Mountains to Sea Trail

The CMC Council approved the Club's position on the route of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Western North Carolina at their October 4th meeting.
November 2, 2012
Southwestern Commission
125 Bonnie Lane
Sylva, NC 28779
Dear Commission Members,
The Carolina Mountain Club (CMC), a hiking and trail maintaining club founded in 1923, began formal work on a designated section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) in 1983. Since then we have constructed and now maintain just under 140 miles of this state trail. We understand that as part of the Regional Trails Plan currently underway suggestions have been made to alter the route of the MST in Western North Carolina. One or more of these suggested changes could mean that 30+ miles of CMC-built Trail would be by-passed by a revised route.
It is the position of the Carolina Mountain Club that the route of the MST remain as close to the original route as possible with the expectation that the trail will eventually be completed as planned. In fact members of the CMC have identified a way to connect a missing section of the trail west of the Club’s section using an existing gravel road between Wolf Laurel Gap and Big Witch Gap .
The MST, beginning at the North Carolina/Tennessee state line and ending at the Atlantic Ocean, offers those individuals interested in long-distance hiking an unparalleled opportunity to experience the natural beauty of North Carolina. Through a variety of access points it also offers day hikers a chance to sample every type of trail experience--from high meadows and rock faces with breathtaking views to cascading streams and waterfalls, from challenging uphill climbs to beautiful spring wildflowers. Indeed, an asset of the trail is that it allows NC residents and visitors access to a wilderness experience. The route originally chosen for the MST is the one that best provides this experience.
The members of the CMC support and applaud new trail proposals, especially those that can be used as access trails for the MST. We think that some of these new trails may eventually comprise shorter, multi-day hikes that take advantage of the MST for a portion of their route. However, we do not think that it is necessary to change the route of the MST as new trail routes are considered. The Club remains committed to completing and maintaining its assigned portion of the MST and does so with the understanding that our work will not be abandoned in future plans for the trail.
Marcia W. Bromberg
President, Carolina Mountain Club