This year, American Hiking Society, with support from the U.S. Forest Service, launched the first-of-its-kind National Trails Day® Community Grants. Designed to reduce barriers for underrepresented communities in the outdoors, these grants provided resources to organize meaningful events in celebration of the 30th annual American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®.
Dozens of well-deserving individuals and organizations from across the country applied for funding for events organized by underrepresented communities, affinity groups, or clubs in the outdoors to support an in-person event for National Trails Day® at a National Forest or National Grassland site. Funding was designated for transportation costs, hands-on materials, stewardship supplies, gear library products, food, event promotion, and any other materials needed for a full trail experience.
The 2022 grant recipients include:
Ruth Rosas and Ismael Cuevas
Huron-Manistee National Forest
Black and Brown Chicagoans with limited exposure to biking and camping joined a trip to Huron-Manistee National Forest. The group biked 60 miles from Chicago to Michigan where they camped for two nights.
On National Trails Day®, the group enjoyed all that the trails in Huron-Manistee National Forest had to offer on a group hike, and they helped leave the trail and the outdoor community better than they found them.
Photos and Video by Alejandro Ruiz Rosales
We’re Out Here
Cleveland National Forest
Queer BIPOC folks in Orange Country were invited to join a nature walk in Black Star Canyon in Cleveland National Forest. Led by queer, Latinx naturalists Michelle and Tatiana. This low-intensity, mostly flat walk was designed for all bodies and abilities, and no previous hiking experience was needed. During the nature walk, participants met fellow queer BIPOC nature lovers, and along the way, observed and connected with native plants and birds, and even learned about how the surrounding mountains used to be under the ocean just a few million years ago. Event leaders discussed the presence of the Indigenous peoples whose land they were guests on, and how they can respect and protect the land for generations to come.
"We were able to provide free round-trip transportation to the National Forest from Downtown Santa Ana, and over 20 of us came together and hiked through Black Star Canyon together.
Photos by Yadi Rocha.
Khmer Community of Seattle King County
Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Members of the Khmer community in King County, WA came together for a multigenerational community picnic near Annette Lake followed by a student-led interpretive group hike. The local ranger district organized a trail maintenance project. The event helped unite the community elders with the youth in a shared immersive outdoor experience rooted in tradition and connection to the natural world.
Khmer community members detailed their experience celebrating National Trails Day®, saying, “We brought together 50 elders & youth in the community for a picnic together by the river and of course, we brought our speakers, mics, and Romvong music.”
Photos and Video by Vannra Yan.
Nature Niños New Mexico
Cibola National Forest
Comprised of an interactive story time and a guided hike, this event featured multiple interactive stories and offer a variety of hikes based on family needs and abilities.
"Not only were we able to bring families in Albuquerque together but we were able to serve our friends from ASLA Honey Badger Conservation Crew and Albuquerque Sign Language Academy with ASL interpretation for our storytelling with Story Connections." - Nature Niños New Mexico.
Photos by Tibbany Ho