View Full Version : Important updates for the Manual

05-28-2009, 17:52
I am hiking the MST again and found some things that need to be updated now. Here is what I found:

In Section 2: I found another water source. It is a stream that flows under the road just off the parkway at Balsam Mountain Road (mile point 38.96) to the left maybe 25 yards. Down this road about a mile is a pay campsite called Mile High Campground. Also the piped spring at mile point 40.89 is a great source but kind of hidden under a large rhododendren tree on the right just before the parkway overlook sign at Jonathon Creek Overlook.

In section 3: the trail has been extended to go into the woods just before Scott's Creek Overlook at mile point 48.85. Look for blue tape on the trees just off the road to the left.

at mile point 85.05 in Section 5 the manual says keep left when it should say keep right. This section is not blazed very well and it is easy to get lost. I went left and explored that area a little more and found another campsite with a fire pit. But you will have to explore it a little to find it, just remember where the trail is so you can get back on it and continue on. If you follow the manual directions in this section other than that particular point you should make it through there with no problem. There is no need to carry a lot of water through here because it is everywhere in this section due to the rainy season we are having this year.

That's it for now, more updates will come as soon as I find what they will be.

This is a wet season and water will be more abundant this year. In fact you may get tired of seeing water. In some areas the trail will be a stream.

Good luck to everybody who is out there this year.

If you are near the trail and want to catch up with me or if you have any questions feel free to call and leave a message on my cell phone. The number is 561-319-2564. If I don't answer right away bear with me and I will return the call when I get phone reception.

Thank you,

06-01-2009, 19:25
The information in Section 6 is correct except at mile 106.92 I called it a campsite in a rhododendren thicket when it is actually a mountain laurel thicket. Also there are more campsites with firepits here. Usually at the top of a climb.

Section 7: I apologize for the errors here. They are not major errors though. Last year was a tough year. It was hot and I had no water so my calculations and judgement were skewed. I think I was more focused on finding water and hydrating before it got too dangerous for me to be out there. Hiking this section this year was so much easier not just because it is a wet year but I had the knowledge of where everything was at beforehand.

The updates for Section 7 are: Beaver Dam Overlook should be listed just before Ferrin Knob. Stoney Bald Overlook has no sign there at the moment and the mileage for the Chestnut Cove Trail and beyond should be 1 mile more than listed.

The Arboretum has an amazing display of Bonsai trees and is definately worth the visit. They also have several garden areas and a bird exhibit there now. Stop by there if you get the chance.

For the REI and resupply, there is a side trail at mile point 131.22, take that trail to the road which is Schenck Parkway. Turn right and walk 1/2 mile. The REI is in the center of this area on Schenck parkway. There is also an Ingle's grocery store if you keep going down Schenck Parkway to Long Shoals Road and turn left. The Ingle's will be on the right side of the road. There is also a Waffle House, Arby's and Quality Inn & Suites on Long Shoals Road. Also there is a YMCA and a coffee house called Perks in the circle near REI.

Everything else is correct and right where it is listed in the Manual. Again my apologies for the errors. This is why I am out here again.


06-07-2009, 14:47
These sections are good. There is plenty of water so all sources listed in the manual should be there and have have turned from spring to stream. These 2 sections have steep uphills and downhills. From the Folk Art Center you are now climbing Mt. Mitchell. It is a 3 day climb and a 1-2 day downhill. It can be tough but take your time and know that you are climbing the highest mountain on this coast.

While you're over the summit and hiking the downhill thank your trail maintainers for clearing the 40 blow-downs that were there last year.


06-24-2009, 16:28
Hi everybody,
I am still on the trail. I have gone over 335 miles so far and am now done with the mountains section. I am now going into section 18. There are some more corrections I have to let you know about but I do not have the time today. I am in Sparta and will be here for the better part of tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to catch up on all my computer work. I will tell you that the corrections are not anything major. I am enjoying the hike this year. The manual is very helpful with planning out my days. I like passing by the water sources, the camping locations, and the view points, especially when they are right where they are supposed to be. It is good to know all of this before I get there. It removes all the stress from the hike and I can focus on other things. I am seeing more this time if that is possible. Maybe not more but my focus is on finding different things.

I hope to have more updates tomorrow. See you then.


06-25-2009, 17:43
I did not have time today to do any computer work. My next opportunity will be in Walnut Cove. My apologies. There aren't really any real major updates. This trip seems to be more work than play. I do plan on having a day off in Walnut Cove and the Library there is very hiker friendly. I plan on spending a day in there to get caught up. Thank you for your patience.


07-02-2009, 18:37
I made it into the very hiker friendly library in Walnut Cove. I have been here all day working on the computer to get caught up.

I have found that the Manual is not perfect, yet. There were a couple of places that I even called the author names. However, most of the errors are simple and/or are updates to make the trail easier to follow. There is a new section of trail along the Sauratown Trail coming out of Pilot Mtn. Make sure to note these directions. I am still enjoying myself and working hard everyday. But I love my office!!

