More than 69,000 Americans hiked a combined 313,000 miles earlier this summer in observance of American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day. An additional 65,000 Americans hit the trail to bike, paddle, horseback ride, build trail, or participate in other National Trails Day activities on that single day, June 1st. Across the country, hundreds of individuals and host organizations arranged local recreational events to celebrate America’s magnificent trail system.
American Hiking Society recently finished tabulating the event results, which are described in a final report that is available for download at www.AmericanHiking.org/NTD. A wide variety of interesting National Trails Day stories are included in the report, demonstrating the vast recreational opportunities that are offered by local event hosts across the country. The report contains photos and descriptions of many exciting National Trails Day events, with a few examples provided below:
- Stonewall Resort State Park in West Virginia organized a 6.5 mi race on Rush Run Trail, completed by more than 50 people who ranged in age from 10 to over 60.
- Myrtle Beach State Park in South Carolina hosted a sunrise hike and Loggerhead Sea Turtle patrol.
- Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency in California led a geocaching event for 20 treasure seekers.
- The Army Corps of Engineers staff and corps members completed several trail construction projects in Prescott, Arizona.
- Volunteers for Tennessee Trails Association trimmed invasive kudzu tendrils that had taken over the forest trail at Randolph Bluff.
- Congaree National Park in South Carolina hosted a 3-hour cleanup along the Congaree River, and nine participants collected about 30 bags of trash.
- Twelve members of the High Desert Back Country Horsemen cleared 3 miles of the Rimview Trail in Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho.
- The Green Mountain National Forest hosted guided bike rides, gear demonstrations, and a visit by Smokey Bear to celebrate the opening of a new mountain biking system in Vermont.
- Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation in Washington hosted Pedal, Paddle, and Picnic, at which they unveiled the new Columbia River Water Trail sign.
- The Illinois Grand Prairie Master Naturalists hosted guided hikes, seminars, informational booths, and other activities at Sugar Grove Nature Center.
“All of us at American Hiking Society are very proud of the tremendous nationwide support National Trails Day received in 2013,” commented Gregory Miller, President of American Hiking Society. “This year was America’s largest National Trails Day to date, with 2,255 registered trail-related activities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.”
National Trails Day is made possible by the generous support of event sponsors, including The North Face, Merrell, Adventure Medical Kits, Columbia Sportswear, and Gregory Packs. The event is also supported by Federal agencies (the Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and by other partners (American Park Network, Backpacker magazine, and REI).
Mark your calendar now and save the date for the 22nd National Trails Day in 2014. Join American Hiking Society and thousands of other outdoor enthusiasts on Saturday, June 7, 2014, as we come together to explore, learn about, and celebrate America’s trails.
Logo courtesy American Hiking Society