Trail building is a slow process, but when it’s finished you know that you have a trail for generations.
A 25-mile trail section in Ashe, Watauga, and Wilkes counties will be officially designated as part of the North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) at a ceremony Saturday, Oct. 2, at 11 a.m. at E.B. Jeffress Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 272). Allen DeHart, founder of the nonprofit whose volunteers build and maintain the trail (Friends of the MST), started flagging and designing the route of that section 15 years ago. The highlights of this section include an overlook to the Cascades, Jefferson Mountain Overlook, The Lump and Grandview Overlook.
The recently completed trail is part of the 330-mile MST mountain section that starts at Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and mainly follows the Blue Ridge Parkway to Stone Mountain State Park northwest of Winston-Salem.
“Only a handful of trails can offer so much natural beauty over such a long stretch of trail,” said John Lanman, volunteer leader of the Friends of the MST Watauga Task Force.
The designation ceremony will kickoff for October’s North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail month events activities. The event also comes during the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th anniversary celebration. The ceremony will be followed by a covered dish luncheon and hikes with gentle and strenuous options.
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a non-profit organization whose volunteers build and maintain the trail. For additional information see www.ncmst.org.