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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    This is a really good source of obscure NC and Georgia maps---
    https://theforeststore.com/product-category/maps/
    Fantastic resource, Tipi!

    I never knew there was a guide for Birkhead Mountain Wilderness. Maybe now I can find those plantation ruins.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  3. #23
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    For those that have done all the MST what maps did you feel you absolutely needed? I know of the maps on the MST site done by The Hiking Project and the maps of NC SP's. I have most of the maps for the western mountains part of the MST but sorely lacking detailed Piedmont maps. Thx to Tipi for his map link but I'm trying to avoid buying $120+ worth of a large assortment of maps. I'd optimally desire topos where the MST is not well marked and would also like to see the "bigger picture" in larger maps to note where I might take an alternate or add on blue blazes and other worthy loops.

  4. #24
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    For those that have done all the MST what maps did you feel you absolutely needed? I know of the maps on the MST site done by The Hiking Project and the maps of NC SP's. I have most of the maps for the western mountains part of the MST but sorely lacking detailed Piedmont maps. Thx to Tipi for his map link but I'm trying to avoid buying $120+ worth of a large assortment of maps. I'd optimally desire topos where the MST is not well marked and would also like to see the "bigger picture" in larger maps to note where I might take an alternate or add on blue blazes and other worthy loops.
    No maps for the Piedmont and Coastal regions. Maybe a NC highway map to see all the towns around you once in a while but not too necessary with all the info in the guidebooks online. State Park maps could be useful for side trips or loops, but none of these are absolutely necessary.

  5. #25
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    2 quick questions after doing a bit of looking at the MST trail guides...how did y'all handle resupply in section 4? Also, the guide doesn't show many campsites in section 3. I'm assuming that the guide is similar to the BMT and AT guides in that there are many wonderful campsites along the way and are just too numerous to list. Is this correct? I'll guess I'll add one more...water accessibility. An places in sections 2,3 or 4 where there may be problems?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Chief View Post
    No maps for the Piedmont and Coastal regions. Maybe a NC highway map to see all the towns around you once in a while but not too necessary with all the info in the guidebooks online. State Park maps could be useful for side trips or loops, but none of these are absolutely necessary.
    Thx Chief. Was going to include looking at pages from the NC Delorme Atlas & Gazetter. I'm a map person wanting to see the larger picture of what's around me especially needed since I'm starting off in late winter. I'm concerned with some of the trail descriptions/directions in the guide and various closures for services in the coastal and Piedmont areas.


    Anyone paddle the Neuse River as a way to officially complete the hike? Any Nuese River paddlers on WB? Any opinions about the scenery and experiences lost if one doesn't hike those segments instead doing the paddle?

  7. #27

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    Iím looking at doing some segments this year so I appreciate the thread.
    One option for maps is to download the GPX tracks from Hiking Project and import them into Caltopo and print at whatever zoom level you want.

  8. #28
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Thx Chief. Was going to include looking at pages from the NC Delorme Atlas & Gazetter. I'm a map person wanting to see the larger picture of what's around me especially needed since I'm starting off in late winter. I'm concerned with some of the trail descriptions/directions in the guide and various closures for services in the coastal and Piedmont areas.


    Anyone paddle the Neuse River as a way to officially complete the hike? Any Nuese River paddlers on WB? Any opinions about the scenery and experiences lost if one doesn't hike those segments instead doing the paddle?
    Yes, there have been a few to paddle the Neuse. I dropped 2 hikers/paddlers off on the Neuse River where Hwy 42 crosses the Nuese and they both paddled to a place called Pelican's Landing (privately owned by a super nice guy) and then the young lady converted to a kayak and followed the river to a takeout at the Neusiok Trail. They camped one night in Howell Woods, were taken to a building in Goldsboro, the second night, spent the third night camped near a restaurant, and a fourth night at the public campground in downtown Kinston. Pelican's Landing would have been their next night but the male paddler had to go home so I picked him up there. When you decide on your plans PM me and I'll get you in touch with the right paddling club in this area to assist you. An old dam has been removed from the Neuse about halfway down the Neuse River trail so now a paddling trip can start from the Falls Lake Dam. The scenery and experiences are bound to be different but you will see things a walker never would.

