One of the hallmarks of its efforts is developing partnerships with local, state and federal land management agencies, along with nonprofit organizations, land trusts and volunteers, to advance the development of the MST. The trail now represents the longest contiguous stretch of the MST in the state, followed by 105 miles of contiguous trail in the Triangle area near Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, and 80 miles of trail along the Outer Banks on the coast. Halfway along Ruatiti Road (15km from the junction) is Ruatiti Domain, where there are toilets and basic camping. [Section 5]  67km, Grade 2/easy, 7–8 hours. While cellphone coverage is good around main settlements such as Ohakune, National Park and Whanganui, it cannot be relied upon in outlying areas and is virtually non-existent in the wilds of Whanganui National Park. While the trail is far from complete, there are about 190 miles in the mountains for you to hike. Nearby towns such as Whakapapa and Taumarunui also make good bases for adventure. The MTS Trail goes from Clingmans Dome to the North Carolina Outer Banks, a distance of about 1000 miles. In addition, the Division has acquired land for the trail and funded trail construction. Although the trail is well signposted, carrying a map will prevent wrong turns, help time your ride for pick-ups, and identify interesting landmarks. Beyond the trail’s highpoint at Mangapurua Trig begins a history rich journey through the Mangapurua Valley to reach the Bridge to Nowhere. Riding the classic trail from Ohakune to the Tasman Sea – taking in both Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks – is typically ridden in 4–6 days, but fit riders can complete it in 2–3. Is it possible to thru hike the MST right now? 67km, Grade 3/intermediate, 7–8 hours. This totally awesome section of the Mountains to Sea follows an historic byway through Tongariro National Park forest and farmland, with many epic lookouts over the volcanic plateau. If you need detailed maps of specific segments of the MST, the Friends of the MST website is a valuable resource. On reaching Whanganui’s city limits, the trail continues alongside the river on cycle paths and urban roads to reach finally reach the sea at North Mole, a moody, driftwood-strewn beach on the northern side of Whanganui River breakwater. The North Carolina Trails Program is managed by the Division of Parks and Recreation, a division of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The trail's western endpoint is at Clingman's Dome, where it connects to the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Read more about the Whanganui River Road. Hikers can climb the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse between April and October, … Because it’s a point-to-point hike, you’ll also need to have a car at the end point. So proper planning and researching needs to be conducted. The 30.1 mile Art Loeb Trail is one of the longer and more difficult trails in the state, and it's also one of the more popular. Whanganui River Road [Section 5] 67km, Grade 2/easy, 7–8 hours. The weather is particularly changeable around Tongariro National Park. The Long Trail in Vermont that meanders from the Massachusetts border to Canada is the oldest, having been created in 1910. Tour operators can also assist you in swapping the bike for a kayak or canoe, allowing you to experience part of the Whanganui Journey – the New Zealand’s Great Walks that’s actually a paddle. Ruatiti Road and Middle Road link the Old Coach Road section with the start of the Mangapurua Track on the fringe of Whanganuin National Park. Read more about the Ohakune Mountain Road. While it’s possible to do a traditional thru-hike and crash at the many campsites along the way, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail can be enjoyed on shorter day hikes, too. Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokey Mountains is the Western Terminus of the MST. This gap is bridged by a 32km scenic jet boat ride between the Mangapurua Track and Pīpīriki, the northern end of the Whanganui River Road. Every state wants to have a long-distance hiking trail to show off the best of its natural features. Riders lacking in any of these departments can readily break the journey into shorter, easier rides. A must-do for experienced mountain bikers, this journey through Whanganui National Park takes in long-abandoned farms, native forest, dramatic bluffs and deep ravines before reaching the Bridge to Nowhere, a graceful monument to early settlers’ broken dreams. From there, a short stretch of trail through the bush leads to the riverside landing for the essential jet boat trip down the Whanganui River to Pīpīriki – an invigorating way to end the ride. Read more about the Ohakune Old Coach Road. Read more about the Ūpokongaro—Tasman Sea section. Though camping is permitted in most of the backcountry areas in the Nantalhala and Pisgah National Forests, there are camping restrictions on other parts of the trail. The ride begins with a climb through farmland to reach the national park boundary and the junction with the Kaiwhakauka Track (a similarly challenging MTB ride starting at Blue Duck Lodge at Whakahoro). 