The Mountain Xpress just published the results of their 2014 readers’ poll. They have 561 categories.
In the Hiking Club category, Carolina Mountain Club was voted number one for at least the second year in a row. We’re the largest hiking club in Western North Carolina, but certainly not the only one. We did have legitimate competition.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail was voted the best Hiking Trail in Western North Carolina. The trail has been voted the best for a few years because it is now in the Hall of Fame. They even printed the Friends of the MST website. In case you’re wondering, the Appalachian Trail came is second and the Art Loeb Trail through Pisgah National Forest was third. So the competition was real.
But there are other reasons to feel good over these votes.
Only a few years ago, voters didn’t even know that they were walking the MST. I remember clearly that the Blue Ridge Parkway won the “best hiking trail” category. Of course, hiking voters meant the MST, they just didn’t know they were walking it.
See the for the Mountain Xpress. Ironically, I contributed to the Mountain Xpress Outdoor column for several years but the magazine decided to drop the Outdoor column at the end of 2010.
The Mountain Xpress also had a box on the MST that I’m reproducing here:
How Far Can You Go?
The almost-complete, 1,000-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail – North Carolina’s longest marked footpath–connects Clingman’s Dome (sic) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks.
OK, so there isn’t an apostrophe in Clingmans, but I’m delighted anyway.
So come out with CMC and walk the MST. We’re number one.
PS Diamond Brand Outdoors won the best Outdoor-Gear Shop category. They are a great supporter of CMC. Congratulations to them, as well!