When is a guidebook an artifact and when is it just old?
At Second Gear, my favorite Asheville consignment shop, I found a book, An Introduction to North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail, (second edition) published in 1997. It’s really a large pamphlet, 34 pages, put out by the North Carolina State Trails Program. It’s not in black and white, but green and white – same thing.
Darrell McBane was the State Trails Coordinator then. The MST had 330 miles, most of it in the mountains, Croatan and Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Neither end points were established. The western end starts at Balsam Gap, not the Smokies, The eastern end is a the National Park Service Visitor Center at Cape Hatteras, not Jockey’s Ridge State Park.
So most of it is still accurate, though the MST has certainly expanded since then. There’s one exception. In the book, there’s an 8-mile section through Waynesboro State Park which goes through Goldsboro in the Coastal Plains. That has been changed and now the MST bypasses Goldsboro all together. And in addition, Waynesborough State Park is not a NC state park, at least it’s not on the state park website. I’m sure an MST historian will have the answer to this.
I snapped up the book and won’t tell you what I paid for it. It’s not like finding an Ansel Adams at a flea market. But I wonder how many of those were printed and how many are still in circulation.