Read more about the Ruatiti & Middle Roads. In 2000, the MST became a state trail and a unit of the state parks system. So far, 101 thru-hikers have walked the Mountains-to-Sea Trail … Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokey Mountains is the Western Terminus of the MST. See some great photos from around the trails. A topographical map is highly recommended for the remote Mangapurua and Kaiwhakauka Tracks. Here you will need to take 3 ferry rides to island hop to reach the end of the trail. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is as diverse as North Carolina. Beyond the trail’s highpoint at Mangapurua Trig begins a history rich journey through the Mangapurua Valley to reach the Bridge to Nowhere. [Section 5]  67km, Grade 2/easy, 7–8 hours. Ruapehu and Whanganui provide a beautiful, inspiring, and endlessly interesting backdrop to bike rides and much more. 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. 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. 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. Riders of remote and more rugged sections should ideally have basic mechanical skills and carry a tool kit. [Section 4]  36km, Grade 3/intermediate, 5–7 hours. You can find more tips in our Plan section. If you need detailed maps of specific segments of the MST, the Friends of the MST website is a valuable resource. 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. There is more accommodation in smaller settlements such as Whakahoro, Retaruke, Pīpīriki and those along the Whanganui River Road. Camping and lodge accommodation is available for overnight stops. 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. Please review the information on the Planning Process page and visit the survey link at the bottom to provide your input. 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. From there, you can continue hiking (but you’ll frequently find yourself on roads instead of trails) or you can cover 216 … 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. 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. Riders should be fully prepared to enjoy this spectacular journey safely. It passes through Bentonville Battlefield, the site of the largest Civil War battle in the state, crosses three popular paddling rivers, and goes through two of Sampson County's picturesque small towns. 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. However you choose to travel, the Whanganui River is a Mountains to Sea highlight, complete with verdant gorges, gushing waterfalls, tumbling rapids and tranquil stretches of deep, green water. 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. 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. 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. The trail descends from an alpine environment through the beautiful remote Whanganui national park to the delights of historic Whanganui town and the Tasman Sea. When completely constructed, the MST will be about 1,400 miles long. The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail, or the MST, is North Carolina's flagship state trail. 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 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. 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. 680 miles of the route are on trail, and connecting … In the Asheville area, this backcountry hiking trail (white blaze) roughly follows with Blue Ridge Parkway. In 2017, the General Assembly authorized a major addition to the MST: the Coastal Crescent route that loops through southeastern North Carolina. Learn about the 18 trail segments & 1 alternate route that make up the MST. From there, it’s an thrilling 1000m descent back to Ohakune along 17km of sealed road. Most of the Mountains To Sea involves grade 2–3 (easy–intermediate) riding on well-graded, purpose-built trails, along with tarmac and gravel roads. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) of North Carolina is a 935-mile trail consisting of footpaths, roads and state bike routes across the state. Riders lacking in any of these departments can readily break the journey into shorter, easier rides. So proper planning and researching needs to be conducted. The final stretch of the Mountains to Sea is predominantly a beach walk along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. In addition to public toilets in towns and villages, facilities are dotted at convenient points along the route including more remote sections as marked on the official map. From the parking area, the trail joins with the Mount Pisgah trail which leads to the top of Mount Pisgah itself. You don’t need a permit to hike the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, but reservations at the trailside campsites are a must. 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. 8. One stretch of the MST extends from the end of the Neusiok Trail in the Pine Cliff Recreation Area all the way to Raleigh. Hunt-Fish Falls Trail. The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation is completely committed to developing the MST as a continuous, off-road trail across the state. Although the trail is well signposted, carrying a map will prevent wrong turns, help time your ride for pick-ups, and identify interesting landmarks. Two alternative legs, connected by 25km of on-road riding, can be combined to form an alternate start to the Mountains to Sea. In addition, the Division has acquired land for the trail and funded trail construction. 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. While the trail is far from complete, there are about 190 miles in the mountains for you to hike. Because it’s a point-to-point hike, you’ll also need to have a car at the end point. The gently undulating road requires a fair bit of climbing, but riders are rewarded with elevated views of the Whanganui River, along with a series of fascinating Māori and European heritage sites such as the church and convent at Hiruhārama (Jerusalem), the restored Kawana Flour Mill, Matahiwi Gallery & Café, and the colourful Koriniti marae. Camping and lodge accommodation is available for overnight stops. How can we make this page better for you? The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail will take your breath away. 