680 miles of the route are on trail, and connecting … More detailed descriptions can be found on the individual Trail pages. Each of the section sponsors may also have ways for you to volunteer on the trail. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is as diverse as the state it showcases. A topographical map is highly recommended for the remote Mangapurua and Kaiwhakauka Tracks. The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail is primarily graded 3 (intermediate), and varies in terrain from concrete bike paths and boardwalks, quiet country roads and an old cobbled road, to smooth gravel bike track and some testing backcountry singletrack. It is therefore vital to plan ahead and pack more than sufficient provisions. How can we make this page better for you? North Carolina's longest trail, the North Carolina Mountains to Sea Trail, is an ambitious project to provide a foot path linking the Mountains in the West to the Coastal Plain in the East. Its eastern endpoint is in Jockey's Ridge State Park on the tallest sand dune on the east coast. (The distance including the jet boat trip is 231km.). The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail will take your breath away. The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation is completely committed to developing the MST as a continuous, off-road trail across the state. The Neuse River paddle trail … The Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) stretches across the state of North Carolina, totaling approximately 1150 miles. The Kaiwhakauka Track is a challenging (Grade 4) but rewarding 5–7 hour (41km) bike-and-hike that intersects with the main Mountains to Sea trail part way along the Mangapurua Track. The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail is a long-distance trail for hiking and backpacking, that traverses North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. Allowed Uses: Hiking; Length: 3.76 mi ; Mountains to Sea Trail - Along FS 4666. Pisgah Inn to Black Mountain Campground Pisgah Inn, BRP mp 408.6 to Folk Art Center, BRP mp 382: from the Pisgah Inn to the Mount Pisgah Parking Area, the trail is co-signed as the Buck Spring trail. The other two sections are the Fishers and Kaiwhakauka Tracks – two more challenging mountain biking rides happily linking in to a multi-day Mountains to Sea journey starting at National Park Village. The trail, when completed, will be over 900 miles in length. Those six sections are described below in the most popular order, from Tūroa and Ohakune, on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu, to Whanganui on the shores of the Tasman Sea. It is vital that visitors check the forecast and track conditions before they set off, and carry appropriate clothing for all eventualities, including wet-weather gear. If your organization or governmental agency is interested in learning about the opportunities to sponsor a section of the MST, please contact State Trails Planner Smith Raynor at smith.raynor@ncparks.gov. Camping and lodge accommodation is available for overnight stops. There is more accommodation in smaller settlements such as Whakahoro, Retaruke, Pīpīriki and those along the Whanganui River Road. Segment 12 of North Carolina's 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail traverses one of the most productive agricultural areas in North Carolina. Hills to Sea Trail marker Portions of the new trail route follow existing trails, including those at the Midcoast Conservancy’s Whitten Hill and Bog Brook preserves as well as the Georges River Land Trust’s Georges Highland Path on Hogback and Frye mountains. The final section of the Mountains to Sea follows SH4 for a short distance before heading off-road beside the lower reaches of the Whanganui River. You can find more tips in our Plan section. There are two ways of getting to Pīpīriki, neither of which is on a bike! This is remote backcountry, with atmospheric and pretty scenery providing just rewards for the effort. One stretch of the MST extends from the end of the Neusiok Trail in the Pine Cliff Recreation Area all the way to Raleigh. A ship-shape mountain bike is essential for all but the most urban of rides (namely Whanganui city). This trail is a memorial to Art Loeb, an activist from the Carolina Mountain Club, and a man who "deeply loved these mountains." From there, you can continue hiking (but you’ll frequently find yourself on roads instead of trails) or you can cover 216 … An overview of each section is provided below in the most popular order for completing the whole trail – from