What we're about

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is North Carolina's premier hiking trail, stretching 1,150 miles from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey's Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks. The trail showcases our state's diverse landscape and culture: Mountain vistas, rolling piedmont farms, picture-postcard colonial towns, weathered tobacco barns, old textile villages, country churches, rushing mountain streams, coastal swamps, hardwood and pine forests, lighthouses, sand dunes and miles of seashore.

Come help build a legacy of your own by hiking a trail you helped create and maintain. In addition to joining us on Meetup, we also hope you'll visit our website ( http://www.ncmst.org ) to learn more about this wonderful backyard resource and ask that you consider becoming a Friend of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at http://www.ncmst.org/get-involved/become-a-member/

Upcoming events (5+)

Falls Lake Trail Volunteer Workday

Upper Barton Creek Boat Ramp Parking Lot

Falls Lake Trail workday - Come help with trail work on the MST on Saturday - MARCH 2nd, 2019! NEW Meeting Spot - Meet at 9 am at Upper Barton Creek Boat Ramp for BREAKFAST & COFFEE, get organized and then disperse to work sites. The boat ramp is 4/10 mile south of Highway 98 on Six Forks Road. GPS:[masked]° N,[masked]° W Please RSVP to [masked] or[masked] by Feb. 27th, 2019 for this workday. BAD WEATHER POLICY: If the workday is canceled due to bad weather a mass email will be sent by 9:00 PM the evening before the event. So please check your email first thing Saturday morning before leaving. If you are new at trail work please let us know and we will pair you up with an experienced person. What you will need to provide: * Work clothes and solid shoes or hiking boots. * Proper Clothing for the Weather! * Plenty of water * Lunch * Work gloves, if you have them (If not, we have some). We have the tools that will be needed. WORK SAFELY. This is the most important thing, and our main goal. In particular:Use tools carefully. If you do not know how to use a particular tool, or what to do in a particular circumstance please ask. Do not work too close together and be careful with rakes, shovels, and mattocks to avoid hitting the person next to you. When walking past another volunteer, please say something so they know you are there. Do not lift anything heavier than you can comfortably lift and lift with your legs not with your back. Know you own limits. This is not a race. We will be working on and maintaining this trail for years to come. Take plenty of breaks. Make sure to drink plenty of water, even when it's cold outside. There are holes in the ground to step in, branches to trip over, thorns, wasps, poison ivy (fortunately not too much of that on this segment of trail), ticks, chiggers, and other hazards. Please be cautious. Have a good time. This is a scenic area. There are box turtles, heron, woodpeckers, deer, beaver, and other wildlife in this area as well as scenic views of the lake. TASKS for this workday: Cutting branches and logs across the trail: We have clippers, small saws, and a chainsaw for this purpose. Any chainsaw work which needs to be done will only be performed by a certified person at the workday. In general, while standing on the trail you want to cut branches back to an arms length on both sides and above your head. When clipping a branch that extends over the trail, try to cut the branch at the trunk of the tree or bush. When there is a small tree or bush in the trail, do not cut it at the ground, but cut it ~3' above the ground to make it easier to dig out/pull out. Cut off at ground level they will tend to grow back from the roots. When cutting branches, please drag them off the trail. In particular if you end up clipping poison ivy, make sure to drag it well off the trail with the clippers. Drag logs off the trail. There are a significant number of logs and branches lying across the trail route. These need to be dragged to the side. Many are so rotted they can most easily be removed with a shovel. TRASH: We have trash bags to pick up trash along the way. Fortunately this part of the park is relatively clean so we will not have too much trash to remove. The main trash that we want to try to remove on this workday is the barbed wire and other fence wire that in places crosses the trail. Please wear leather gloves and safety glasses and use caution in cutting wire. We will carry the trash out to one of the ends of this trail or it can be carried back to the trailer. RAKING THE TRAIL: It is necessary to rake the trail tread clear of leaves, branches, other debris so that we know where we need to level the trail, fill holes, etc. Please use caution while raking to avoid poking others with the rake handle. PULLING OUT SMALL SAPLINGS FROM TRAIL TREAD: There will be some small saplings in the trail tread. If these are cut off they tend to grow back from the roots, so we need to either pull them by hand (if they are very small), dig them out with a mattocks, or if they are up to an inch in diameter, pull them out with the weed wrench. FILLING HOLES: These need to be filled if they are within the 2' wide trail tread, or if they are within several feet of the trail on either side. We have shovels and buckets for this purpose. LEVELING TRAIL TREAD: Walking across the side of a hill is tiring and increases the likelihood of injury. The finished trail tread should be, in cross section, close to level. We have mattocks and rakes for this purpose. On this section of trail we cross multiple drainage dips, and have quite a bit of side hill trail to build. In addition to the side hill work, much of the trail route has various lumps and bumps that need to be leveled. Stream crossings There are multiple small stream crossings along this route. We will not be working on these on this workday, but in the future we plan to build small bridges across several of these. Thanks for your service." Jeff Brewer Please RSVP to [masked] or[masked] by Feb. 27th, 2019 for this workday. Thanks to Great Outdoor Provision Company for sponsoring our breakfast from Chick-Fli-A at our workdays. Thanks to Starbucks off Falls of Neuse Road and Durant Road for the coffee. Thanks also to REI Co-op, whose 2018 local stewardship grant of $25,000 supports our volunteer trail crews, adds new miles of footpath, and improves signage helping more people find and follow the MST. If you want to be added to the official MST email notification list to receive Falls Lake Trails workday announcements and details, email: [masked].

