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  1. #1
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    Default Out and back section hiking the MST

    Just curious if anybody here has section hiked the MST by doing out and backs to their car.

    What was the farthest you you went on a trip, in miles or days?

    Where there any logistical problems?

    Did you enjoy it?
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  2. #2
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    Default Out and back section hiking the MST

    I'm just getting started on segment 5 and have done it a couple days for day hikes. I was training a new puppy so the most I did was 3.5 out and 3.5 back which wasn't too bad when I stuck to trail. another day, I did a much shorter trail and walked back on the parkway which I found to be miserable. I guess my lesson was too double back on trail rather than try to take a short cut back by road walking. I saw some things I missed going West bound and psychologically, walking in the road seems like double the milage to me for some reason.

  3. #3
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    Default Out and back section hiking the MST

    want to add, I backpacked for a couple days and really enjoyed covering bigger miles and a new spot at the end of the day. ideally, I could find someone with a similar schedule as me and we could shuttle ourselves to cut out the out and back.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    Just curious if anybody here has section hiked the MST by doing out and backs to their car.

    What was the farthest you you went on a trip, in miles or days?

    Where there any logistical problems?

    Did you enjoy it?
    The MST is a 700+ mile trail and much of it is road walking and/or passing thru major sprawl areas like the city of Greensboro. You're not real clear on what sections you are talking about. In the Smokies? Going thru Shining Rock? The long stretch by Linville Gorge and Steels Creek and up into Pisgah's Wilson Creek area??? Up by Grandfather Mt?? The section around Trout Lake in Watauga Cty NC??

    I've done two recent backpacking trips on the MST---a 22 day trip in July 2014 and a 24 day trip in May 2016. It was all done on the section between Linville Gorge east to Grandfather Mt. See trip reports here---


    https://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/Backp...sgah-Holyland/

    https://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/Backp...sgah-Holyland/

  5. #5
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    Default Out and back section hiking the MST

    TW, I had in mind starting at Clingman's hike as far and back as I can in 2-7 days depending on how much time is available. On the next trip out I'd start wherever I left off, knowing that because of a need to park my car sometimes I'd hike east, sometimes west leaving my car.

    I know a lot if people have pieces this trail together over many years. I was curious if anybody had done it in this fashion.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  6. #6
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    You don't need to approach it as an absolute out and back on the MST if you take one of many alternates on the return to the vehicle. The first five segments have many alternates. One does not need to do as much road walking, which BTW IMHO is rather historic and rewarding in itself(I've not walked the entirety of the alternate to the Neuse River paddle), if you take the accepted MST thru completion of doing a 100+ mile paddle of the Nuese River which is what I did. The MST through Linville Gorge or the Balsams or High Country or around Beacon Heights has many alternates.

    Again, the MST like AT is part of a larger interconnected trail system. Dont get enamored with XYZ named trails of notoriety and the options are virtually endless to explore not only the MST but a larger NC experience. The named MST was perceived and designed to showcase the diversity of culture and terrain of NC not so much as having travelers on it bag a named trail completion.

    I finished the MST in several LASHes without a vehicle. I did get dropped off at CD one LASH, at Sauratown Mts another LASH and picked up at at the beach. Made my way back to Atlanta via public transportation or friends by ending/starting at convenient locations.
    Last edited by Dogwood; 08-10-2019 at 13:19.

  7. #7
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    The MST is almost 1200 miles in length, with almost 700 of those miles on natural trail surface, unpaved road, beach, and greenway. The trail bypasses the city of Greensboro. From the city of Durham, thru Raleigh, to the town of Clayton, East of Raleigh, the trail follows 66 miles of natural trail surfaces and greenways. Out and back hikes are fairly easy to plan in the Piedmont and Coastal areas. Harder to do in the Mountains as you might have to plan for an overnight to go out and back, but not impossible. Before there was a MST in the Mountains I did out and backs all the time in some of the sections, especially the Linville Gorge and Wilson Creek/Harpers Creek areas. When I hiked the MST I would sometimes take my bicycle and leave it at the end of my hike and ride it back to my vehicle. This would take a lot of the boredom out of long road walks. In addition, if you check out the MST website you'll find people willing to do shuttles, many of them free.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    Just curious if anybody here has section hiked the MST by doing out and backs to their car.

    What was the farthest you you went on a trip, in miles or days?

    Where there any logistical problems?

    Did you enjoy it?
    Iíve come across a journal or note or something about the trail being done this way.

    Shoot an email to the MST org email address and see if they know.

    Maybe trailjournals?

  9. #9
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    Go to the Mountains to Sea Trail blog by Pete Wetzel. It looks like a lot of his hikes were out and back.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Chief View Post
    Go to the Mountains to Sea Trail blog by Pete Wetzel. It looks like a lot of his hikes were out and back.
    Awesome! Thanks
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

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