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Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Segment 14



68.4 mile 110.1 kilometer point to point
100% Runnable


Ascent: 367' 112 m
Descent: -393' -120 m
High: 63' 19 m
Low: 2' 1 m


Avg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 3% (2°)


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Trail shared by Jim Grode


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Land of History: Singletary Lake State Park to Holly Shelter Game Land

Jim Grode

Features River/Creek · Views

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Segment 14 of North Carolina’s 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail allows runners to explore an area rich in history—from the Revolutionary War to the New Deal and beyond—on its route through Bladen and Pender counties.

Unique among segments of the MST, Segment 14 also includes a short section of river that requires a boat or ferry ride. If you have access to a kayak, canoe or SUP, you can paddle the river yourself, or see the “Northeast Cape Fear River” section of the trail guide for information about how to find someone to ferry you.

Highlights include:

  • Singletary Lake State Park, which began its life as a park in 1936 when the National Park Service bought land for a federally financed work program and recreational demonstration project
  • The Elwell Ferry, one of three remaining river ferries in North Carolina
  • The Kelly Historical Museum, which shares the history of a community built when the Cape Fear River was the main transportation corridor in this area
  • The Canetuck Community Center, which is housed in a two-room school built in 1921-22 with help from the Rosenwald Fund, which funded schools for African Americans throughout the southeast US
  • Moores Creek National Battlefield, the site of the first patriot victory in the American Revolution
  • Burgaw, the Pender County seat, whose many historic buildings include the oldest train depot in North Carolina
  • The gently flowing water and abundant wildlife along a 4.5-mile stretch of the Northeast Cape Fear River

The Osgood Canal Greenway and Urban Trail in Burgaw has mileposts every quarter mile but is not marked with the MST blaze. Road portions of this segment are marked with MST blazes (a 3-inch white circle) and signs. Blazes are on the left shoulder of the road in the direction of travel, and signs are on the right side. Note that signs are often a target of theft and vandalism, and should not be relied upon exclusively for wayfinding.

For more information, including camping, lodging, parking, shuttles, and resupply information, as well as detailed, turn-by-turn directions, download a trail guide from the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

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