Silver Spring, MD â€“On Saturday, June 2, American Hiking Society celebrates its 15th annual National Trails DayÂ®, the largest annual single-day trails and outdoor celebration in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to get outside and attend more than 1,000 events taking place nationwide.
American Hiking Society urges everyone to get on the trail and make everyday National Trails Day because of the many benefits trails provide to individuals, communities, and the environment.
Individual benefits: National Trails Day promotes the health benefits of trail use, especially hiking. Hiking gets your heart pumping, lungs expanding, and muscles working. It helps relieve stress and contributes to weight loss, controlling high blood pressure, and preventing serious ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.
Community benefits: National Trails Day fosters community-building. It brings together people from all ages and backgrounds, including toddlers just learning how to walk, Girl Scouts earning a badge for their participation, and seasoned hikers who have logged many miles. It's a time to get outside and get to know your neighbors. It also provides local governments and trail clubs with much-needed volunteer sweat equity hours to restore and maintain trails. Last year volunteers spent more than 135,000 hours establishing, maintaining and cleaning-up nearly 1,700 miles of trailâ€”labor worth an estimated $2.5 million.
Environmental benefits: National Trails Day raises public awareness about the many environmental benefits of trails. Trails serve as conservation corridors, help protect plants and wildlife, and serve as outdoor classrooms for nature study and environmental education. Connecting with nature on a trail instills conservation values and inspires the public to take action to protect our natural heritage.
â€œCelebrating National Trails Day is an excellent way to promote healthy lifestyles and connect with nature,â€ said Gregory Miller, President of American Hiking Society. â€œTrails are life-enriching places, and hiking is the best nature-based recreational activity for a lifetime of health and fitness.â€
National Trails Day events take place in local, state, and national parks, forests and other public lands from coast to coast. Activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, paddling, trail dedications, park clean-ups, trail work projects, and much more. To find a National Trails Day event near you, visit American Hiking.org.
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, the surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience itself. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its programs, including National Trails DayÂ®, please visit AmericanHiking.org or call (301) 565-6704.
National Trails DayÂ® 2007 is made possible by the generous support of our Lead Sponsor â€“ Nature Valley; Partners â€“ Merrell, REI and Thorlo; Friends â€“ Adventure Medical Kits, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Royal Robbins; Media Sponsors â€“ Backpacker magazine and American Park Network; and Federal Agency Partners â€“ Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.