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October 12, 2007

Mountains-to-Sea Trail segment to be dedicated

From the Asheville Citizen Times

Partners in the development of the 1,000-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail will dedicate a 15.1-mile segment near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Ashe and Alleghany counties Saturday.

The trail segment stretches along the corridor of the Blue Ridge Parkway between N.C. 16 and U.S. 18. The trail’s construction was a joint effort of the North Ashe County Task Force, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the National Park Service and the State Trails Program of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

“Our division and its partners are committed to the completion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the west to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the coast,” said Lewis Ledford, director of the state parks system. “And the vision is being realized through successes such as the completion of this important trail segment.”

Martha Bogle, deputy superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, said: “Without the tireless dedication of the volunteer community and support of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, this fine hiking opportunity would not be available. The National Park Service looks forward to the continued opportunity to partner in providing this recreational trail to the residents and visitors in western North Carolina.”

Construction of this Blue Ridge Parkway segment received a boost when the American Hiking Society organized crews to help through its Volunteer Vacation Program. Volunteers from as far away as Wisconsin and Florida arrived for a concentrated session of trail building in September 2006.

The dedication will be held at 1 p.m. at the Sheets Gap Overlook at Parkway Milepost 252, about 4.7 miles south of the parkway’s intersection with N.C. 18. Attendees are invited to bring a picnic lunch at noon and a short 1.2-mile hike is offered at 2 p.m.

Organizers have also invited the public to participate in a hike of the entire segment beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday. To register, contact Allen de Hart at (919) 496-4771 or ADH4771@aol.com.


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Hiking in the News | By Jeffrey Hunter | 12:11 PM

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