More than 144,000 Americans hit the trail on June 7 to participate in American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, an annual celebration of America’s magnificent trail system. Trail-based activities ranging from guided hikes to backcountry volunteer projects blanketed the country, with organized events happening in all 50 states, plus Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and Ontario, Canada.
“Across the country, National Trails Day events transformed attendees into modern-day adventurers. Participants of all ages discovered new trails, explored breathtaking landscapes, learned new outdoor skills, fixed up trails, and made lasting memories with friends and family,” explains American Hiking Society President, Gregory Miller. “Thanks to the overwhelming support from volunteers, event organizers, sponsors, and agency partners, National Trails Day® 2014 was also one of the biggest and best celebrations to date!”
National Trails Day 2014 was made possible thanks to generous support from sponsors Adventure Medical Kits, Columbia Sportswear, Tilley Endurables, The North Face, Gregory Packs, Brooks-Range Mountaineering, and Save The Redwoods League, as well as agency partners U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Federal Highway Administration. With the support of these companies and agencies, American Hiking Society was able to reach and engage millions of hikers both online and on the ground; outreach that inspired over 1,000 organized hikes and more than 400 community trail projects, all on June 7.
Event organizers and participants across the country were thrilled to be a part of the annual trail celebration. In North Carolina, Volunteer Project Coordinator Eric Heistand organized a large group of volunteers to open a local trail. Says Heistand, “National Trails Day is a both a celebration and a call to action to make our communities the kinds of places where we actually want to live. It’s an opportunity for whole families to come out and get dirty in order to make our community beautiful.”
Even as far as Great Falls, Montana, people were outdoors celebrating the occasion. The organization Get Fit, Great Falls hosted twelve hikes and two bicycle rides as part of their National Trails Day celebration. According to Cascade County Commissioner Jane Weber, “We had over 180 people participate by taking part in one of the offered trips. Fifteen organizations and businesses set up booths in our local park where all hike participants gathered with their guide leaders and departed. We gave away prizes that were donated by local businesses and all had a great time.”
To read about more of the amazing National Trails Day® 2014 activities, download the National Trails Day final report, now available on American Hiking Society’s website.
National Trails Day 2015 will back again next year on June 6, 2015. Event registration will begin in winter 2015. To get involved visit, www.AmericanHiking.org or contact John Michels, Director of Communications and Trail Programs, at 301.565.6704 x208.
American Hiking Society
Logo courtesy American Hiking Society