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Friends' Day Is September 9 and Supports the MST

 
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Saturday, September 9, 2017 is Friends’ Day at Mast General Store. On that day Mast General Store will donate 10% of proceeds from the day’s sales to support local partners. For all of the North Carolina stores the recipient of that support is the Mountains To Sea Trail.

Upon completion, the Mountains To Sea Trail, or MST as it’s known, will stretch the breadth of North Carolina - from the west at Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge in the Outer Banks.

creek.jpgThe 1,200-mile footpath will pass by Boone, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, Goldsboro and Hatteras before terminating at Jockey’s Ridge in the Outer Banks. There’s even an alternate part of the trail that utilizes blueways along the Neuse River to the Pamlico Sound to allow paddling enthusiasts to enjoy the trail.

Currently, about 700 miles of trail are marked as complete. The completed sections are spread throughout the state. An up-to-date guide of completed segments can be found on the MST web site. Each year, a new trail or spur opens to enhance the experience, thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers.

Aside from Mast Store’s Friends’ Day, September 9 is a day of significance for the trail. In 1977, Howard Lee, then the North Carolina Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development, made an impassioned speech that sparked imaginations and stoked the fire of trail enthusiasts all across the state. He recommended that North Carolina have a trail that connected the mountains to the coast through natural areas and communities.

bridge.jpgIn honor of the 40th anniversary of Howard Lee’s speech proposing the MST and the many benefits it brings to the state, Governor Cooper has proclaimed September 9 as Mountains-to-Sea Trail Day.

“North Carolina is a special state,” said Lisa Cooper, president of Mast General Store. “We are excited to help the Mountains-to-Sea Trail celebrate its fortieth anniversary and to make a donation to help make more of the trail possible.”

Each Mast Store in North Carolina will host volunteers and an MST information table on September 9. A brochure will show the closest access to the trail from the store and others will have tips for enjoying your hike on the MST or any trail. At the end of the day, a donation of 10% of the day’s sales will be made to the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. To find out how you can become more involved, visit the MST website at www.MountainstoSeaTrail.org.

Like other great trail systems, the MST depends heavily upon volunteer service for trail building and maintenance as well as fundraising. So come out to any North Carolina Mast Store on September 9 and learn more about the MST and any shopping you happen to do will benefit the Mountains To Sea Trail.