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. The Mountains Guide - Second Edition provides directions and information about the trail from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Devils Garden Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Virginia Border (MST Segments 1 through 5.) Essential information for riding the Mountains to Sea Trail. Get all three Mountains-To-Sea Trail Guides with this bundle. The 113-mile route meanders from one island to the next. A day or so in Whanganui is a great way to bookend your journey. Happy times on the grade 3 (intermediate) Mangapurua Track, however, are heavily weather dependent. Allowed Uses: Hiking; Length: 2.52 mi; Mountains to Sea Trail - FS 4666 to FS 4665. More than half of it has been completed; temporary routes travel backroads. Mountains to Sea Trail Post. The Friends of the MST organization provides information on the trail, sponsors most of the task forces that build and maintain sections of trail and promotes thru-hiking the trail by providing interim routes that connect completed portions of the MST. 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. Read more about the Ūpokongaro—Tasman Sea section. Every state wants to have a long-distance hiking trail to show off the best of its natural features. The Neuse River paddle trail … I spent a couple days solo backpacking the Skyline to the Sea Trail alongside streams and waterfalls and camping beneath Giant Redwood trees in the … All transport including the river jet boat trip should be booked in advance. Riders heading on to the Mangapurua and Kaiwhakauka Tracks should consider taking a personal locator beacon (PLB; available from local visitor centres), and let someone know of their trip intentions before setting off. Farther south in North Carolina, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail stretches across a diverse landscape in literally connecting the mountains to the Atlantic More than just a walk in the woods, the trail traces the diversity that is North Carolina. Continuing toward Asheville, the trail is co-signed as the Shut-in Trail and follows parts of Vanderbilt's or… This map has been divided into the Mountain, Piedmont and Coastal regions for more detail below. (The Classic route). 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. Hikers should be aware that the Mountains-To-Sea Trail does contain camping restrictions across its route. photograph by Charles Harris. Some sections of this trail may only be open seasonally or close for inspection after heavy weather - please check the track status for current conditions. It’s one of New Zealand’s oldest cities, rich in heritage, arts and culture, and a satisfying selection of restaurants, cafes, bars and accommodation. 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. There’s a $10 camp fee per night, plus a $5 reservation fee for up to six people and one car that’s payable with reservation. From Tongariro National Park's volcanic grandeur to the magical wilderness of the Whanganui River and the untamed Tasman Sea coast – our bike rides will show you the sights, places and people that make our regions so special. Below are my journal entries from my Mountain to Sea thruhike in February - April of 2007. 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. 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. Campsite #57 Bryson Place is the location of Horace Kephart's cabin. 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). Along the Neusiok Trail, you ’ ll pass through swamps and grasslands. 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 trail, when completed, will be over 900 miles in length. 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. In 2000, the MST became a state trail and a unit of the state parks system. Friends of the Mountain to Sea trail recommend starting here in the spring if you plan to thru-hike. Hikers can climb the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse between April and October, … More detailed descriptions can be found on the individual Trail pages. The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail passes through the towns of Ohakune, National Park village and Whanganui where there is a range of accommodation. 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). The Eastern Terminus of the MST is at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail, or the MST, is North Carolina's flagship state trail. 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. Fast riders can make it down in a little over 30 minutes, but why the rush? [Section 6]  19km, Grade 2/easy, 1–2 hours. Friends of the Mountain to Sea trail recommend starting here in the spring if you plan to thru-hike. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is as diverse as the state it showcases. 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. Halfway along Ruatiti Road (15km from the junction) is Ruatiti Domain, where there are toilets and basic camping. Neusiok Trail, Croatan National Forest. About 672 miles are completed trail, the rest of the mileage is on bicycle routes or back roads. It travels through mostly mature forest in the Pisgah National Forest or along the BRP. Whanganui River Road. find a ride . The trail's western endpoint is at Clingman's Dome, where it connects to the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is no place for novices in the wet, when sticky clay makes it a bike-busting quagmire. Allowed Uses: Hiking; Length: 3.76 mi ; Mountains to Sea Trail - Along FS 4666. This trail is a memorial to Art Loeb, an activist from the Carolina Mountain Club, and a man who "deeply loved these mountains." Please note - this track may be subject to seasonal or weather closure : Please check out track status page on current status. I know about half of it is roads, but is there actually a map yet? Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokey Mountains is the Western Terminus of the MST. Mailing address: Some riders may wish to break this journey into a more leisurely two days. 