The Mountain-to-Sea Trail (MST) is celebrating its 43rd Birthday in September by challenging folks to explore its segments, including those in Bladen County. As part of its birthday celebration, MST is encouraging people to go for a hike as a healthy activity during COVID-19 and have created 4 challenges. The first challenge is to hike one or more day hikes. More on the birthday challenges.
Earlier this year, the Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountain-To-Sea Trail was released. The guidebook features 40 short hikes along the trail that runs 1175 miles across North Carolina, from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky National Park to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks, and passes through areas of natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural interest.
In Bladen County, two hikes are highlighted:
- Old Cape Fear Countryside (Hike #28) – Starting out at the White Oak Post offices, the hike head south on the shoulder of NC 53, continuing 2.1 miles to Harmony Hall Plantation, a site on the National Register of Historic Places. This is an easy hike that allows dogs on a leash.
- Turnbull Creek and Jones Lake (Hike 29) – Starting out at the Turnbull Education State Forest office, the hike goes through Smith Swamp Trail, and will lead hikers to the Visitor Center at Jones Lake. The hike highlights the Carolina bay lake and long leaf pine savanna. The hike is one mile one way but can be expanded to 4-mile hike around the Educational Forest. Watch for signs of a small detour.
In addition to the two hikes featured in the guide, hikers will find connections to the MST trail in Bladen County at Jones Lake State Park, Singletary State Park and around White Lake. This section is Segment 13.