The first Friday of June is National Doughnut Day. June 2, 2017 also happened to be:
- National Leave the Office Early Day,
- National Rocky Road Day,
- National Bubba Day,
- and National Rotisserie Chicken Day.
But let’s set those to the side, because TODAY, the first Saturday of June, marks National Trails Day® in the United States.
The American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is the only nationally coordinated event designed to unite all muscle-powered trail activities with the goal of connecting more people to trails.
It all started in October of 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the National Trails System Act. Eight years later, the American Hiking Society (AHS) was formed and then on June 5, 1993, the first ever National Trails Day was launched by AHS.
How to Get Involved on National Trails Day
Do you want to enjoy the outdoors on National Trails Day by hiking, biking, running, exploring, birdwatching, volunteering, or another activity? If so, there is probably someone who wants to join you! Today is the perfect time to travel or simply keep it local, grab a friend, and hit the trails.
The National Trails Day website makes it easy to search for events. Thousands of events are hosted nationwide, offering opportunities for potential new trail users to connect with more seasoned individuals and organizations. If unable to find an event near you, be a leader and host your own official event for free. Additionally, states like Oregon and Washington are waiving entrance fees to many parks.
A couple years ago, I volunteered at a National Trails Day event hosted by the Texas Land Conservancy. Approximately forty volunteers pitched in by doing trail maintenance and invasive species removal at Oak Cliff Nature Preserve. Overall, it was a great way to meet likeminded people and give back to the community. This year, I am participating in the Run for the Environment 5K benefitting Green Source DFW and plan to hike afterward.
To summarize, National Trails Day makes a huge impact each year in the U.S. According to AHS, 25,900 trail volunteers participated in 466 projects and maintained 1,200 miles of trail, resulting in $2.8 million of sweat equity in 2016 alone.
So, what are you waiting for?
Get out there and enjoy the 200,000 miles of trails the U.S. has to offer. Share your adventure on social media and tag your post with #NationalTrailsDay and #StretchTourism.
As always, travel light, travel right.