Mountains-to-Sea Trail – Mishmash of a Day

Starting with 379.9 miles, 59,950 ft. ascent


Table Rock Picnic Area to NC 181

9.9 miles, 2,000 ft. ascent

It was a mishmash of a day from the beginning on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Two Carolina Mountain Club hike leaders Jim and Jacob, had planned this Linville hike for months. Sharon and I wanted to cross the Linville River with a group and this was our chance. Since the hike was going to be in Linville Gorge, a wilderness area, the groups were limited to 10 hikers going both ways. Sharon and I signed up in May. Then Kate Dixon, Executive Director of Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, decided to join us. And Janet who hikes with CMC thought it would be fun to join “the girls”.

Sharon and Kate stayed over at my house in Asheville. The next morning, Sunday, we woke up to rain – hard rain. But the leaders had said they were going rain or shine. At 7 A.M., Jim called from Marion. It was thundering in Marion and  the Linville river was going to be flooded. He canceled the hike.

MST13-fungusJanet backed out of our cabin hiking trip. We decided to brave it. We had the people, the days, even a cabin in Linville Gorge. Sharon is well-connected and has friends with cabins in the right places.

The drive to Table Rock was very wet and windy. It was not a good beginning and we had a late start. We didn’t get on the trail until 11 A.M. But when we started out hiking from Table Rock, it was only drizzling.MSt13-Smooth trail

The MST leaves Table Rock Trail very quickly and starts down on a rocky trail. It’s slow going only for a short while.  Much of the trail is a railroad grade – wide and soft underfoot.

MST13-CrossingSteeles CreekWe cross Steels Creek several times. It’s challenging but I do it without getting my boots wet on the inside.


We pass an outstanding waterfall down below.

MST13-CrossingwithRope The last crossing is a tough one with a useless rope. See Kate below crossing.

At least the rope tells you it’s going to be a dangerous crossing. One slip and you’re out of the world. But the three of us made it.

We get to our car at 5 P.M. but then have to go to Table Rock to pick up Sharon’s car.


Cumulative after Day 33, 389.8 miles, 61,950 ft. ascent

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