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Five Things Trail-Builders Can Teach Us About Sustainability

One morning a few years ago, I found myself crawling on my hands and knees through branches and brambles on a hillside outside of Brevard, North Carolina. I had enrolled in a class called “Secrets of a Master Trail Builder,” which was offered through the Sustainable Trails Conference in Asheville, NC. There were twelve of us students. Hunched over like minions, we tried to keep up with our master, Todd Branham, as he weaved through the snarl of woods. I tripped twice, and the knees of my pants were instantly soaked through with cold, early spring thaw. Branches flicked me in the face and grabbed at my shirt. “It’s a little tougher when you don’t have a trail to ... Read more

Endless Opportunities to Get Outside on the First Weekend of June

Each year, on the first Saturday of June, individuals across the country unite for a shared trail experience during American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®. With thousands of events in all 50 states and beyond it’s easy to find an event near you. Young or old, inexperienced or expert, there's a trail and a National Trails Day event to suit the interests of every individual. Lace up your hiking boots, pump up your bike tires, get out your work gloves, grab your paddle, or saddle up your horse and hit the trail! Thousands of organizations and individuals have begun organizing a variety of events tailored for every muscle-powered trail activity under the sun for National Trails Day. For the cycling ... Read more

AHS Welcomes Bob and Martha Manning as Ambassadors

American Hiking Society is thrilled to welcome Bob and Martha Manning to the Ambassador Program of AHS- promoting the benefits of hiking and inspiring more Americans to explore the great outdoors. Bob and Martha Manning are accomplished hikers and authors who write and speak about their outdoor adventures.  They discovered the national parks shortly after they were married, honeymooning at Cape Cod National Seashore.  They lived in California for several years, hiking and backpacking in Yosemite and many other western national parks.  After graduate school, Bob became a professor at the University of Vermont, teaching and studying the history, philosophy, and management of national parks.  His program of research for the National Park Service allowed him and Martha to visit and ... Read more

7 Most Stunning Sunset Hikes Around Knoxville

What better way to reward a vigorous effort on the trail—or up a summit—than by sitting back and soaking up the serenity of one of nature’s most beautiful shows? Fortunately, Knoxville has plenty of gorgeous sunset hikes right in its backyard. Whether you’re sticking close to town or venturing further afield, Knoxville is the perfect launching point for your next memorable stroll in the woods. Here are seven recommended sunset hikes in and around Knoxville that are sure to take your breath away. 1. High Ground Park Probably the best view of the city and well worth the trip. Logan Mahan This historical landmark in South Knoxville boasts excellent views of the city and is known for its picturesque sunsets. Once the site ... Read more

Summer of Service

With rising temperatures, leaves in full green splendor, and built up energy from a winter spent indoors, summer is an amazing time to get outdoors and enjoy the trail.  While your first idea might be to head to the beach or relax around the neighborhood pool, we encourage you to consider spending time this summer doing something that will have a lasting, positive impact- on your spirit and on the environment. During American Hiking Society's "Summer of Service", we are offering numerous week-long trail stewardship vacations that combine outdoor adventure with rewarding environmental conservation projects that contribute to the sustainability of our nation's trails.  The tan of a beach vacation will fade, but the satisfaction of a week spent in the ... Read more

Hiking is Nature’s Therapy

In today’s world of chaos and constant stimulation, it’s hard to quiet the mind and think. Getting into Nature offers a way to find some silence and clarity; and it’s an important tool to counter our standards of survival in society. The more and more pressure we put on ourselves, the more our health degrades. Our minds and bodies need silence in order to regenerate. Hiking is a great way to reap the benefits of what nature has to offer. The elements whip us into shape and we sweat out our frustrations. As our muscles scream for mercy and our toes rub in our boots, we seek shade. The shelter of a giant pine tree is a luxurious refuge from ... Read more

5 Simple Ways to Deepen your Hiking Experience with Poetry

Consider why you feel a need to tramp through often harsh, uncomfortable trails to the wild places of the world. Essentially, this motivation can be boiled down to a need to connect with nature, and a need to connect with yourself. Writing poetry is one of the oldest, most tried-and-true methods of fostering a more meaningful relationship with the natural world. The natural world and poetry are so associated with one another that it can be a challenge to find a poem that doesn’t bring up, in some form or another, the woods, water, plants, animals, the sky, or some variation within these. Judging from poetry’s preoccupation with this green earth, there must be an element intrinsic to poetry’s ... Read more

10 Best Hikes in Ohio

The Buckeye State is the home of the American Football Hall of Fame, the birthplace of seven American presidents, and some of the most incredible places to load up a pack and blaze a trail. The temperate climate and small rugged hills beckon to those who have a thirst for nature. A hike enjoyed in one of Ohio’s many state parks or nature preserves is sure to awaken the senses and leave you begging for more. Here is a list of 10 of the best hikes found in the state of Ohio. 1.The Two Mile Loop at Mill Creek Park Mill Creek. Jack Pearce Located in Youngstown, Ohio, Mill Creek Park is one of the largest Metroparks in the state. There are actually ... Read more

2017 National Trails Fund Now Accepting Applications

SILVER SPRING (January 17, 2017) – American Hiking Society is accepting applications for the 2017 National Trails Fund through February 17th, 2017. This exclusive grant program gives trail clubs and land managers the financial means necessary to complete critical hiking trail projects around the country.  Grants awarded range in value from $500 to $3,000.More than half a million dollars has been awarded to trail organizations since the fund’s inception in 1998. The National Trails Fund benefits American Hiking’s Alliance of Hiking Organizations, and information on the program can be accessed by visiting This past year, grant winners used their funds to build new trail, to implement better erosion controls on existing trails, to remove graffiti, and to install directional signage. Every one of these measures ... Read more

Public Lands Encounter Grave New Threat

January 6, 2017 – This past Tuesday when House Republicans passed a rules package, the approach towards the Ethics Office caught most of the public’s attention. Yet, while that item did not pass, what did pass was a substantive change that would drastically ease the transfer of public lands. Under the new rules the House passed, no longer will bills that transfer ownership of federal public lands have to make up the lost income that the lands would have provided to the federal government, funding derived from logging, energy extraction, and other activities. The new rule essentially sets the value of America’s public lands at $0. Yes, that’s a “zero.” With this new rule in place in the House, no longer will ... Read more
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