June 5th, 2021 is National Trails Day. Held annually on the first Saturday in June, it is a chance to show your love and support for discovering the great outdoors on foot. The day has been set aside to recognize the incredible benefits that local, state, and federal trails provide for recreation and exposure to nature.
Various events are held throughout the United States to help promote awareness of the wide variety of services these trail systems provide. National Trails Day exists to encourage people of all ages to discover their local trails, become active concerning trail issues, and share their passion for the outdoors.
While hiking a trail may be the first thing that comes to mind, trails offer so much more than that. They provide access to waterways for kayaking, canoeing, and other paddle trips. Birdwatchers use them to get to the spots where birds can be viewed, and for those birders who seek to test their abilities to study geolocation. Others love to participate in geocaching or learn land navigation via trail systems. And who can forget the wonderful sport of mountain biking?
Each of these pursuits creates an opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors and offers opportunities for fitness for an excellent cardiovascular workout. National Trails Day is also an opportunity to thank the many park employees, rangers, volunteers, land agencies, and trail developers for their part in maintaining our trails.
How to Participate in National Trails Day
- Act. Get involved with your local community in helping to care for trails in your area and build an inclusive outdoors.
- Connect. Show your appreciation for those who make all the wonderful trail systems possible. Share on any social media channels you have and tag #NationalTrailsDay and @AmericanHiking to express your love of the outdoors.
- Pledge. Join in a nationwide trail service and advocacy movement by making a commitment to yourself to take action to care for trails throughout the year.
- Enjoy. Grab a friend or loved one and get out there! Try a new trail or introduce someone to the glory that is trail hiking, and pass on the exhilarating experience of being out in nature.
- Exhibit good trail etiquette. It’s another way to show your love and appreciation for our trails. Practice “pack it in, pack it out” for longer hikes or camping adventures, and leave no trace.
Do you love the great outdoors? What will you do to celebrate National Trails Day?
Rob Decker is a photographer and graphic artist who had the rare privilege of studying under Ansel Adams in Yosemite National Park when he was just 19 years old. Now, Rob is on a journey to explore and photograph all 61 of America’s National Parks. He’s creating WPA-style posters to help people celebrate their own national park adventures — as well as encourage others to get out and explore!
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