There’s a past-time that brings adventure no matter where you do it, and that past-time is hiking. Each year millions of people take to the great outdoors, hiking paths new and old in search of themselves and the love of nature.
National Trails Day celebrates these intrepid souls and all the unexplored areas of the world where nature still reigns supreme. Hiking is good for the soul, and for your health, getting into the great outdoors has been proven to aid in non-clinical depression and an overall sense of well-being.
History Of National Trails Day
This celebration was organized by americanhiking.org with the intent of bringing together all muscle-powered trail sports enthusiasts and raising awareness of them to bring in even more.
Thousands of events are hosted all over the country attracting new hikers and old alike and helping to organize people to take care of the trails so that they can remain open for everyone to enjoy.
There are more than 200,000 miles of trails in America alone, and it takes the combined efforts of enthusiasts everywhere to keep them active and clear for people to enjoy.
Getting out into the wilderness is a great way to find new adventures, with beautiful natural discoveries being made by those who get out there.
Whether you’re hiking, biking, or horseback riding, National Trails Day is the perfect opportunity to get back out onto the trails. Trails can vary in range from under a mile to the 2,200-mile-long trail that is the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, known among enthusiasts as merely A.T. 31 trail clubs work to maintain this trail, along with multiple partnerships and organizations including the National Park Service and the United States Forest Service.
The history of National Trails Day stretches back more than fifty years. Historically, there were no government-mandated trails. Starting in October 1968, however, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Trails Act into law, which established a network of trails that people could use for tourism and recreation. Over the years, the system developed, and local authorities added new sections, boosting outdoor pursuits.
Nearly a decade later, in 1976, the Hiking Society became an official organization and began hosting board meetings. In the following years, there were a series of additional initiatives designed to expand the number of trails available to people, encouraging more of them to get out and explore them. By 1987, a Presidential task force concluded that there was still a need for more government commitment to expand the network of trails to safeguard the environment. The federal authorities, the report stated, needed to make more funds available so that local officials could develop the pathways and protect their natural resources.
The issue of trails soon developed into something of a political hot potato. By 1990, the Trails Agenda Project borrowing from the President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors recommended that the country embark on a “trails for all project.” There needed to be outdoor recreational options for everyone, they concluded.
In 1991, the Hiking Society met to discuss how to improve the trails’ network and what they could do. They came up with the idea of developing a scheme to encourage volunteers to join the trail maintenance network and highlight the issue of trails in the public consciousness. Two years later, in 1993, the society launched the first National Trails Day, and it has been running ever since. Thanks to the incredible enjoyment that trails provide people, they are worth celebrating. More than 157,000 people took part in the 20th anniversary trails day celebration.
How to celebrate National Trails Day
There are, of course, plenty of ways to celebrate Trails day. The most obvious is to get out there on the trails and start hiking! With thousands of miles in the US alone, there are new places to see and new sites to discover for everyone. If you are already an enthusiast who wants to help maintain the trails we have in the world, you can either volunteer with one of many organizations that help to maintain them, like the Appalachian Trail Conservatory.
Another fun way to celebrate the day is to do so with your dog. There are now thousands of miles of trails in practically every locality, and the vast majority of them admit your furry friend. Spending a day on the trails with your pooch can be an excellent way for both of you to bond and get exercise.
If hiking isn’t your thing, you can ride the trails instead on a decent off-road bicycle. Dogs love running alongside pedal-powered owners, and it can provide them with excellent exercise.
Are you more of a social media fiend? If so, then you can highlight the benefits that trail hiking brings to society on your social media account. You could also live-stream your adventures, getting other people interested in all the fun to be had out in nature.
Finally, you might want to take part in an impromptu trail maintenance party. These are where trail enthusiasts gather together to maintain trails. Remember, trails don’t last forever. People like you must join with teams of volunteers to help keep them in good condition for enthusiasts to use in the future.
So get your bags packed and head on out into the great beyond on National Trails Day, who knows what beauty you’ll discover? Everyone deserves a little inner peace, and you can discover yours on the trails!