A conference showcasing the economic, tourism and quality-of-life benefits of North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail will be held at St. Matthew’s Church in Thursday and Friday.
“This trail and others like it have been a real community rallying point for not only outdoor conservation, but also for attracting travelers and business investment,” said Kate Dixon, executive director of the Friends of the MST.
Local tourism directors, parks and recreation officials, county commissioners and trail experts from across the state will be participating. Representatives of the N.C. State Parks, Department of Transportation and Commerce will outline ways they can assist communities in developing and promoting the trail.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail stretches 1,000 miles across North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains, through 37 counties to the Outer Banks. The linear state park has been the catalyst for the construction or expansion of several local trails. More than 600 miles of the trail have been built. Lightly traveled rural roads are used to connect the completed sections.
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Thousands of people use the trail every day for short hikes and for longer backpacking trips. More and more people are now starting to hike the entire 1,000-mile trail across North Carolina.
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a nonprofit whose members volunteer thousands of hours each year to build and maintain the trail.
A new section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail has just been completed through downtown Hillsborough.