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greenBlue Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Segment 12

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66.6 mile 107.2 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 884' 269 m
Descent: -884' -269 m
High: 193' 59 m
Low: 79' 24 m


Avg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 4% (3°)


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Trail shared by Jim Grode

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Agricultural Heartland: Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center to Suggs Mill Pond Game Land

Jim Grode

Features River/Creek

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Segment 12 of North Carolina’s 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail traverses one of the most productive agricultural areas in North Carolina. It passes through Bentonville Battlefield, the site of the largest Civil War battle in the state, crosses three popular paddling rivers, and goes through two of Sampson County’s picturesque small towns.

The farms of Johnston, Sampson and Cumberland counties along the route produce a diversity of products. Look for tobacco, cotton, sweet potatoes, hogs, turkeys, cattle, soybeans, and forestry. Great agricultural soils and climate, fairly flat topography, and good rainfall have led Sampson County to be ranked first in North Carolina in agricultural crops and second in livestock and poultry.

Highlights include:

  • Bentonville Battlefield, now a North Carolina historic site. The trail route takes you past historical displays that help you envision the battle as it unfolded in March 1865.
  • Great and Little Coharie Creeks, popular paddling destinations named for the Native American tribe that is still based in Sampson County today.
  • The 2,100-acre White Woods Plant Conservation Preserve between Roseboro and Salemburg, which is being managed to enhance habitat for rare and endangered native plants and wildlife. The trail route follows the roads around this preserve.
  • The towns of Newton Grove and Roseboro. Newton Grove, first incorporated in 1879, grew up to serve the vibrant farming community in that area. Roseboro, incorporated in 1891, was built along the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad line, which ran from Fayetteville to Wilmington.
  • Bushy Lake Natural Area, part of the NC state parks system, which is located along the trail route on Gip and Turnbull Roads in Cumberland County.

This hike is entirely on roads. Through Sampson, Bladen and Cumberland Counties, it is 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 MST.


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Jun 4, 2018
Jean-Claude Linossi
Have hiked sections of this segment while living in NC
Sep 9, 2017
Chip Galusha
east bound bike 45.4 to 63.9 18.5mi

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in Four Oaks


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