Press release from Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail:
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is announcing the 44 Mile Challenge to celebrate the MST’s 44th birthday during the month of September. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is North Carolina’s flagship trail, running 1175 miles from Clingmans Dome in the Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks. The organization plans yearly events to celebrate how far the trail has come since September 1977, when Howard Lee, then secretary of the NC Department of Natural Resources and Community Development, proposed “establishing a state trail between the mountains and the seashore in North Carolina.”
To complete the 44 Mile Challenge, participants will hike or walk 44 miles anywhere on the MST between September 1st and 30th. All who complete 44 miles will be entered to win one of six prize packs from REI, donated by the stores in Asheville, Cary, Charlotte/Pineville, Durham, Greensboro and Raleigh. The participants with the highest total mileage at the end of September will also receive a special prize.
To plan a walk on the MST, use The MST Guide app, Friends of the MST’s trail guides, or Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail. All miles must be done by foot; paddling and biking miles are not eligible for this challenge. Full details and hike planning resources can be found on the website: https://mountainstoseatrail.org/challenges/birthdayhike/
Friends of the MST has partnered with the MST Guide by Pocket Trails to make it easy to track miles and compete for the REI prize packs. The MST Guide is a smart phone app specially designed for MST hikers – with maps and detailed trail information. The guide’s founders, strong supporters of the MST and its community, have added special features to track an individual’s mileage and to maintain a leaderboard especially for the Challenge.
As part of a continuing commitment to making the MST a welcoming, diverse and inclusive place, Friends of the MST encourages all participants to invite friends, colleagues, family, and neighbors who have not been on the MST before to join at least one of their outings this month.
Friends of the MST is also encouraging people to make special donations to support the MST or consider fundraising on behalf of the trail. All those who give a gift of $44 or more during September will receive an MST patch. People who raise $440 or more through peer-to-peer fundraising will receive a personalized pottery mug.