Don’t Take Our Scenic Trails for GrantedMay 29, 2020 06:16PM ● By Annalise Combs
National Trails Day, on June 28, recognizes all the benefits federal, state and local trails provide for recreation and exposure to nature. Events held throughout the country encourage people to discover their local trials, become active concerning trail issues and share their excitement for the outdoors. National Trails Day is also an opportunity to thank the many environmentally friendly volunteers, land agencies, trail developers, park employees, rangers and legislators that help to develop and maintain the trails.
Although hiking may be the first activity to come to mind, especially during this time of COVID -19 physical distancing, trails also provide access to waterways for canoeing and paddle trips. Birders find excellent opportunities for birdwatching and those seeking to test their abilities to observe and study geolocation enjoy geocaching. Others learn land navigation or use the trails for biking, and all create opportunities to spend time outdoors and generate a cardiovascular workout.
Visit local trails and pack them out, safely of course. Show appreciation for those that make the trail system possible on social media at #NationalTrailsDay.
Tell a congressperson or other legislator why trails and access to natural spaces are important and ask them to pass bills that support trails, public lands and access for all.
Register to vote and request an absentee ballot. Before November 3, become educated about public lands and access issues
Once it’s safe to do so without fear of viral transmission, commit to taking a trash bag on hikes and walks. Collect trash at a local natural space or trail or along your neighborhood sidewalk.
Make a gift to a local trail nonprofit and join the American Hiking Society to help build an inclusive hiking community to protect trails and fight for access today and for future generations.
For more information, visit AmericanHiking.org.