Introducing AHS Ambassador Michael Lanza

American Hiking Society is thrilled to welcome Michael Lanza to the Ambassador Program of AHS- where he hopes to inspire families to discover the powerful emotional payoff and bond achieved through sharing outdoor experiences. Michael Lanza is the creator of The Big Outside, where he blogs about his outdoor adventures, including many with his wife and children. The Big Outside has made numerous top blog lists, including USA Today’s Readers Choice list of Top 10 Hiking and Outdoors Bloggers in 2014. Michael was the Northwest Editor of Backpacker magazine for 11 years and continues to write for the magazine. His book Before They're Gone—A Family's Year-Long Quest to Explore America's Most Endangered National Parks, winner of a National Outdoor Book Award ... Read more

Wildfire Suppression Addressed in New Bill

June 9, 2017 – A bill (HR2862) that would address the critical issue of funding for wildfire suppression has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR). Currently, when the fire suppression budgets at the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and the US Forest Service (USFS) are exhausted, the only way either agency can continue to fund the critical work of wildfire suppression, is by “borrowing” funds from other in-house programs – sometimes the very programs which would help alleviate future wildfires. This bill, if passed, would ensure that the suppression of large wildfires is funded similarly to other natural disasters. While this bill is important for DOI and the National Park ... Read more

You’re Invited to #FindYourTrail

In 2018, America will celebrate the 50th anniversary of our National Trails System and Americans everywhere are being encouraged to #FindYourTrail! When the 1968 National Trails System Act was signed into law, America was given a gift – the creation of the National Trails System and the protection of some of our favorite places where we can enjoy the great outdoors. While there have been changes over the years, today the National Trails System includes a variety of trails such trails as the Appalachian Trail, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, and thousands of others. We have these trails because those who came before us had the courage to dream big. Identifying and protecting a narrow strip of land where ... Read more

Administration’s Budget Proposes Catastrophic Cuts to Trails

June 7, 2017 – The Administration recently released its budget for fiscal year 2018 (October 2017 – September 2018) revealing what are nothing less than catastrophic cuts to programs that directly impact trails and the places where Americans hike. The proposed budget for trails and the federal agencies that manage and maintain trails on federal lands fails to provide for even the most basic necessities to maintain and manage these critical recreation resources. In addition to being used by hikers, bikers, and equestrians, trails are the gateway to nearly every other facet of outdoor recreation, including fishing, hunting, and camping. A failure to maintain and manage our nation’s trails directly impacts park visitation, visitor safety, the ability for people to ... Read more

GirlTrek Kicks Off Summer Hikes with National Trails Day

National Trails Day® continues to grow each year thanks to all the local clubs and organization that rally together to connect more people to trails. This year, American Hiking Society is proud to connect with another national organization, GirlTrek, to continue to grow the reach and impact of National Trails Day.  GirlTrek has organized more than a dozen National Trails Day events in cities from L.A. to New York, and their mission to inspire Black women to walk and hike in their communities makes them a natural fit for National Trails Day. We asked GirlTrek a few questions about what they love about getting women outside and on local trails. From GirlTrek’s perspective, why is it important to get groups (especially ... Read more

A Summer Adventure Awaits Your Family

With summer just around the corner, American Hiking Society has just the thing to get your family out of the house and having fun: National Trails Day®. On Saturday, June 3, adults and youngsters across the country will head outside for fun outdoor adventures on American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day at parks, forests, and trails in all 50 States. For the past 25 years, American Hiking Society and local clubs, organizations, and parks have invited the public to attend special outdoor events on National Trails Day (NTD). Activities include hikes, bike rides, volunteer projects, trail runs, horseback rides, and paddle trips. Many locations offer family-friendly activities and kid specific activities such as bird feeder building, scavenger hunts, hands-on exhibits, ... Read more

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
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