Ohakune, on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu, to Whanganui on the shores of the Tasman Sea. Below are my journal entries from my Mountain to Sea thruhike in February - April of 2007. In the Asheville area, this backcountry hiking trail (white blaze) roughly follows with Blue Ridge Parkway. Two additional rides, the Fishers and Kaiwhakauka Tracks, also link into the Mountains to Sea journey and provide an alternative adventure route for experienced mountain bikers. Fast riders can make it down in a little over 30 minutes, but why the rush? Read more about the Ruatiti & Middle Roads. Continuing toward Asheville, the trail is co-signed as the Shut-in Trail and follows parts of Vanderbilt's or… A long and occasionally hilly ride along a mix of gravel and sealed road through rural surrounds, this section is primarily ridden as a link for riders completing the whole trail. ; Z.showImage("zoomify-map", "../graphics/zoomify/trails/37693cfc748049e45d87b8c7d8b9aacd"); The Mountains to Sea is divided into eight sections, six of which combine to form a continuous 199km route, with the exception of an unrideable stretch of the Whanganui River. So far, 101 thru-hikers have walked the Mountains-to-Sea Trail … Backpacking the Mountain to Sea Trail Journal Index. Ruapehu and Whanganui provide a beautiful, inspiring, and endlessly interesting backdrop to bike rides and much more. [Section 3]  45km, Grade 2/easy, 3–4 hours. The easiest and most common is to be collected by the pre-booked jet boat for the invigorating 32km buzz down river (with bikes stowed onboard). Mountains to Sea Trail Post. Hikers should research and follow all rules and regulations for camping, as the MST does cross through lands managed by various public and private land agencies & individuals. A series of walking tracks off the Mountain Road allow riders to savour the sights of this UNESCO World Heritage landscape, including the highest waterfall in Tongariro National Park, Waitonga Falls, and spectacular forest featuring towering rimu and other native giants. The Fishers Track, which starts in National Park village, is a classic downhill track that makes a fabulous bonus, 2–3 hour (27km) ride but also links to the Kaiwhakauka Track. In 2017, the General Assembly authorized a major addition to the MST: the Coastal Crescent route that loops through southeastern North Carolina. Before venturing out over-night on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, hikers must be aware that camping permissions along the Mountain-to-Sea Trail varies greatly. This leads past the old Buck Spring Lodge built by George Vanderbilt, where there are interpretive signs. Two alternative legs, connected by 25km of on-road riding, can be combined to form an alternate start to the Mountains to Sea. The notion of a trail extending across the width of North Carolina was proposed in 1977 by Howard Lee, who was then the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development. However you choose to travel, the Whanganui River is a highlight of the Mountains to Sea trail, complete with verdant gorges, gushing waterfalls, tumbling rapids and tranquil stretches of deep, green water. The Mountains to Sea starts at Turoa skifield, 1700m above sea level on the slopes of volcanic Mt Ruapehu. Camping and lodge accommodation is available for overnight stops. However you choose to travel, the Whanganui River is a highlight of the Mountains to Sea trail, complete with verdant gorges, gushing waterfalls, tumbling rapids and tranquil stretches of deep, green water. Whanganui River Road. find a ride . Raleigh, NC 27699, Download the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail Master Plan. The Eastern Terminus of the MST is at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Highlights include pretty scenery along the Manganui-o-te-ao River, and Ruatiti Domain lying on the riverside where there are campsites and picnic areas. Points of Interest along this section: This covers the section shared with the Mountains-To-Sea Trail from the intersection with the Deep Creek Trail to Newton Bald. Mountains to Sea Trail - Along FS 4668. (Local shuttles can drive you up from Ohakune town, although super-fit riders might like to ride both ways.). Allowed Uses: Hiking; Length: 1.37 mi; Mountains to Sea Trail - FS 4665 to Haywood Gap. In 2000, the MST became a state trail and a unit of the state parks system. Depending on the section of the trail, you may see 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. Hunt-Fish Falls Trail. photograph by Charles Harris. Along the trail, you may see 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, miles of seashore, and friendly people. It is no place for novices in the wet, when sticky clay makes it a bike-busting quagmire. In 2000, the MST became a state trail and a unit of the state parks system. 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