While plenty of Americans eagerly await the coming of spring, many hiking clubs, non-profits, and land managing agencies are already busy planning special outdoor events for the onset of summer. American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®, the largest annual trails celebration is scheduled for Saturday, June 6, 2015, and promises to deliver a wide variety of outdoor activities for the public to enjoy. Thanks to the hundreds of dedicated clubs, businesses, and agencies who observe National Trails Day by setting up events, people from coast to coast will have new opportunities to get outside in 2015.
Now in its 23rd consecutive year, National Trails Day challenges the public to explore nearby trails, to engage in outdoor recreation activities like hiking or horseback riding, to learn new outdoor skills, and to support the volunteer efforts of trail organizations. Many National Trails Day events are family-oriented and offer attendees a tempered introduction to a new set of activities and recreation destinations.
“National Trails Day aims to be all-inclusive, open to anyone and everyone,” explains John Michels, American Hiking Society’s Director of Trail Programs. “Anyone can organize a public event and anyone can attend. Depending on comfort level and available resources, event hosts can set up activities that range from a short guided hike to a river paddling trip. Larger organizations may want to arrange a stewardship project or a trail dedication. Register the event online and American Hiking Society will encourage locals to attend.”
Last year, activities at thousands of sites attracted more than 140,000 Americans to participate in the National Trails Day festivities. Participants hiked, biked, paddled and volunteered at more than 2,000 registered events in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
National Trails Day 2015 event registration is free and open at www.NationalTrailsDay.org; American Hiking Society encourages all participating organizations to register their June 6 events in the searchable database. “Registering organized National Trails Day events helps us promote the thousands of activities happening across the country.” According to Michels, “The bulk of National Trails Day events are registered in May, in the weeks preceding the day itself. However, there are already a number of events registered, so interested participants can begin to plan their Trails Day adventure.”
American Hiking Society’s partnerships with federal land management agencies and America’s State Parks ensure there will be appealing recreation opportunities on many of our nation’s prized public lands for NTD 2015. “Our nation’s trails offer Americans from all walks of life boundless opportunities to enjoy nature, renew themselves, and establish a lifetime of fitness” notes Gregory Miller, President of American Hiking Society. “From city dwellers and suburban families to rural and country residents, children to senior citizens, trails offer every American a healthy, enjoyable way to spend time outside.”
National Trails Day 2015 is also part of Great Outdoors Month, a month-long effort in June to get Americans outside. Great Outdoors Month is coordinated through a coalition of recreation and environmental organizations including American Hiking Society, American Recreation Coalition, National Wildlife Federation, and the Corps Network among others. Bolstered by proclamations issued by the President and all fifty state governors, Great Outdoors Month celebrates everything great about America’s abundant outdoor recreation resources while highlighting Americans’ passion for the outdoors and calling for a rededication to conservation efforts and volunteerism.
“We’ve seen significant increases each year in National Trails Day participation, coupled with the growing number of Americans who enjoy outdoor recreation activities,” offers Miller. “This affirms the importance of and need for local trails, parks and open spaces and we urge all Americans to support cooperative efforts to expand, sustain and preserve our trails and natural areas.”
National Trails Day events are hosted by local and statewide trail clubs, city, state and federal public agencies, local parks, community groups and outdoor-minded businesses. Choose to participate in one of the thousands of fun trail events happening on June 6 or register your own by visiting www.NationalTrailsDay.org.
National Trails Day is made possible by the generous support of Corporate Sponsors – Adventure Medical Kits, Eddie Bauer, Hi-Tec, Therm-A-Rest, Columbia, Brooks-Range Mountaineering, and Save the Redwoods League as well as Supporters – America’s State Parks, US Army Corps of Engineers, American Park Network, Backpacker magazine, ParksByNature Network, Boy Scouts of America, REI, Hike It Baby, Student Conservation Association, and Federal Partners – National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.
To learn more about National Trails Day 2015, please visit www.NationalTrailsDay.org or contact John Michels, Director of Communications and Trail Programs, at 301.565.6704 x703.
About American Hiking Society
Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, please visit americanhiking.org or call (301) 565-6704.
American Hiking’s National Trails Day® is made possible by the generous support of Corporate Sponsors– Adventure Medical Kits, Eddie Bauer, Hi-Tec, Therm-A-Rest, Columbia, Brooks-Range Mountaineering, and Save the Redwoods League as well as Supporters – America’s State Parks, American Park Network, Backpacker magazine, ParksByNature Network, Boy Scouts of America, REI, and Student Conservation Association, and Federal Partners – National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.