Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail are asking for participants to accomplish a profound adventure: hiking the entire Mountains-to-Seas Trail in one day.
“On September 9, the goal is to hike or paddle 100 percent of the trail,” Executive Director Kate Dixon said. “The paddle part is on the Neuse River.”
Organizers of this project have sectioned off 3-to-5 mile sections of the trail, called “legs.” Hikers, paddlers and families register to complete a single or multiple legs of the trail, taking photos along the way for a video project by Friends of the MST.
“We’re asking people to send in photos and video of their experience on the trail for a video that pulls all (the footage) together so everyone can see the entire trail in ‘x’ number of minutes,” said Dixon, who has worked with Friends of the MST for 10 years. “It’s a really fun idea.”
According to Dixon, the event is part of the Friends’ 40th anniversary celebrations, which include a $200,000 fundraising campaign for bridges, boardwalks, signage, tools and materials for the trail.
The Mountains-to-Sea trail is 1,175 miles long and touches 36 counties, including Onslow County.
“Another big connection to your area is Phil Shepard sponsored (House Bill 361) to make the route through Onslow County an official part of the trail, which it wasn’t before,” Dixon said.
A portion of the trails in Onslow County and Jacksonville link the Coastal Crescent Trail and the Mountains-to-Seas Trail system.
The Coastal Crescent Trail, which winds from Johnston County down to Cumberland and then over to Onslow, was recently submitted for approval to the state parks system, where it would receive additional funding.
The trails in Onslow County connect Jacksonville, Topsail Island and Holly Ridge. Some portions of the trail, such as segment 15b in Sneads Ferry, is a popular destination for runners and hikers.
For more information about the trail and getting involved in MST in a Day, call 910-825-0297 or visit mstinaday.org.