Through the end of the year, we'll be keeping you updated in this weekly enewsletter on two main events celebrating our 40th Anniversary: MST in a Day and Jennifer Pharr Davis Hikes the MST. 

If you have friends who love to hike, please forward this enewsletter and encourage them to sign up and get involved.
40th Anniversary Weekly Coverage

No. 8, September 28, 2017

Jen on Gragg Prong in the Wilson Creek area.
Jennifer Pharr Davis: a community of better understanding

As she hikes across the state on the MST, Jennifer Pharr Davis files a weekly blog on her journey.

On the Mountains-to-Sea Trail you never know what you are going to see around the next turn - or who you might meet. When I come across folks on the trail I like to ask them where they're from, how far they plan on hiking, and if they know that they are on a footpath that stretches across North Carolina.

Most of the people I've met on the MST have been day hikers, but I have also shared the trail with a few weekend backpackers and section hikers. There is a shared camaraderie when you see someone multiple days in a row. When I hiked near Linville Gorge, I played leapfrog with two middle-aged men on a section hike. The first time I met them I told them about the bear cubs I had spotted just up the trail, the next day they told me where to look for a water source on a dry stretch of trail, the third time we saw each other we greeted one another with cheers and laughter. It was clear that we were sharing more than the trail; we were sharing the joys and struggles of being in the woods.

We tend to judge individuals based on their surroundings, but on the trail everyone shares the same environment. There is no rank or hierarchy on the trail. This allows folks to be more honest than usual and sooner than they otherwise would be. Out there, it's not about what people do but who they are. And without everyday distractions such as work commitments, house chores, and cell service you get to know other hikers really well, really quickly.

Read the rest of Jen's blog here.

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Follow Jen! Get the latest news from Jen about her journey: 
Hear Jen speak on October 10 in  Raleigh at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, and on Oct. 26 in Wilmington at the Brooklyn Arts Center. Admission is a gift to Friends of MST, with a suggested minimum of $10 per person to help cover costs of the event. Seating is limited, so  sign up soon.

MST in a Day: Keep on hikin'

Have you seen the forecast for this weekend? It's a forecast made for hiking the MST: temperatures in the 70s along most of the trail's run (and in the 50s and 60s in the mountains), sunny skies. Some thoughts on how to maintain your MST in a Day buzz into the fall, starting with a couple reminders of just how fabulous MST in a Day was.
  • Reminder 1: Look. Our hikers submitted hundreds of fabulous photos capturing their day on the trail. If you need a quick escape but can't make it to the actual trail immediately, check out our Flickr page.
  • Reminder 2: Read. We've been chronicling your day on the MST by segment on our website. These quick insights provide further motivation to keep hiking. 
  • Hike with others. If you signed up through Meetup, you can search for nearby hiking groups through the site, join, see if they're hosting hikes on the MST. You can also check with local hiking clubs: the Carolina Mountain Club, for instance, is hiking a stretch of the MST in Linville Gorge on Oct. 7.
  • Plan your own hike. Our guides for the entire trail come in mighty handy when plotting a trip. They're divided into Mountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plain and Outer Banks, and you can find them online.
  • And keep your eye on this enewsletter: we'll let you know of upcoming opportunities to explore the trail.

Hiking tip: Five tips for fall hiking

The lower temperatures and splendiferous colors of fall will entice many of us to take longer ventures into the woods in the coming days. This is a wonderful thing, but we want to remind you of a few things that will make your hike more enjoyable:
  1. Eat
  2. Drink
  3. Note that the days are shrinking
  4. Check the forecast
  5. Skip the line

Learn more about our five tips here.

Your shirts are coming!

If you ordered an MST in a Day T-shirt, rest assured that, thanks to the diligent efforts of Peter (right) from Home State Apparel that you will receive it soon (if you haven't already). 

Peter printed all the shirts himself, all 427 of them! (Well, save for the one he let the FMST's Betsy Brown print). 

Nice knowing you'll be supporting your favorite trail with a hand-crafted T-shirt, eh?

(If your shirt doesn't arrive within the next day or two,  email Betsy at

An egg?

Yup, that's an egg over there.

Er, so why's an egg over there?

Because eggs are very important to Jennifer Pharr Davis as she makes her way across North Carolina on the MST. In fact, she might not be able to make the trip without them.

Learn about the power this orb has over Jen on her blog, here.

Thanks to our sponsors!

There would be no Mountains-to-Sea Trail, no reason to celebrate a 40th anniversary, without the generous support of our many sponsors, including  BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, Great Outdoor Provision Co., REI, Duke Energy, Farm to Feet, First Citizens Bank, Mast General Store, Rostan Family Foundation, New Morning Gallery, AntiGravity Gear, Prestage Farms and Wyrick Robbins.