June 6, 2015 is American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®, the country’s largest celebration of trails. National Trails Day events will take place in every state across the country and will include hikes, biking and horseback rides, paddling trips, birdwatching, geocaching, gear demonstrations, stewardship projects and more.
What is National Trails Day?
American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® (NTD) is a celebration of America’s magnificent Trail System, occurring annually on the first Saturday in June. NTD features a series of outdoor activities, designed to promote and celebrate the importance of trails in the United States. Individuals, clubs and organizations from around the country host National Trails Day® events to share their love of trails with friends, family, and their communities. NTD introduces thousands of Americans to a wide array of trail activities: hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, trail running, and bird watching and more. For public and private land managers alike, National Trails Day® is a great time to showcase beautiful landscapes and special or threatened locales as thousands of people will be outside looking to participate in NTD events.
National Trails Day® evolved during the late ‘80s and ‘90s from a popular ethos among trail advocates, outdoor industry leaders and political bodies who wanted to unlock the vast potential in America’s National Trails System, transforming it from a collection of local paths into a true network of interconnected trails and vested trail organizations. This collective mindset hatched the idea of a singular day where the greater trail community could band together behind the NTD moniker to show their pride and dedication to the National Trails System.
Why Celebrate Trails?
America’s 200,000 miles of trails allow us access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and much more. Trails give us a means to support good physical and mental health; they provide us with a chance to breathe fresh air, get our hearts pumping, and escape from our stresses. All it takes is a willingness to use them!
National Trails Day® also aims to highlight the important work thousands of volunteers do each year to take care of America’s trails. Trails do not just magically appear for our enjoyment; their construction and maintenance takes hours of dedicated planning and labor. So give thanks to your local volunteers and consider taking a day to give back to your favorite trail.
Where Can You Go T0 Participatein RVA?
The Great Park Challenge – How well do you know your park system? Explore the county’s diverse trails by registering for the Great Park Challenge (GPC). The GPC invites individuals and families to traverse five different county parks, then answer questions about the facilities. Participants will receive a map and questions for each park. Those who correctly answer all the questions will be eligible to win a $50 credit toward an outdoor recreation program. Two winners will be selected.
Parks included in the GPC:
• Dodd Park at Point of Rocks
• Dutch Gap Conservation Area
• Radcliffe Conservation Area
• Robious Landing Park
• Rockwood Park
The GPC will run from June 6 – 15.
Answers must be received by Monday, June 15, 3 p.m.
Registrants must have internet access and an email in order to
In honor of National Trails Day, Pocahontas State Park’s interpretive staff will be offering free guided hikes all day long! All hikes will cover 2-2.5 miles and may take up to 2 hours. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes, plenty of water, and sunscreen.
10 a.m. – Beaver Lake Trail. Meet at the CCC museum for a walk around Beaver Lake Trail. They’ll be taking note of sites of historical and natural interest and working on tree identification along the way
1 p.m. – Introduction to Geocaching Hike. Meet at the Nature Center to learn the ropes of what might be your new favorite hobby. Or, if you’re experienced but want some company, you’ll be just as welcome. The park has a limited number of GPS units available free of charge for this program, so please register in advance, if you would like to use one, by calling the park office at (804) 796-4225. These same units are also available for rent outside of guided programs. High socks, long pants, and bug spray are highly recommended for stepping off trail in summer
4 p.m. – Forest Exploration Trail. Meet next to the boat launch for a walk around Forest Exploration Trail. We’ll be taking note of sites of historical and natural interest and working on tree identification along the way
For a list of other events or to get more information visit the National Trails Day website.