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From the wilds of Alaska to a forest in Puerto Rico to a wildlife refuge in Maine and beyond, thousands of Americans
will head outdoors on Saturday, June 6, to enjoy National Trails Day®, America’s largest annual trails celebration. American Hiking Society, the national voice for hikers, is encouraging Americans of all ages and from all walks of life to lace up their hiking boots and kick off a summer of discovery and outdoor adventure.
From coast to coast, national and state parks, hiking clubs, non-profit organizations, and land management agencies are joining American Hiking Society in hosting hundreds of free events and activities to showcase America’s natural treasures and to energize, motivate, and inspire a new generation of trail stewards.
“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.”
Now in its 23rd year, National Trails Day challenges the public to find new ways to experience America’s extensive system of foot and water trails, whether by mountain bike, horseback, canoe, or simply on one’s own two feet. Hikers will explore new territory, pitch in on a trail building or cleanup project—even help save the monarch butterfly through milkweed planting initiatives.
“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.”
On National Trails Day in 2014, 144,000 people explored trails at 2,113 events throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. More than 21,000 volunteers pitched in on hundreds of projects that helped maintain 1,360 miles of trails, providing the sweat equity value of $2.3 million worth of work that otherwise would be left for another day. The cumulative distance hiked: 284,000 miles–the equivalent of walking eleven times around Earth!
National Trails Day 2015 also serves as the kick-off event for Great Outdoors Month™, a national campaign to entice more Americans to venture outside.
American Hiking Society Ambassadors will share the trail with hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts on National Trails Day®, June 6, 2015. Meet American Hiking Society’s four outdoor adventurers and go for a hike!
Jennifer Pharr Davis, hike Ambassador, author, adventure speaker, and 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year will be hitting the trails with American Hiking Society at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, 11704 Fenno Rd., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772, from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm. The event features one and three mile hikes, a five mile bike ride, a milkweed planting project and invasive plant removal work.
“My family and I are looking forward to participating in National Trails Day with the American Hiking Society because it is truly a day that does not discriminate,” says Jennifer, “whether you want to hike, run, paddle, volunteer, or just take in the beauty of nature, National Trails Day is there for everyone at every phase of life.”
American Hiking Society is offering prizes for the best photos taken at National Trails Day events. Photo contest details are here – http://www.nationaltrailsday.org/2015-photo-contest/. For a map of National Trails Day events go to http://www.NationalTrailsDay.org. Connect with us on social media for stories and photos from the trails, using the hashtag #NationalTrailsDay.
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 visithttp://www.AmericanHiking.org, call (301) 565-6704, or follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmericanHiking
National Trails Day is made possible by the generous support of corporate sponsors: Adventure Medical Kits, Columbia, Eddie Bauer, Hi-Tec, Therm-A-Rest, Brooks-Range Mountaineering, and Save the Redwoods League.
American Hiking Society also thanks 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 its federal partners – National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.