Farther south in North Carolina, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail stretches across a diverse landscape in literally connecting the mountains to the Atlantic To that end, the Division has dedicated considerable financial and staff resources to the planning and coordination of the entire trail. This map has been divided into the Mountain, Piedmont and Coastal regions for more detail below. Below are my journal entries from my Mountain to Sea thruhike in February - April of 2007. 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. [Section 6]  19km, Grade 2/easy, 1–2 hours. 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. 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. Riders of remote and more rugged sections should ideally have basic mechanical skills and carry a tool kit. Allowed Uses: Hiking; Length: 3.76 mi ; Mountains to Sea Trail - Along FS 4666. The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail, or the MST, is North Carolina's flagship state trail. (The Classic route). 67km, Grade 3/intermediate, 7–8 hours. [Section 4]  36km, Grade 3/intermediate, 5–7 hours. [Section 3]  45km, Grade 2/easy, 3–4 hours. The Hills to Sea Trail is for day-use only; no camping is allowed anywhere along it. The Mountains to Sea starts at Turoa skifield, 1700m above sea level on the slopes of volcanic Mt Ruapehu. [Section 2]  15km, Grade 2/easy, 2–4 hours. 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. Get all three Mountains-To-Sea Trail Guides with this bundle. This leads past the old Buck Spring Lodge built by George Vanderbilt, where there are interpretive signs. 680 miles of the route are on trail, and connecting … Ruapehu and Whanganui provide a beautiful, inspiring, and endlessly interesting backdrop to bike rides and much more. 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. 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. More than half of it has been completed; temporary routes travel backroads. 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 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. In the Asheville area, this backcountry hiking trail (white blaze) roughly follows with Blue Ridge Parkway. The Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) stretches across the state of North Carolina, totaling approximately 1150 miles. 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. Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokey Mountains is the Western Terminus of the MST. 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 travels through mostly mature forest in the Pisgah National Forest or along the BRP. 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. A topographical map is highly recommended for the remote Mangapurua and Kaiwhakauka Tracks. (Local shuttles can drive you up from Ohakune town, although super-fit riders might like to ride both ways.). The 113-mile route meanders from one island to the next. Please note - this track may be subject to seasonal or weather closure : Please check out track status page on current status. The weather can change quickly in these parts and it can get cold and wet, and there’s little shelter en route. Essential information for riding the Mountains to Sea Trail. This trail is a memorial to Art Loeb, an activist from the Carolina Mountain Club, and a man who "deeply loved these 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. Beyond the trail’s highpoint at Mangapurua Trig begins a history rich journey through the Mangapurua Valley to reach the Bridge to Nowhere. In 2017, the General Assembly authorized a major addition to the MST: the Coastal Crescent route that loops through southeastern North Carolina. From there, it’s an thrilling 1000m descent back to Ohakune along 17km of sealed road. Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokey Mountains is the Western Terminus of the MST. Read more about the Whanganui River Road. The trail's western endpoint is at Clingman's Dome, where it connects to the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 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. While the trail is far from complete, there are about 190 miles in the mountains for you to hike. The Long Trail in Vermont that meanders from the Massachusetts border to Canada is the oldest, having been created in 1910. 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. 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. 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. A series of excellent information panels retell the Coach Road’s fascinating story. Make things easy and maximise your riding time with great local advice, accommodation, tours & transport. If you need detailed maps of specific segments of the MST, the Friends of the MST website is a valuable resource. In 2000, the MST became a state trail and a unit of the state parks system. 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. The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail will take your breath away. Hikers should be aware that the Mountains-To-Sea Trail does contain camping restrictions across its route. It’s slightly uphill to ride the trail from Ohakune Rail Station to Horopito. Completing the full trail enjoyably requires good planning, favourable weather, reasonable fitness and off-road cycling skills. Happy times on the grade 3 (intermediate) Mangapurua Track, however, are heavily weather dependent. Because it’s a point-to-point hike, you’ll also need to have a car at the end point. ; 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. [Section 5]  67km, Grade 2/easy, 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. Some riders may wish to break this journey into a more leisurely two days. Continuing toward Asheville, the trail is co-signed as the Shut-in Trail and follows parts of Vanderbilt's or… The weather is particularly changeable around Tongariro National Park. 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. 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. While some sections of trail pass through settlements where food and water is available, some traverse remote country with no supplies. Currently, there are 659.5 miles of trail that are completed and designated. 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. Camping and lodge accommodation is available for overnight stops. Read more about the Ruatiti & Middle Roads. 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. 