Here's the lastest segment of updates for you starting in Section 8:

Section 8:
164.20 -- go right at end of guard-rail not left

Section 11:
203.51 -- stay left on road to pass Helicopter Site
206.01 -- enter meadow stay left on forest road
207.34 -- go left on forest rd not right
210.78 -- go left and down
213.04 -- camp on right, meadow on left
217.39 & 218.33 -- switch lines, parking area and trail are .05 miles after view
221.54 -- omit line
222.06 -- omit line
237.74 -- side trail is on left

Section 12:
249.77 -- go right to cross creek then there is a smaller creek just before the great camping location
257.75 -- go left on Lost Cove Trail
259.78 -- cross creek and go right
266.68 -- follow Tanawha Trail on right

Section 13:
274.55 -- omit line below about US-221
275.06 -- don't go left until parking area
278.64 -- Holloway Rd. is out of place, it should be after the stile at 279.00
283.18 -- after the ford go right not left, but that is a great campsite
286.00 -- go right in pasture not to it, you are already staring at cows
288.59 -- May not be a good site, it might be too close to the road

Section 14:
294.08 -- go right on ramp and left on Parkway going north
304.87 -- Eastern Continental Divide is out of order, should be at 310.50 in Deep Gap

Section 15:
314.51 -- take trail just below the parkway to Jesse Sheets Cabin
315.16 -- This is Cascades Picnic Area not the park boundary with restrooms and a water fountain
315.86 -- omit line

Section 16:
326.31 -- Horse Gap, corss bridge over NC-16
327.00 -- omit line, Sorry there is no good camping in this section yet. I have a friend who has been talking about letting hikers only to camp on her property by the pond. Great spot and I will know more soon.
327.85 -- pass private drive then go left on old drive
336.88 -- pass gate then go right on trail, turn before parkway

Section 17:
349.63 -- go right on trail at tree with blaze, don't take road

Section 18:
359.02 -- There are campsites 200 yds down trail on right but you have to go to the parking area to register and pay for the site and then hike that 1 mile back to add 2 more miles to your day. What do you do?
361.37 -- stay right on Loop Trail to cross a small stream
362.79 -- no stream in between bridge and trail connections
363.06 -- take stairs to the left
363.61 -- stay left while passing picnic area on right

Section 19:
375.77 -- follow bike route #4 into Surry County
379.33 -- Mountain Park Family Stop is now open on the corner. Susan was asking what she needed in the store to help hikers. This will be a great spot for us.

Section 20:
390.20 -- library is on N. Crutchfield St., stay on Atkins Rd.

Section 21:
411.52 -- go right on Main St.
(+1.04) -- go right on Old US-52)
(+0.45) -- go left on Volunteer Rd.
(+1.85) -- go left on Brim's Grove Rd.
(+0.22) -- go right on Sauratown Trail and cross creek
(+2.08) -- go right on Old Mill Rd.
(+0.25) -- go left on Mazie's Ln.
(+0.17) -- go left on trail at end of fence
(+1.77) -- cross private rd.
(+1.54) -- go left on Flat Rock Rd.
(+0.07) -- go right on Thore Rd.
(+1.45) -- go right on Rock House Rd.
(+0.05) -- go left into woods on trail just after gravel drive
(+2.47) -- pass old farm building, good shelter from rain
(+0.50) -- cross Taylor Rd.
(+0.15) -- cross NC-66

going this way added 3/4 of a mile to the trail and took out 10.5 miles of road walk

(424.83) is where we go back to the Manual
428.91 -- take Park Loop Trail to the right, Booth Loop goes left

Section 22:
434.36 -- Moore's Wall Loop Trail and Cook's Wall is after footbridge over small creek
434.60 -- keep left while passing swimming area
434.75 -- take trail that follows road to parking area and visitor's center

I think we are caught up now. I can go hike some more now.


07-16-2009, 09:14
Section 24:
477.45 - go left at fork
491.49 - did not see the possible camping location this year
493.44 - at Bryan Park main entrance the clubhouse will be on the left. Turn right on Bryan Park Road and pass gate house

Section 25:
494.90 thru 495.31 - this information is out of order it should go like this: cross bridge over US-29 / +0.42 miles go right on Eckerson Rd. / +0.45 pass gate on left that goes into Martin Marrieta stay on Eckerson Rd. / +0.35 pass Jesus is the Answer Deliverance Sanctuary on right / +0.98 then go left on Hicone Rd. and continue on in the manual

511.49 - keep forwards on Alt-Union Ridge Rd. at post office
522.13 - go left on NC-62 you will get to NC-49 soon but not here
527.18 - line out of order. you will go right on Mt Zion Church Rd. 0.13 miles before you cross the Orange County line and Stagg Creek will be 0.44 miles from the county line

Also, before you take the turn off of NC-49 to Mt. Zion Church Rd. there is a house owned by Rodney Justice that he is offering campsites to hikers. Just call beforehand 336-578-4014

08-01-2009, 23:52
I am now in the final section, #38, but I will do the updates as soon as I get to the end and turn around. I will take 1-2 days off to catch up on several chores I have to get done. Look for the final updates by August 6-8th.