Trail updates are listed below:
December 3, 2013
The Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet which links Hatteras Island to the mainland in the Outer Banks has just been closed for repairs by the NC DOT. Ferry service has been established from Rodanthe to the mainland at Stumpy Point. We will be working on a temporary re-route of the MST and will post that information as soon as possible. For further details and a map of the new ferry route, click here: http://wunc.org/post/bonner-bridge-close-immediately
November 25, 2013
The Table Rock fire is nearly 100% contained now. Forest Service roads and trails are open again. Our FMST Task Force leader & volunteers in the affected areas will soon be assessing the damage to the MST and will report any trail updates here. Until we receive their assessments, please refer to US Forest Service Updates here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nfsnc/alerts-notices/?aid=20657
November 14, 2013
There is a wildfire in the Table Rock area of Linville Gorge Wilderness, Pisgah National Forest. The MST and connecting trails in this area are closed. Monitor progress on fire containment at this site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nfsnc/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5440681. As soon as it is safe to do so, our dedicated team of MST volunteers in the Linville Gorge area will assess the MST and we will post further updates about the condition of the trail in the affected areas.
For MST-related updates related to the Government Shutdown, click here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151608727576891&set=a.144982191890.123628.144643271890&type=1&theater
Increase in bear activity in Asheville, Swannanoa, Black Mountain, etc.: http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20131003/NEWS/310030015/Bear-activity-spikes-Asheville-area?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1
Hiking directions headed east from the Falls Lake Dam have been updated:
After exiting footpath, past gated barrier, reach the Tailrace parking area, by restrooms. Turn R to exit parking area and immediately go L onto ramp access to descend and go under bridge to start paved Neuse River Greenway path (note “Falls” to L). Just after passing the ¼ mile marker there is a parking area, R. Staying on the greenway path, go past the ½ mile marker and cross under double bridges of New Falls of the Neuse Road. Immediately turn R and take paved access ramp up to road. Turn R onto sidewalk, heading N, to cross the river. Walk approximately 0.8 miles on New Falls of the Neuse Road and turn L onto Wakefield Pines Drive. Go approximately 1 mile on this and turn R onto Falls of the Neuse Road. You are now back on the original route described in Allen Dehart and Scott Ward’s books and on the interactive Google map on this website.
Sauratown Trail Sections 2 & 3 (between Mickey Road and NC-66) are permanently closed to all users.
A road detour is available for thru-hikers, but it is not appropriate for equestrians. The detour involves NC-66, which is a very curvy road with fast traffic and little road shoulder.
Sauratown Trails Association is working to establish a new trail route for this area, and help will eventually be needed with trail construction. If you are interested in helping work on the trail, please Steven Mierisch at email@example.com about being placed on the trail work email list.
Due to the recent government sequestration, the Blue Ridge Parkway has closed two picnic areas along the MST in Alleghany and Ashe counties:
- Doughton Park Picnic Area, MP 241.1
- Jeffress Park Picnic Area, MP 271.9
To view the complete list of full and partial closings, please to go the Blue Ridge Parkway website.
FMST has developed new hiking directions for Section 1-3 of the MST. There are currently two routes that we suggest. One option is through Great Smoky Mountain National Park, meeting up with the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 458 via Heintooga Rd. The second option is exits the Smokies at Deep Creek Campground and follows back roads along the Tuckaseegee River and then back up to Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway on trails through Pinnacle Park and land owned by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. If you hike one of these routes, please contact Kate Dixon, FMST Executive Director, to share your impressions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-698-9024.
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is now requiring permits for backcountry camping at a cost of $4 per person per night. Permits are available 24 hours a day at www.smokiespermits.nps.gov, or in person at the Smokies backcountry office. Permits will be available up to 30 days in advance. For more information, call the Backcountry office at 865-436-1297. Please plan to obtain a permit if you plan to camp on the MST in Great Smoky Mountain NP.
In MST Section 21, the closed section of the Sauratown Trail (Section 3), now has updated detour directions. It is a road route for pedestrians only. A suitable detour for equestrians has not been found. Directions for both east and west bound hikers can be found here, and updates can be found on the Sauratown Trail website.
The MST was changed to incorporate twelve miles of trail within Pilot Mountain State Park into the route. To hike the new route, see the map of the trail route in the park and the new east-bound and west-bound backroad hiking directions between Stone Mountain and Pilot Mountain state parks. East of Pilot Mountain State Park, the trail continues to follow the Sauratown Trail to Hanging Rock State Park. The interactive google map has also been updated to show the new directions.
The FMST Board approved new hiking directions from Greensboro’s Bryan Park (Section 25) to the Falls Lake dam north of Raleigh (Section 27) so that hikers can start using much of the new trail that has been built along the Haw and Eno rivers and on the western end of Falls Lake.