video

Volunteers recently completed installation of a footbridge along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by Randy Johnson.

Despite a very rainy Saturday that could have changed the BIG DIG into the BIG DELUGE, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail attracted volunteers from across North Carolina and recently came very close to finishing the Blue Ridge Parkway portion of the trail from the Great Smokies to the Outer Banks. (A section still remains to be completed in the mountains near Cherokee.)

Watauga County Task Force Leader John Lanman, of Boone, the High Country town at the heart of the trail, oversaw two days of work flanking the Blue Ridge Parkway from US 321 to Bamboo Gap. Many new sections of trail were dug into soaking wet hillsides and more than one bridge was built over streams.

Many of the volunteers camped at the Parkway's Price Park Campground.

Despite cold, wet, difficult conditions in the high elevation area, Mr. Lanman said the Watauga County section of the MST was complete. He expected that it would be finalized by fall and ready to open in spring 2012.

He thanked "all the FMST members and other volunteers from around the state who made such a difference."

The completion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Watauga is just one example of the energized local trail community that is volunteering in a number of locations to increase the hiking and mountain biking options in the Boone area and focusing a lot of work on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Projects include the Tanawha Trail portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway, mountain biking and hiking trails at Boone’s Rocky Knob Park, at the Adventure Trail Park on Beech Mountain (Eastern America's highest town), and at local state parks, including Grandfather Mountain and Elk Knob.

To check out volunteer opportunities on Boone area trails, visit this site.

Comments

Many thanks to Randy Johnson and all the MST volunteers. I walked a section of the trail near Graveyard Fields back in July and really appreciated the trail route and the thoughtful attention to design.

It sure would have been fun to see a map of where this trail starts and finishes. I live in the flatlands of Wilmington NC and this sounds like a great way to spend a vacation where there's some vertical diversity!

Check out the Mountains-to-Sea Trail website at www.ncmst.org for more information and maps about the trail.

What a great accomplishment! Congratulations to all.
The little piece still to be finished will be challenging as it will somehow
go around Waterrock Knob - yes, with lots of rocks. But Friends of the MST, the Carolina Mountain Club and plenty of volunteers will do it.
Danny Bernstein
www.hikertohiker.com

The trail goes from Clingmans Dome in the Smokies to Jockeys Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks, a 1,000 miles through North Carolina.
Danny Bernstein
www.hikertohiker.com

God bless these folks! This is hard work and we often take for granted the labor of love that goes into providing for our Southern Appalachian hiking trails that are some of the best I've seen anywhere. Thank you!