2019 MST GATHERING of FRIENDS

Surf City

PLEASE NOTE: RSVP'ing to this MST meetup announcement is NOT sufficient to register you for the Gathering. WHAT: 2019 MST Gathering of Friends WHEN: March 22, 2019 – March 24, 2019 WHERE: Surf City Community Center and surrounding trail communities in Pender and Onslow Counties Surf City Community Center 201 Community Center Drive Surf City, NC 28445 The 2019 MST Gathering of Friends, our annual weekend of trail talk and excursions, will be in Surf City, NC, March 22 through 24. The central events of the weekend include: > A reception at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, with dinner at the Surf City Community Center Friday night. > The Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday followed by a group sunset hike of the new Surf City Bridge. > For the rest of the weekend, we are confirming a full-schedule of excursions and service opportunities to help you enjoy the outdoors, learn more about this special part of North Carolina and help the community as it continues to recover. The KEYNOTE SPEAKER for Saturday’s meeting is Walker Golder, the Director of the National Audubon Society’s Atlantic Flyway Coast Initiative. Registration site: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07efuvz1r8fc729201&oseq=&c=5f8b49e0-34d1-11e3-b2eb-d4ae528440e0&ch=4aa34350-618f-11e6-b93e-d4ae52806b34 The Gathering is a member-only event, and we welcome all members to attend. If you are not yet a member of Friends, you can join with a tax-deductible gift of $35 that can be added to your registration fee. Registration for the entire weekend, the cost is $75. This includes Friday’s dinner and lunch on Saturday. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED BY: Wednesday, March 20th. REFUNDS: will be given until the 16th if you register and cannot attend. To check out more about the area, go to https://www.visitpender.com . Join other MST enthusiasts for our annual membership meeting. For more detailed information about the weekend and accommodation suggestions, go to: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07efuvz1r8fc729201&llr=54ke8qcab&showPage=true Questions? Contact Betsy Brown Outreach Manager [masked][masked]

2019 Falls Lake Race - Call for Volunteers!

Needs a location

IMPORTANT NOTE: RSVPing to FMST meetup group is NOT sufficient to register you for this event! You MUST fill out volunteer registration form. See link below. 10th ANNUAL RACE PROCEEDS BENEFIT the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail! FYI - The 2019 Falls Lake race date is set for SUNDAY - April 7, 2019. This is the 10th annual running of the Falls Lake Challenge, and we’re thrilled to have been the beneficiaries of over $30,000 in race proceeds over the years. These funds go directly to support the mission of the Friends of the MST, and it’s because of committed volunteers that we are able to continue this great partnership with Bull City Running. Many volunteers are needed to make this day SAFE & rewarding for the Runners - and it’s quite rewarding as a volunteer too with so many runners commenting on how well maintained the trail is. Volunteers are needed throughout the day, with many positions starting as early as 5 and 6 a.m., with the last volunteers checking out around 4 p.m. Volunteers can designate their availability - all day, morning, afternoon and self-designated blocks of volunteer time. Also there is opportunity to volunteer for pre-race work on Saturday April 6th. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VOLUNTEER WORKERS REGISTRATION LINK: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdzG01zoDwjwZtmxVmrQiJACrMGBGEfUQnIAOhQ8TQom3QfKg/viewform The details for VOLUNTEERS are outlined on the form accessed with the link above. Various job opportunities include Van Driver, Street Guard, Checkpoint Worker, Finish Line Timer, etc. Those who volunteer will be provided details of the meeting location. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All RACERS & VOLUNTEERS are welcome to visit the Blue Jay Point 50K finish line. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ FOR RACERS: 2019 RACE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN Details and Registration site: http://www.bullcityrunning.com/our-races/mst/ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The race course will follow the beautiful single track of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) as it winds through the woods around Falls Lake in Raleigh, NC. The 50K starts at 7 AM and the 12M starts at 8 AM. The 12-mile course will be a point-to-point run starting at the end of Bayleaf Church Rd. and finishing at the Falls Lake dam. The 50K course will be an out-and-back run starting and finishing at Blue Jay Point Park and turning around at the Falls Lake dam (same location as 12-mile finish). The MST, part of the NC State Park system, stretches nearly 1200 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokies to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks. Currently, approximately 700 miles of the official trail have been completed, and with temporary connectors on back roads people can now hike across the state. Race proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail which, with the help of dedicated volunteers, builds and maintains the MST trail throughout the state as well as advocating for and providing educational materials about the importance of maintaining and securing our natural resources.