  9. #29
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Dogwood;2186583]Thx Chief. Was going to include looking at pages from the NC Delorme Atlas & Gazetter. I'm a map person wanting to see the larger picture of what's around me especially needed since I'm starting off in late winter. I'm concerned with some of the trail descriptions/directions in the guide and various closures for services in the coastal and Piedmont areas.

    There are still enough accomodations open at the coast during the winter months to take care of your needs. The restaurant and motel at Cedar Island has just reopened, I would think, for travelers using the Ocracoke Ferry. Taba's guidebook listed several churches from Cedar Island to the Neusiok Trail where they would allow camping. There are a couple of Trailjournals.com hikes of this area that might indicate where they camped at night. I'll try to find some blogs written by former hikers and get them to you.

  10. #30
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    I came across Taba Ward on the Neusiok Trail section of the MST a few years ago. Nice guy. Be aware that much of the MST is a road hike and there are sections where camping is not allowed.
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  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner76 View Post
    I came across Taba Ward on the Neusiok Trail section of the MST a few years ago. Nice guy. Be aware that much of the MST is a road hike and there are sections where camping is not allowed.
    Exactly true. I did parts around Greensboro NC and his guidebook is funny---No Camping Allowed---Seek out the closest motel at the end of the day. A crappy way to pull a backpacking trip in my opinion.

    Some MST thruhikers bicycle these long road sections.

  12. #32
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner76 View Post
    I came across Taba Ward on the Neusiok Trail section of the MST a few years ago. Nice guy. Be aware that much of the MST is a road hike and there are sections where camping is not allowed.
    The MST is almost 1200 miles long and 680 of those miles are on "real" trail. By the end of 2018 I would expect over 700 miles on "real" trail. For those wanting a wilderness experience you will never get it doing a thru-hike of the MST. The purpose of the MST is to cross the State of North Carolina, from the highest point on the Tn-NC border to the highest point on the coast, taking in many scenic areas of the State. It accomplishes that by using a route that goes through many urban areas of NC. Can't be avoided-- we're an urban State. If you want to do a thru-hike of the MST you are allowed to bike paved sections of the Trail, instead of walking too many paved roads. Many hikers have decided that its a pretty good accomplishment to complete a designated walk across the State. There are many more camping options than there were in 2012, the last edition of Taba's guidebook. If you're planning a hike of the MST use up to date material. If you use Taba's guidebook, good luck.

  13. #33
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Exactly true. I did parts around Greensboro NC and his guidebook is funny---No Camping Allowed---Seek out the closest motel at the end of the day. A crappy way to pull a backpacking trip in my opinion.

    Some MST thruhikers bicycle these long road sections.
    You would be the last hiker, in my opinion, that would ever be happy on the MST once it left Stone Mtn State Park!

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Chief View Post
    You would be the last hiker, in my opinion, that would ever be happy on the MST once it left Stone Mtn State Park!
    You're right about that. Getting older means I much prefer "unbroken" wilderness or what's left of such wilderness. But in my glory years I took great satisfaction in stealth camping off roads and behind grocery stores and in town cemeteries and other stealth spots on my long hitchhiking journeys. I was young and could better tolerate urbanization and the noise of traffic and road walking. Now I have a new mantra: "Life's too short to be on a road."

  15. #35
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    THX to everyone especially Old Chief.

    OC you nailed what I expected and why I want to experience the MST. I'm not looking for a 100% solitude remote single track in forests and backcountry NP's LD type backpacking trip. I want to experience NC from the Atlantic to the mountains on a single continuous adventurous backpacking, day hiking, paddling, and bicycling trip. I also want to experience combining all these activities on one continuous trip because I expect to be doing more of these multi activity LD trips in the future. This brings fresh exciting "traveling"elements to what at the core is a hike.

    Since one can cover stretches faster when paddling downstream or on a bike compared to a backpacker I'll have more access to camping opps. Since an early start is anticipated I expect some snow travel as well. I also like the idea of traveling at varying paces via different mediums.

    I liken the MST somewhat to other trails/routes in how they are sometimes organized that I've experienced as a LASHer that do the same thing like the Long Path Tr in NY, California Coastal Trail(460 more miles and completed), and American Discovery Tr.

