Mountains-to-Sea Trail photo winners named

Dec 19, 2012
Photo by: Duncan Hoge photo CAPTURING THE ESSENCE — This photo, by Duncan Hoge, of Chapel Hill, was judged a first place winner in the Mountains-to-Sea Trail photo contest.

A mystical sunlight, a colorful lizard, and lone hiker dwarfed by the Jockey’s Ridge dunes were among the winners in the 2012 North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) photography competition.

“This year’s photos capture the serenity, challenge, discovery and special beauty that are the essence of the 1000-mile trail,” said Kate Dixon, executive director the Friends of the MST, which sponsored the contest.

More than 120 photos were submitted in categories of view, people on the trail, and youth.

Dixon said one her favorite photos was of a solitary older volunteer bent over a shovel, helping maintain the trail.

“Each year hundreds of volunteers of all ages donate thousands of hours to turning this trail from a dream to reality,” she said.  “There would be no trail without them.”

First place winners were Duncan Hoge, of Chapel Hill; Miranda Knox, of Youngsville; and Brenden Kjar, of Asheville.

The winning photos and all entries can be viewed at

The MST is a linear state park stretching nearly 1,000 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains, through the Piedmont and onto the Outer Banks.  Each year thousands hike sections of the park, and more and more people are now completing the entire trail.  The park is being built and maintained by volunteers.  In 2010, the MST was named one of North Carolina’s Top Ten Natural Wonders.