Falls Lake Trail Volunteer Workday - NATIONAL TRAILS DAY

Food Lion Parking Lot

Falls Lake Workday - Come help with trail work on the MST on Saturday – June 1st, 2019 for National Trails Day! Free T-shirts for those who participate in this workday! BAD WEATHER POLICY: If the workday is cancelled due to bad weather a mass email will be sent by 9:00 PM on Friday. So please check your email first thing Saturday morning before leaving. Meet at 9 am on the workday for BREAKFAST AND COFFEE and briefing. We will meet at the Food Lion parking lot at the intersection of Patterson/Sherron Road and Highway 98. After we meet we will split up into project groups and disperse to do our trail work. Please RSVP to [masked] or[masked] by May 28th for this work day. If you are new at trail work please let us know and we will pair you up with an experienced person. What you will need to provide: Work clothes and solid shoes or hiking boots. Proper Clothing for the Weather! Plenty of water Bag Lunch Work gloves, if you have them (If not, we have some) We have the tools that will be needed. WORK SAFELY. This is the most important thing, and our main goal. In particular:Use tools carefully. If you do not know how to use a particular tool, or what to do in a particular circumstance please ask. Do not work too close together and be careful with rakes, shovels, and mattocks to avoid hitting the person next to you. When walking past another volunteer, please say something so they know you are there. Do not lift anything heavier than you can comfortably lift and lift with your legs not with your back. Know you own limits. This is not a race. We will be working on and maintaining this trail for years to come. Take plenty of breaks. Make sure to drink plenty of water, even when it's cold outside. There are holes in the ground to step in, branches to trip over, thorns, wasps, poison ivy (fortunately not too much of that on this segment of trail), ticks, chiggers, and other hazards. Please be cautious. Have a good time. This is a scenic area. There are box turtles, heron, woodpeckers, deer, beaver, and other wildlife in this area as well as scenic views of the lake. TASKS for this workday: Cutting branches and logs across the trail. TRASH: We have trash bags to pick up trash along the way. We will carry the trash out to one of the ends of the trail section. RAKING THE TRAIL: It is necessary to rake the trail tread clear of leaves, branches, other debris so that we know where we need to level the trail, fill holes, etc. Please use caution while raking to avoid poking others with the rake handle. PULLING OUT SMALL SAPLINGS FROM TRAIL TREAD: There will be some small saplings in the trail tread. If these are cut off they tend to grow back from the roots, so we need to either pull them by hand (if they are very small), dig them out with a mattocks, or if they are up to an inch in diameter, pull them out with the weed wrench. FILLING HOLES: These need to be filled if they are within the 2' wide trail tread, or if they are within several feet of the trail on either side. We have shovels and buckets for this purpose. LEVELING TRAIL TREAD: Walking across the side of a hill is tiring and increases the likelihood of injury. The finished trail tread should be, in cross section, close to level. Please RSVP to [masked] or[masked] by May 28th for this work day. Thanks to Great Outdoor Provision Company for sponsoring our breakfast from Chick-Fli-A at our workdays. Thanks to Starbucks off Falls of Neuse Road and Durant Road for the coffee. Thanks also to REI Co-op, whose 2018 local stewardship grant of $25,000 supports our volunteer trail crews, adds new miles of footpath, and improves signage helping more people find and follow the MST. To be added to the official MST email notification list to receive Falls Lake Trails workday announcements and details, email: [masked].

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