Through the end of the year, we are publishing this weekly e-newsletter to provide updates about two anniversary events: Jennifer Pharr Davis's MST hike and MST in a Day. 

Because this is a more frequent schedule of emails than we usually send, we are only mailing it weekly to people who have signed up for it. But once a month, including this week, we will send it to everyone on our e-mail list.

If you would like to receive this e-newsletter each week, please sign up for the latest news of these special anniversary events. And please forward it to your hiker friends so they can get involved too.
40th Anniversary Weekly Coverage

No. 4, August 28, 2017

Governor Cooper proclaims September 9 "Mountains-to-Sea Trail Day!"  To read the full proclamation, go here

MST in a Day: 23 legs left to go

There are only 12 days left until MST in a Day - Saturday, September 9 - when we are seeking to have 100% of the trail hiked and paddled by hundreds of people each covering a short "leg" of the trail.

Think of the awesomeness of more than 850 hikers simultaneously traipsing a trail that stretches across the state, creating a chain of humanity stretching 1,175 miles from Clingmans Dome to Jockey's Ridge all on a single day. We get a little goosebumpy thinking about it. 

But, right now, there will be broken links in that chain, because 23 legs still need hikers!

We need some folks to step on up to cover legs at the eastern and western extremes of the trail. These are the segments that still need hikers:

If none of these segments work for you, but you'd still like to be part of this historic day - jump on in and find a leg that still has open spots to hike in another part of the state. If you've already checked the Meetup sign-up for your Segment and the legs were full, check again! In places where the trail can accommodate more hikers, we've opened up more slots. 
National Geographic Adventurer Jennifer Pharr Davis is hiking the MST right now. She's a great writer and speaker, and you can follow her journey in many ways. Sign up for this e-newsletter to receive a weekly update. If you want to follow her daily, like the Friends  Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. Attend one of her speaking events - including one tomorrow (August 29) in Asheville. 

At any time, you can visit her webpage on the Friends website:

Below is Jen's latest blog about her experiences from the first week on the trail. 
A week of living in the moment - many moments
By Jennifer Pharr Davis

Our first week on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail has been filled with MORE than I anticipated. More great views, more mushrooms, more climbs, more rain, more miles, more hardship, and most of all more emotion.

I'd forgotten that it's not just your body that has to get in shape on the trail, but your heart and mind as well. It was a process to let go of our life off the trail and be present in this new adventure. On day two, I walked into Deep Creek in the Smokies fully clothed, reached down in the thigh deep water, grabbed hold of a rock and then let the current carry my legs out from under me. I held on as the freezing water rushed over me. It was a cleansing. When I came back up, I was ready to focus on the trail, on the next mile, on the next step, and not worry about anything else.

Then, at 12:45 AM that night, we found ourselves at the Emergency Room in Cherokee. I was worried. Brew was having difficulty breathing. When I asked if I could go back to the exam room with the kids, I was told that my husband was having heart issues and I should stay in the waiting room. My worry turned to fear. (CONTINUE>>>)

Questions? Answers!

You MST in a Day hikers ask a lot of questions. A lot of good questions!

What if it rains on Sept 9th ?   You and others will get wet, but the event goes on without a "rain date." Check the weather, and take precautions if there is lightning.

You'll find answers to other persistent questions  here .
Don't see your question? Send it to us at and we'll add it to the FAQ (along with an answer).
Mast General Store to donate 10% of September 9 sales

Need new boots? A pack? Lots of candy?

Then head to your nearest Mast General Store on September 9! (You can f ind the Mast General Store nearest you  here .) You can get your goods and help out the MST at the same time.

In honor of MST in a Day, Mast General Store will donate 10 percent off sales at all stores to the MST. It's part of Mast's Friends' Day program, when the retailer tithes the day's sales to a worthwhile cause. 

Hiking tip: Hiking with dogs

What's the Mountains-to-Sea Trail's policy on hiking with dogs?

We love 'em. But we don't have the final say on whether dogs are allowed on the trail. That decision is up to the land manager hosting the MST. Even then, the rules may vary. 

In general, N.C. State Parks, National Forests and National Parks allow dogs, provided they are leashed, typically on a six foot leader. There are exceptions: the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, one short stretch of the trail that piggybacks on the Tanawha Trail at Grandfather Mountain, and the Sauratown Trail prohibit dogs. Our trail also crosses municipal and county parks, nature preserves, and other properties, which have their own rules.

For the purposes of September 9, check the Meetup site where you registered. If there are restrictions on hiking with your pooch, it should be mentioned there.
The Elkin Valley style in the MST line of Farm to Feet socks. 
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.