Corridor Trail - New piece of the MST
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail changes all the time.
Since I finished last year, almost to the day, the trail was relocated to take in Pilot Mountain State Park. Why this iconic park was not included in the first place has always puzzled me. But better now than not at all.
Three active members of Friends of Sauratown Mountains and Friends of the MST helped me walk the Corridor Trail. I've done the Mountain section of Pilot Mountain several times but never the section south that connects to the River part.
Jay, Susan and Ron met me at the eastern end of the Corridor Trail and we shuttled to the western end. That's western in MST terms, really it's south.
The corridor trail is 5.5 miles on the trail, 6.5 according to the Superintendent and 6 miles on written documentation. Unfortunately I didn't think to take my GPS. After all, I'm not writing a hiking guide. But I did use my altimeter to measure the total ascent - 1,050 ft.
The trail is wide and undulating. It might look like it's abused land without much life but looks are deceiving. We saw a black snake, "shoelace" snake and two turtles.
Lots of mountain laurel blooming, and even one lonely lady slipper.
The land was probably farm land and logged over. It crossed three roads and at this point, there are no MST signs on those roads. But the trail was well-blazed and I had to get my picture taken with an MST circle.
State Parks are very concerned about safety.
What if someone needs to be evacuated off the trail? So they put in mileage posts every 1/4 mile. It's nice to know where you are but this is a little too much. The idea is that if you're having trouble and you call in, you'll know what mileage you're at.
Jay, who organized the day, explained the relationship between all the groups he's involved in. Friends of Sauratown Trail cares about Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountain State Parks. His Friends of the MST task force cares about the MST.
Then there's the Piedmont Hiking and Outing Club, the local hiking club in the area. Jay manages to get all those parties involved in working on the new MST sections.
Friends of the MST is one big family. We know that it's difficult to complete the trail by yourself, though not impossible, so members are willing to help others out of the area. Thanks Jay!