Golden spike closes gap
The last six-mile section of the North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway was dedicated Sept. 29 at a ceremony overlooking the Thunder Hill Overlook at milepost 290.3 near Blowing Rock.
The ceremony was held to express the appreciation of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway to the many volunteers who have contributed to the construction project.
Monika Mayr, deputy superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, expressed the National Park Service’s continued thanks for the efforts made by volunteers along the parkway and, specifically, for the workers of the FMST in constructing and maintaining the MST along the parkway.
Allen de Hart, one of the founders of the FMST and currently trail counsel and trail specialist for the mountain sections, provided some history of the years of construction of the trail.
John Lanman, task force leader for the Watauga Task Force, which took the lead in construction of the section of trail along the parkway from U.S. 321 north to U.S. 421, thanked all of the workers who have been a part of the construction effort, as well as both the National Park Service and state parks for their assistance and cooperation in the effort.
Darrell McBane, the state trails program manager for the N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, accepted the six-mile section as the latest addition to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which is a linear state park.
He added his appreciation of the work the FMST has done and the cooperation of the Park Service.
Following the comments, there was a lighthearted “golden spike” ceremony, representing the installation of the last signpost along the route.