Mission Statement

As the national voice for America’s hikers, American Hiking Society promotes and protects foot trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience.

As the national voice for America’s hikers, American Hiking Society promotes and protects foot trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience.

Trevor Brown

Our Mission

Protect the Places You Love to Hike

American Hiking Society champions conservation issues, builds public and private partnerships, supports volunteer stewardship, and provides critical resources to help plan, fund, and develop trails.  We also provide resources to the public about how and where to hike and are committed to increasing the participation and enjoyment of hiking by everyone.

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national organization that promotes and protects foot trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience.  As the national voice for hikers, American Hiking Society recognizes that foot trails and hiking are essential to connect people with nature, conserve open space, provide biological corridors for diverse plants and wildlife, and for the health of Americans and our natural environment.  We represent millions of hikers who are committed to beautiful places to hike and believe that the preservation of hiking trails and their environments is important and a worthwhile legacy to leave future generations.

Policy & Advocacy

American Hiking Society works with Congress and federal agencies to shape public policy and legislation affecting hiking. Our efforts ensure funding for hiking trails, the preservation of natural areas and the protection of hiking experiences. Through our national advocacy, Hike the Hill®, and regional initiatives American Hiking protects trails and the hiking experience in areas of the country where specific and urgent needs exist.

Volunteerism & Stewardship

American Hiking Society organizes and coordinates Volunteer Vacations and National Trails Day® – nationally recognized programs that help keep our trails open, safe, and enjoyable.  Our National Trails Fund is the only national private grants program for hiking trails across the United States.

Outreach & Education

American Hiking Society is committed to increasing Americans’ participation in and enjoyment of hiking and conducts outreach through events, educational materials and partnerships with other recreation and conservation organizations.

Our Vision

Ours is a vision in which hiking, foot trails, and their surrounding natural areas inspire Americans to get outdoors, volunteer and protect trails. As the national voice for hikers, American Hiking Society will promote hiking, build a nationwide constituency of hikers and trail stewards, form strategic alliances with national, regional and local partners and advocate for hikers in the nation’s capital. Sustainable hiking trails and trail systems will bring people together, connect them with our natural and cultural heritage, promote healthy lifestyles and serve an integral role in conservation. We will expand our nation’s hiking community and motivate, recruit and educate tomorrow’s hiking leaders, advocates, and volunteers.

Ours is a vision in which hiking, foot trails, and their surrounding natural areas inspire Americans to get outdoors, volunteer and protect trails. As the national voice for hikers, American Hiking Society will promote hiking, build a nationwide constituency of hikers and trail stewards, form strategic alliances with national, regional and local partners and advocate for hikers in the nation’s capital. Sustainable hiking trails and trail systems will bring people together, connect them with our natural and cultural heritage, promote healthy lifestyles and serve an integral role in conservation. We will expand our nation’s hiking community and motivate, recruit and educate tomorrow’s hiking leaders, advocates, and volunteers.

Gert Boers

Our Core Values

 

The Intrinsic Value of Hiking

Hiking has long been an important outdoor activity, whether as a means of exploration, exercise or reflection. The act of setting foot down a path through natural areas provides unparalleled opportunities to build the human spirit, improve physical fitness and increase environmental awareness. Hiking offers all Americans a healthy, enjoyable and relatively simple way to deepen their connections to nature, people and place.

Conservation through Recreation

As a national conservation-based recreation organization, we work in partnership to build, maintain and protect hiking trails and their natural corridors so that current and future generations can experience the many joys and benefits of hiking and are inspired to protect this legacy.

Stewardship

Our programs are built around the concept of fostering and supporting trail stewardship and the public lands through which they travel. We accomplish this by promoting a sense of responsibility and culture of service among our individual members and member organizations and in the hiking community at large.

Sustainability

We support construction and maintenance of trails that limit hikers’ impact on the land and require minimal attention to maintain the integrity and safety of the tread. We promote Leave No Trace ethics to ensure that natural ecosystems and trail environments remain viable and healthy.

Relevance

Through adaptability, responsiveness and a commitment to continuous improvement, we will remain a dynamic and relevant national organization. Our work is results-oriented, partnership driven and integral to the viability, success and future of our constituents – the hiking community.