Segments 11-16 of North Carolina's 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail offer two options while construction of the MST is underway along the Neuse River between Smithfield and the Neusiok Trail in the Croatan National Forest: The "A" route, a paddling route on the Neuse River; and the Coastal Crescent, a more southerly hiking route. This hike follows the Coastal Crescent; for more information about the paddle route, visit Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail's trail guides page
Almost 37 miles of Segment 11 are on three segments of paved, multi-use greenway, the longest of which is 33 miles. Most of the greenway is called the Neuse River Trail
(NRT), but when it enters Johnston County, it changes its name to the Clayton River Walk and then to Sam's Branch Greenway in Smithfield.
The Neuse River Trail
, Clayton River Walk and Sam's Branch Greenway are all marked with mileposts every 1/4 mile. The many bridges on these greenways are all numbered. The Buffalo Creek Greenway (also known on maps as Smithfield Neuse Riverwalk) has mileposts every 0.2 mile. Each of these also has signs bearing the name of the greenway. There is no signage or blazing on the roads.
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.