America has 200,000 miles of trails that, as the American Hiking Society puts it, “allow us access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and much more. Trails take us to good physical and mental health by providing us with a chance to breathe fresh air, get our hearts pumping, and escape from our stresses.” We couldn’t have said it better.
Of course, these expansive trails come at the cost of a lot of hard work on the parts of the people who help organize for, plan around and essentially build the trails we use on a regular basis. As such, it’s only appropriate that we take time out of our busy lives to appreciate not only the trails themselves but also the work that goes into their very existence. National Trails Day — held every year on the first Saturday of June — is one such time when everyone can come together to celebrate trails through a wide range of events including “hiking, dog walking, bike riding, trail maintenance, birding, wildlife photography, geocaching, paddle trips, trail running, trail dedications, health-focused programs, and children’s activities,” among others. Pioneered by the American Hiking Society and its outstanding volunteers, National Trails Day boasts events in all 50 states —and you can easily find an event in your area here.