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. Allowed Uses: Hiking; Length: 1.37 mi; Mountains to Sea Trail - FS 4665 to Haywood Gap. A ship-shape mountain bike is essential for all but the most urban of rides (namely Whanganui city). 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. 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. This is remote backcountry, with atmospheric and pretty scenery providing just rewards for the effort. It is no place for novices in the wet, when sticky clay makes it a bike-busting quagmire. 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 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. Read more about the Ūpokongaro—Tasman Sea section. From the parking area, the trail joins with the Mount Pisgah trail which leads to the top of Mount Pisgah itself. 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. 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. 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 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. 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.) Allowed Uses: Hiking; Length: 2.52 mi; Mountains to Sea Trail - FS 4666 to FS 4665. One stretch of the MST extends from the end of the Neusiok Trail in the Pine Cliff Recreation Area all the way to Raleigh. When completely constructed, the MST will be about 1,400 miles long. Mountains to Sea Trail - Along FS 4668. Learn about the 18 trail segments & 1 alternate route that make up the MST. 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 trail descends from an alpine environment through the beautiful remote Whanganui national park to the delights of historic Whanganui town and the Tasman Sea. (The distance including the jet boat trip is 231km.). Nearby towns such as Whakapapa and Taumarunui also make good bases for adventure. Here you will need to take 3 ferry rides to island hop to reach the end of the trail. 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. Mailing address: Campsite #57 Bryson Place is the location of Horace Kephart's cabin. Although the trail is well signposted, carrying a map will prevent wrong turns, help time your ride for pick-ups, and identify interesting landmarks. 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. It is therefore vital to plan ahead and pack more than sufficient provisions. 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). Mountains to Sea Trail Post. In addition, the Division has acquired land for the trail and funded trail construction. 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. 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. Each of the section sponsors may also have ways for you to volunteer on the trail. 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 Neuse River paddle trail … The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail passes through the towns of Ohakune, National Park village and Whanganui where there is a range of accommodation. Read more about the Ohakune Old Coach Road. Highlights include the fabulously restored Hapuawhenua railway viaduct, spooky tunnels, mossy forest, and fun, bumpy stretches of the old cobblestone road. The Eastern Terminus of the MST is at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. 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. See some great photos from around the trails. 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. Camping and lodge accommodation is available for overnight stops. The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail, or the MST, is North Carolina's flagship state trail. find a ride . 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. 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. There is more accommodation in smaller settlements such as Whakahoro, Retaruke, Pīpīriki and those along the Whanganui River Road. Hunt-Fish Falls Trail. Backpacking the Mountain to Sea Trail Journal Index. 8. photograph by Charles Harris. 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. More than just a walk in the woods, the trail traces the diversity that is North Carolina. Read more about the Ohakune Mountain Road. So far, 101 thru-hikers have walked the Mountains-to-Sea Trail … 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. 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. … Friends of the Mountain to Sea trail recommend starting here in the spring if you plan to thru-hike. 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 … 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 there, you can continue hiking (but you’ll frequently find yourself on roads instead of trails) or you can cover 216 … 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. 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. Traveling mainly along peaks and ridges rather than in the valleys, the trail offers many views along the way to its lofty high points. E-bikes are permitted on sections up to Grade 3, although consideration should be given to sufficient battery charge. Is it possible to thru hike the MST right now? 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. 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 best source of volunteer opportunities on the MST is the Friends of the MST. 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. It skirts along the southwestern rim of the Davidson River val… 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. There are two ways of getting to Pīpīriki, neither of which is on a bike! ... 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. Halfway along Ruatiti Road (15km from the junction) is Ruatiti Domain, where there are toilets and basic camping. Two alternative legs, connected by 25km of on-road riding, can be combined to form an alternate start to the Mountains to Sea. The final stretch of the Mountains to Sea is predominantly a beach walk along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 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. All transport including the river jet boat trip should be booked in advance. Friends of the Mountain to Sea trail recommend starting here in the spring if you plan to thru-hike. 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. Segment 12 of North Carolina's 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail traverses one of the most productive agricultural areas in North Carolina. 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. 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