Trail Guides Available for the MST

MST guide example
MST guide example

The MST is finished.

Just because some of the trail is on small roads doesn’t mean that you can’t complete the whole thing. Think the Camino de Santiago, which is probably mostly on roads.

Now, Friends of the MST has just published a set of guidebooks that literally describes every twist and turn along the 1,100-mile route from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks. I wrote the section which covers from Clingmans Dome to Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“These guides will make the MST more user-friendly, whether you’re hiking an hour, or for weeks,” said Kate Dixon, Executive Director of Friends of the MST.

In addition to east and westbound directions, the guides have information about locations for parking, camping, water, places to eat and resupply. A general description of the route ahead and unique natural features and historic sites along the way are highlighted. So for example,

In the Outer Banks
In the Outer Banks

“Follow steps down to right to cross creek using large boulders. In the next 0.2 mile you climb up and down hills, with a series of cascades in creek on left, followed by 3 sets of wooden steps,” is typical for the thousands of directional entries in the 20-volume guides.

Soon, you’ll be able to buy printed versions of the twenty booklets. Right now, the guides are available online in a printer friendly format at

Each year thousands of hikers use the trail. To date, 58 people have completed the MST, and the number grows every year. So get out there!

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