Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail
* Our block at the Fairfield Inn is nearly full. We've added an additional block at the Hampton Inn at Shelton Vineyards.
FAIRFIELD INN AND SUITES: The Fairfield Inn and Suites in Elkin is the host hotel for the Gathering of Friends. Please call the hotel directly at 336-353-2008 to book a room at the reduced rate of $89 per night, plus taxes and fees. Use the code "MST Annual Meeting" when making reservation. Rooms should be booked by February 25th to ensure this rate. Includes a continental breakfast. 628 CC Camp Road / 268 Bypass, Elkin, NC 28621.
HAMPTON INN AT SHELTON VINEYARDS: The Hampton Inn is 4.5 miles away from The Liberty, and is offering Friends a reduced rate of $119 per night, plus taxes and fees. Call the hotel directly at 336-353-9400 to book - do not book online or you won't get the rate. Use the code "MST Annual Meeting" when making your reservation. To ensure your room, please book by March 1st. 150 Charlestown Drive, Dobson, NC 27017.
BYRD'S BRANCH CAMPGROUND: Byrd's Branch Campground and Country Store is owned and operated by MST members' Sarah and Jerry Byrd. They have tent sites,showers and water, electric and sewer hookup sites. To reserve a site, call 336-526-1146 (Store) or 336-366-0603 (Jerry) or 336-366-9955 (Sarah). Please leave message and they will return your call. 225 Martin Byrd Road, Elkin, NC 28621.
ROCKY RIDGE FAMILY CAMPGROUND: Rocky Ridge is located in Thurmond, between Elkin and Roaring Gap. Call 336-366-7396 to make reservation. 370 White Rock Road, Thurmond, NC 28683.
STONE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK: Family, group and backpack camping are available in the park. Details here.
FROG HOLLER CABINS: Frog Hollow has 5 one-bedroom cabins that sleep up to 4 people and is also about 10 minutes from downtown Elkin. Rate is $135 per night, plus tax. Our hold on these cabins runs through December 31st, 2016 so please book quickly to ensure a reservation. Call 336-526-2661. 564 E. Walker Road, Elkin, NC 28621.
GRASSY CREEK VINEYARD/KLONDIKE CABINS: Located in State Road, Klondike Cabins are about 12 minutes from downtown Elkin. The main cabin has four bedrooms, and two neighboring cabins have two bedrooms each. Call 336-366-9210 to reserve. Our hold on these cabins runs through December 31st, 2016 so please book quickly to ensure a reservation. 235 Chatham Cottage Circle,State Road, NC 28676.
THE ROCKFORD INN: The Rockford Inn is approximately 16 miles from The Liberty, and offers a beautiful bed and breakfast experience. The innkeepers are big supporters of the MST. Please call 800-561-5662 to make a reservation. 4872 Rockford Road, Dobson, NC 27107.
PLEASE NOTE: OUR HOLD ON ALL THE CABINS EXPIRED DECEMBER 31ST, 2016. HOWEVER, THEY WILL HONOR OUR RATES AND RESERVATIONS AFTER THAT DATE IF THEY ARE AVAILABLE. BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT.
Join us to kick off the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the MST at an expanded annual membership meeting in Elkin, a friendly trail town between Stone and Pilot Mountain state parks that has enthusiastically embraced the MST. Plan to come Friday, March 24th and stay through Sunday, March 26th so you can enjoy all the festivities.
The central events of the weekend include the Hiking Boot Gala on Friday night and the Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday. Before and after the gala - Friday through Sunday - Elkin has organized a full-schedule of Trail and Town Excursions to help you enjoy the outdoors and learn more about this special part of North Carolina. Most events will be held in Coley Hall, at the Liberty, a restored tobacco warehouse and event space on Elkin's Main Street.
The Hiking Boot Gala - Friday, March 24 - 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm - is a celebration and conversation about the first 40 years of the MST hosted by WRAL's Bill Leslie. The Gala includes dinner, music and plenty of conversation time to greet old trail friends and make new ones.
The Annual Meeting - Saturday, March 25 - 10 am to 3 pm - will include reports on progress to build, maintain and promote the MST; keynote address by National Geographic 2012 Adventurer of the Year Jennifer Pharr Davis, who will be hiking the trail in 2017; "Envisioning the Next 40 Years" Session and response from key MST leadership; 2016 MST Completer's Panel featuring highlights from their own hikes; and awards for hikers who have completed the trail and for outstanding volunteers. Registration opens at 9 am, with coffee and time to chat with other Friends.
Trail and Town Excursions - Friday, March 24 at 11:30 am to Sunday, March 26 at 5:30 pm - Make plans to get to town early as the Elkin Valley Trails Association (EVTA) is organizing a multitude of trail and town excursions. From long and short guided hikes around Elkin Valley to searching out moonshine still sites in Stone Mountain State Park, from enjoying Yadkin Valley's wines, ciders and beers to riding Elkin's new mountain bike course on a fleet of REI's finest bikes, come see what makes the MST, Elkin and the surrounding areas so special. You will be asked to preregister for some of these trail and town excursions to help the EVTA plan accordingly. These will be handled through a separate registration process that will open in January. Click here for the entire schedule of these great excursions.
And if that didn't entice you, Farm to Feet Socks will provide a free pair of "Elkin" socks from their new line of MST socks for every registrant. The first 300 registrants will also receive a copy of the book "The Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Western North Carolina's Majestic Rival to the Appalachian Trail," written by Donald E. Dorsey and John I. Hillyer (father of EVTA's Bob Hillyer.)
The Hiking Boot Gala dinner and Membership Meeting lunch will be catered by The Liberty Catering. There is plenty of parking in the lot to the left of The Liberty, and street parking is available on Main Street.
We've worked out discounted rates at The Fairfield Inn & Suites and other area accomodations, listed in the box to the left, below the map. There are many other hotels and cabins in the area, if none of these suit your specific needs. If you are interested in sharing a room, cabin, or tent, please download and email this form to Danny Bernstein (her e-mail address is on the form), and she will work to connect you with other compatible members.
Registration for the Gathering of Friends -- including the Hiking Boot Gala on Friday and the Annual Meeting on Saturday -- is $50. You may choose to register for each event individually, at a rate of $30 per event. Up to 3 additional family members may attend for $20 per event. The Gathering is a member-only event, and we welcome all members to attend. If you are not yet a member of Friends, you can join with a tax-deductible gift of $35 that can be added to your registration fees. Nearly all of the Elkin trail and town excusions are free. The only exceptions are noted on the Trail and Town Excursion information sheet.
RSVPs are required by Friday, March 17th.
Please click below to sign up now!
Register Now! Thanks to our title sponsor Farm to Feet for their generous support of the Gathering of Friends.