  16. #36
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    I'm also not desiring going out to places I'm already quite familiar to basically camp. Life can be perceived as too short for that too.


    I find road walks on what are LD hiking trips sometimes to be scenically and culturally rewarding. Road walks break things up. Some I've despised though. All road walks are not the same. Nature can be experienced on road walks too! Being out for not wks at a time but months on LD hikes they can bring a hiker into contact with a multitude of other worthy non hiking experiences and diversity which is how I design all "thru-hikes." I like having the option to mix things up from solitudinous to more social experiences, taking in historical sites, museums, botanical gardens, coastal verse mountain verse bucolic same state culture

  17. #37

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    Roadwalking on a backpacking trip can also really REEK!! My last roadwalk was a 10 mile stretch on the Cherohala Skyway aka Screamway---a scenic road now turned into a motorcycle racetrack---

    https://www.facebook.com/tipi.walter...5825992323814/

  18. #38
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    I have been reading this thread and trying to do the research on this trail. I am looking at doing 200 miles of sections 2,3 and 4. If I was going solo, I could manage by stealth camping here and there. However, I will be travelling with a party of 2-3 teenagers. At night, i want to spread out as I am a light sleeper. And i don't want to worry about getting ticketed. Don't think the parents of the kids would appreciate that. Would I be better served by saving this hike for when I am solo? Occasional roadwalking is not that big of an issue, especially if it is on an isolated road but I do not like walking the shoulder of a busy 4 lane highway.. As always, any input is greatly appreciated.

  19. #39
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4shot View Post
    I have been reading this thread and trying to do the research on this trail. I am looking at doing 200 miles of sections 2,3 and 4. If I was going solo, I could manage by stealth camping here and there. However, I will be travelling with a party of 2-3 teenagers. At night, i want to spread out as I am a light sleeper. And i don't want to worry about getting ticketed. Don't think the parents of the kids would appreciate that. Would I be better served by saving this hike for when I am solo? Occasional roadwalking is not that big of an issue, especially if it is on an isolated road but I do not like walking the shoulder of a busy 4 lane highway.. As always, any input is greatly appreciated.
    You will not be walking down the shoulders of a 4 lane highway in sections 2,3, and 4. There is very little roadwalking in this 200 miles, some of it required to use bridges on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Very light traffic especially on weekdays. There are more than ample choices for campsites especially in the Middle Prong-Shining Rock areas and Mt. Mitchell to Beacon Heights areas. A party of 4 will have no trouble at all. If you start at Beacon Heights you'll have a ton of camp sites in the first days of travel that would be good for hikers just starting out. Here again, study the MST guidebooks and you'll see everything is mainly off road. The main roadwalking is on the Kistler Memorial Highway (sounds huge and busy, right?) which is just a dirt road full of pot holes in the middle of nowhere (west rim of the Linville Gorge) and a few other FS dirt roads that aren't even two lanes wide. You will see plenty of camping areas not listed in the guidebook. Go to the MST website and look at the guides for sections 2,3, and 4 as it is evident that you haven't seen them yet.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Chief View Post
    The MST is almost 1200 miles long and 680 of those miles are on "real" trail. By the end of 2018 I would expect over 700 miles on "real" trail. For those wanting a wilderness experience you will never get it doing a thru-hike of the MST. The purpose of the MST is to cross the State of North Carolina, from the highest point on the Tn-NC border to the highest point on the coast, taking in many scenic areas of the State. It accomplishes that by using a route that goes through many urban areas of NC. Can't be avoided-- we're an urban State. If you want to do a thru-hike of the MST you are allowed to bike paved sections of the Trail, instead of walking too many paved roads. Many hikers have decided that its a pretty good accomplishment to complete a designated walk across the State. There are many more camping options than there were in 2012, the last edition of Taba's guidebook. If you're planning a hike of the MST use up to date material. If you use Taba's guidebook, good luck.
    I've seen the plans for a nice chunk of Section 14 (part of the Coastal Crescent) and there are strong possibilities to get significant portions off-road in this area. If similar progress is going on in other places I wouldn't be surprised for your projected gain to continue, and perhaps increase, on a steady basis.

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