Mountains-to-Sea Trail – Neusiok Trail

 

Starting with 831 miles, 93,600 ft.
ascent

MST231-South Pacific Neusiak

Neusiok Trail, approach from the Minnesott Ferry and a few miles past Oyster Point

26.6 miles, 250 ft. ascent

Sharon and I are back on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail together. Hurrah!

We’re doing the Neusiok Trail in Croatan National Forest. This forest is located between New Bern and Morehead City. This is not a well-known forest or a well-known trail. But after miles and days of road walking, I’m so glad to be back on a trail.

MST231-Foursome

Croatan National Forest ain’t the Smokies. So we were so grateful to have the company of Terry and John, two FMST board members who live in the area.

The trail is flat, buggy and swampy. It has poisonous snakes and ticks. But I wasn’t worried because we were with locals.

Why do it? Well, it’s part of the MST so there’s no decision here.

But look at the picture above. It looks like a South Pacific island, like the Cook Islands, even though it’s the Neuse River. And the wildlife is so different.

MST231-turtleWe saw two ospreys flying around a huge osprey nest and a kingfisher.

We passed a green anole, a tiny lizard, a box turtle and wild turkeys. The only snake we saw was a thin green snake.

But we were prepared for ticks. On Terry’s advice, I wore long pants and long-sleeve shirt over a T-shirt. I was very hot all day.

We wanted to stay at a shelter because that’s where the water is. Because of the placement of the shelters, we ended up walking 19.6 miles on the first day of the backpack, leaving only 2.5 miles on the second day. Yes, that first day was long but we just plodded along.

No discussion of the Neusiok Trail is complete without discussing the amazing boardwalks.MST231-Boardwalk We’re walking in a swamp, so unless you really want a jungle experience, the trail needs boardwalks and bridges.

Most were put up by the Carteret County Wildlife Club and some by the US Forest Service. John and Terry spend a lot of time maintaining these boardwalks.

Thank you guys for your maintenance work and for taking out two Croatan newbies on the Neusiok Trail.

 

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Cumulative after 68 days, 857.6 miles, 93,850 ft.
ascent

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