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. This is remote backcountry, with atmospheric and pretty scenery providing just rewards for the effort. 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. 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 Trail extends across the state for approximately 1,200 miles from Clingmans Dome in the mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks. It’s slightly uphill to ride the trail from Ohakune Rail Station to Horopito. Traveling mainly along peaks and ridges rather than in the valleys, the trail offers many views along the way to its lofty high points. Backpacking the Mountain to Sea Trail Journal Index. (Local shuttles can drive you up from Ohakune town, although super-fit riders might like to ride both ways.). The best source of volunteer opportunities on the MST is the Friends of the MST. Make things easy and maximise your riding time with great local advice, accommodation, tours & transport. This leads past the old Buck Spring Lodge built by George Vanderbilt, where there are interpretive signs. The weather can change quickly in these parts and it can get cold and wet, and there’s little shelter en route. The Tanawha Trail, stretching 13.5 miles (21.7 km) from Julian Price Park to Beacon Heights parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina, in the United States.Tanawha, the Cherokee word for fabulous hawk or eagle is an appropriate name for this trail that offers hikers views of distant mountains. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a simple footpath stretching almost 1,200 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks. There’s some road walking involved, as well as some coastal forest stretches, good camping, friendly towns, surfing, and ferry crossings. Each of the section sponsors may also have ways for you to volunteer on the trail. … 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 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. ... Mountains to Sea Trail markers along the way mean there is little chance of getting list, although a map or GPS will reduce the chance of any wrong turns. The weather is particularly changeable around Tongariro National Park. Completing the full trail enjoyably requires good planning, favourable weather, reasonable fitness and off-road cycling skills. 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. While some sections of trail pass through settlements where food and water is available, some traverse remote country with no supplies. 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. Is it possible to thru hike the MST right now? Raleigh, NC 27699, Download the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail Master Plan. 67km, Grade 3/intermediate, 7–8 hours. Traveling eastbound, the trail leaves Black Mountain Campground on the South Toe River and climbs gradually to the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP), at the Continental Divide to the Tennessee Valley. To that end, the Division has dedicated considerable financial and staff resources to the planning and coordination of the entire trail. Allowed Uses: Hiking; Length: 1.37 mi; Mountains to Sea Trail - FS 4665 to Haywood Gap. To the east, the trail meets the ocean for the first time, running for eight miles on the beach at Topsail Island before heading northward to Jacksonville. Highlights include the fabulously restored Hapuawhenua railway viaduct, spooky tunnels, mossy forest, and fun, bumpy stretches of the old cobblestone road. I started in Jockey Ridge State Park and hiked west to Clingmans Dome in the Smokey Mountains. Read more about the Ohakune Mountain Road. 1615 Mail Service Center Allowed Uses: Hiking; Length: 0.53 mi; Mountains to Sea Trail - FS 4668 to FS 4666. 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. Nearby towns such as Whakapapa and Taumarunui also make good bases for adventure. [Section 2]  15km, Grade 2/easy, 2–4 hours. Currently, there are 659.5 miles of trail that are completed and designated. 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. Whanganui River Road [Section 5] 67km, Grade 2/easy, 7–8 hours. (The distance including the jet boat trip is 231km.). It is therefore vital to plan ahead and pack more than sufficient provisions. 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. 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. Read more about the Whanganui River Road. Its eastern endpoint is in Jockey's Ridge State Park on the tallest sand dune on the east coast. A series of excellent information panels retell the Coach Road’s fascinating story. 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. The Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) stretches across the state of North Carolina, totaling approximately 1150 miles. At Pīpīriki village, riders get back in the saddle and head south along the Whanganui River Road for the reasonably long ride through to Ūpokongaro on SH4. The Mountains to Sea starts at Turoa skifield, 1700m above sea level on the slopes of volcanic Mt Ruapehu. ; 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. It skirts along the southwestern rim of the Davidson River val… The Hills to Sea Trail is for day-use only; no camping is allowed anywhere along it. The Long Trail in Vermont that meanders from the Massachusetts border to Canada is the oldest, having been created in 1910. The MTS Trail goes from Clingmans Dome to the North Carolina Outer Banks, a distance of about 1000 miles. 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. Segment 12 of North Carolina's 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail traverses one of the most productive agricultural areas in North Carolina. E-bikes are permitted on sections up to Grade 3, although consideration should be given to sufficient battery charge. Note that this section is also a very popular day ride ridden in the reverse direction, commonly started with a drop-off at Horopito for a leisurely cruise back to Ohakune, or as a longer return ride to Horopito and back. 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. Camping and lodge accommodation is available for overnight stops. 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