A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

To keep up on Season 4 of Away Message, subscribe on: apple podcastsSpotifyGoogle play Almost all of us have been indoors a lot more than normal over the past few

Madison County Championship Rodeo

To keep up on Season 4 of Away Message, subscribe on: apple podcastsSpotifyGoogle play Almost all of us have been indoors a lot more than normal over the past few

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

To keep up on Season 4 of Away Message, subscribe on: apple podcastsSpotifyGoogle play Almost all of us have been indoors a lot more than normal over the past few

Away Message Season 4: All About the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

To keep up on Season 4 of Away Message, subscribe on:


Almost all of us have been indoors a lot more than normal over the past few months.

But imagine spending almost all of your time outdoors. Not just a lot of your time — nearly every minute of your day, outside. In sunshine and rain. On warm days and cold nights. For weeks at a time.

Welcome to the life of a thru-hiker on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

I wanted to experience it, but I couldn’t take off the two months I would need to hike 1,175 miles from the Tennessee border to the Outer Banks. So I did the next best thing: I found several people who were making the trip, gave them recorders, met up with them as they crossed North Carolina, and amassed hours of sound.

The result is Season 4 of our podcast, Away Message. It’s about more than hiking. It’s about a veteran decompressing after leaving a war zone. It’s about newlyweds whose relationship is fast-forwarded by a hike that puts them in close proximity for 24 hours a day. It’s about small towns that are rediscovering their potential. It’s about an accident that led to something great. And it’s about what you see when you slow down and experience North Carolina at low speed.


Episode 5: The Long Road

As Erin Brennan and Aaron and Lexi Harris pass the halfway point on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the path undergoes a dramatic shift from footpath to roadside. In this episode, we take a closer look at the parts of the MST that only attract the most intrepid hikers, and discover what it takes to bike and hike your way through a world built for cars.


Episode 4: Elkin

When it comes to trail towns along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Elkin stands out. So how did a quiet place in the North Carolina foothills go trail crazy? We find out, thanks to the men who are building footpaths as fast as they can.


Episode 3: The Newlywed Game

What’s it like to be with the one you love 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? In this episode, host Jeremy Markovich meets Aaron and Lexi Harris, a pair of newlyweds who experienced the highs and lows of hiking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail across western North Carolina.


Episode 2: The Warriors on the Trail

On the first day of her trip across North Carolina on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, veteran Erin Brennan is making sense of new gear, new routines, and a new beginning with the help of Warrior Expeditions, a group that treats hiking like therapy.


Episode 1: 1,175 Miles

The new season begins with some fairly basic questions. What is the Mountains-to-Sea Trail? How was it created? Who were the first people to hike the whole thing? And who would hike all 1,175 miles of it today? In this premiere episode, host Jeremy Markovich talks to the man who (accidentally) created it, as well as a llama wrangler who ended up doing something no one else had done before. We also meet several hikers, who are about to set out on their own journeys across the entire state of North Carolina: by foot, by bike, and by kayak.


A Preview of Season 4

In the latest season of Our State‘s award-winning podcast, we take a trip down North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail. All 1,175 miles of it.


Sponsored by: Great Outdoor Provision Co.

This story was published on Apr 14, 2020

Jeremy Markovich

Jeremy Markovich

Jeremy Markovich is a digital manager, writer, and podcast host at Our State.