Hiking & Climbing

Mountains-To-Sea Trail

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is North Carolina’s state hiking trail.

Portions of Segment 7: The Sauratown Mountains – Pilot Mountain State Park to Hanging Rock State Park & Segment 8: Rivers, Railroads & Lakes – Hanging Rock State Park to Greensboro’s Bryan Park pass through Stokes County.

The MST stretches 1175 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, stopping at many of our state’s most beautiful places along the way.

What is the MST? The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is as diverse as North Carolina. Along the trail, you may see mountain vistas, rolling Piedmont farms, picture postcard colonial towns, weathered tobacco barns, old textile villages, country churches, rushing mountain streams, coastal swamps, hardwood and pine forests, lighthouses, sand dunes, miles of seashore, and friendly people. 680 miles of the route are on trail, and connecting backroads and an optional paddle route allow hikers to trek across the state.

What can the MST mean to you? It may mean a short walk with your family near your home.  It may mean a weekend backpacking trip with friends. Or it may mean a challenging, inspiring trek of 1175 miles across North Carolina.  However you experience the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the beauty of North Carolina will fill you with wonder and joy.

Segment 7 Stats: The Sauratown Mountains – Pilot Mountain State Park to Hanging Rock State Park

Distance: 36.0 miles (27.7 miles on trail, 1.9 miles on gravel roads, 6.4 miles on paved roads)

Difficulty: difficulty: moderate toStrenuous

This 36-mile segment, located in Stokes and Surry Counties, encompasses some of the most beautiful areas of North Carolina’s Piedmont. It runs entirely along the Sauratown Mountains, an isolated remnant of the ancient Appalachian Mountains. This range is also sometimes called “the mountains away from the mountains.”

Segment 8: Rivers, Railroads & Lakes – Hanging Rock State Park to Greensboro’s Bryan Park

Distance: 63.9 miles (19.2 on trail, 1.5 on paved greenway, and 43.2 on roads)

Difficulty: difficulty: easy to difficulty: moderate

Moderate on trail; easy to moderate on greenways and roads. The road and greenway stretches are ideal for traveling by bicycle; on the trails, the Owls Roost Trail is highly technical mountain biking, but cycling is prohibited on all other trails in this segment.

Trail Communities: Danbury, Walnut Cove, Oak Ridge, Summerfield, Greensboro

This 64-mile MST segment allows hikers to explore the peaceful countryside and small towns of Piedmont North Carolina just north of Winston-Salem and Greensboro. The western half of the segment roughly parallels the Dan River–from Hanging Rock State Park through the towns of Danbury and Walnut Cove to Belews Lake, built by Duke Energy on a tributary of the Dan. The eastern half falls within the watershed of the Haw River, and the route runs through the towns of Oak Ridge and Summerfield and then onto trails along the shores of Lake Brandt and Lake Townsend, built to provide water to the city of Greensboro.

North Carolina Mountains To Sea Trail Online