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How to Get Involved This National Trails Day

by / Tuesday, 29 May 2018 / Published in Blog

How to Get Involved This National Trails Day

The following content has been provided by the American Hiking Society.

What’s National Trails Day All About?

National Trails Day is a nationally coordinated event designed to unite all muscle-powered trail activities with the goal of connecting more people to the trails. Every trail beckons adventure and has a story to share with any person willing to discover it (American Hiking Society 2018).

Each year, on the first Saturday of June, American Hiking Society and the trails community invite Americans of all ages and abilities to find their own adventure and discover their unique story at one of the thousands of events hosted throughout the country (American Hiking Society 2018).

By coordinating a wide array of trail activities on a single day, National Trails Day attracts new trail users and helps connect existing trail enthusiasts with local clubs and organizations with the hopes of creating trail advocates and stewards. The task is to protect and maintain more than 200,000 miles of trails within the U.S. requires a collaborative effort among trail clubs, organizations, government agencies, and most importantly passionate trail advocates and stewards. (American Hiking Society 2018).

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the National Trail System. On June 2, 2018, people across the country will come together to collectively improve 2,802 miles of trail—the distance across the US—during American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®. American Hiking Society invites hikers, cyclists, equestrians, paddlers, and everyone else who enjoys spending time outside to join the nationwide efforts by pledging to improve a trail on National Trails Day®. Anyone can leave a trail better than they found it by simply picking up trash or by joining an organized trail work project. Beyond trail work projects, thousands of individuals and organizations will host a variety of fun trail events and activities ranging from guided hikes to communitywide festivals on National Trails Day®. It’s a great opportunity for people to try something new, explore wild spaces, or get outside right in their neck of the woods—or city. (American Hiking Society 2018).

The History Behind National Trails Day

The following content has been provided by the National Park Service.

In 1968 America established the National Trails System act. This act called for establishing trails in both urban and rural settings. This act was meant to promote enjoyment and appreciation of trails and giving more access to the public. It established four classes of trails: national scenic trails, national historic trails, national recreation trails, and side and connecting trails (National Park Service 2018).

“National scenic trails are to be continuous, extended routes of outdoor recreation within protected corridors. The first two established under the National Trails System Act were the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest trails” (National Park Service 2018).

“National historic trails recognize original trails or routes of travel of national historic significance including past routes of exploration, migration, and military action” (National Park Service 2018).

“The term national recreation trail is given to an existing local or regional trail when recognized by the federal government, with the consent of any federal, state, local, nonprofit, or private entity having jurisdiction over these lands. Today almost 1,300 of these trails have been designated throughout the country. They are located in all 50 states” (National Park Service 2018).

“Side and connecting trails provide additional access to and between components of the National Trails System. To date, seven have been designated” (National Park Service 2018).

“Since 1968, 45 long-distance trails have been studied for inclusion in the system, and 30 have been designated. The National Park Service administers 21; the Bureau of Land Management administers one; and the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management jointly administer two. The U.S. Forest Service administers six” (National Park Service 2018).

Opportunities to Get Involved This National Trails Day

Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s National Trails Day

The following content has been provided by the American Hiking Society.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park boasts more than 125 miles of multi-use trails. Volunteers are a valuable resource in helping to maintain the quality and condition of these trails. National Trails Day, the largest trails volunteer event of the year, provides a great opportunity for participants of all ages and experience levels to contribute to a variety of trail maintenance projects on popular trails throughout the park. In 2017, 132 volunteers donated more than 577 hours worth of work during this event! The goal for 2018 is to host an even bigger and better event! Projects will be held on Saturday, June 2nd from 9:00 AM until 1:00PM at the Virginia Kendall Lake Shelter. After volunteering, partner organizations (which includes us at Appalachian Outfitters!) and NPS staff will have booths set up for volunteer information/education. If you would like to volunteer this National Trails Day with us click on this link (Find a National Trail 2018) .

Please Note that trail maintenance rates as a moderate to strenuous physical activity and requires the ability to hike 2 miles over uneven terrain.

Volunteers must be 10 years of age. Volunteers who are 10 -15 years of age must have parent or guardian supervision at the project site. Volunteers who are 16-18 years of age are only required to have a parent or guardian sign their Volunteer Agreement form. (Find a National Trail 2018) .

The Buckeye Trail Association Trail Work Volunteer Event

The following content has been provided by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Volunteer Management Office.

The Buckeye Trail is a 1,444-mile hiking trail that winds all throughout Ohio, passing through towns, parks, scenic locations. Part of the Buckeye Trail passes through a section of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. To coincide with National Trails Day, the Buckeye Trails Association is hosting 5 days of volunteer trail maintenance within the National Park, from June 2 to June 6. Volunteers are vital to keeping the trail accessible and safe.

On the Buckeye Trail, they will be re-benching the trail tread as needed, doing trail maintenance, drainage clearing, bridge replacement, adding handrails to existing bridges, and installing carsonite posts.

All Volunteers must be present by 8am to sign-in and hear the safety speech. Volunteers are invited to work a half day (8 a.m. to Noon), or bring a lunch with them and volunteer all day (8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). Advanced registration is required for all individuals, click here to Register Online.

Volunteers must be 10 years of age. Volunteers who are 10 -15 years of age must have parent or guardian supervision at the project site. Volunteers who are 16-18 years of age are only required to have a parent or guardian sign their Volunteer Agreement form.

Century Cycles Bike Travel Weekend Camp-Out Ride

The following content has been provided by the American Hiking Society.

Join Century Cycles for a Bike Travel Weekend Camp-Out Ride. They are gathering at the Century Cycles bicycle shop in Peninsula, Ohio and departing around 3:00pm on Friday, June 1st to ride out to the campground at West Branch State Park near Ravenna. The route is about 26 miles each way, with a combination of busy roads, quiet roads, and some bike path (Totaling 52 miles over the weekend). There is also some climbing involved, so this would be classified as Beginner to Intermediate level of difficulty. Food and beverages will be provided at the campsite, but feel free to bring your own snacks. On Sunday morning, they will be packing up and riding back to Peninsula. They will probably make a breakfast stop on the way back, possibly breaking up into smaller groups; either way, you are responsible for your own breakfast. Then should be arriving back in Peninsula around 12pm. There is no cost to participate, but you must pre-register. For more details and registration, go to: http://centurycycles.com/for/BikeCampOut. You can also R.S.V.P with Kevin at Century Cycles through his email: kevin@centurycycles.com.

Whether you choose to bike pack/camp-out with Century Cycles, volunteer to maintain our trails within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park or the Buckeye Trail Association or just choose to hike one of the many local trails, we hope to see you out and about this National Trails Day!

Citations

American Hiking Society. 2018. Find a National Trails Day Event Near You. https://americanhiking.org/national-trails-day/find-an-event/#find-event/view-event-details2/5a8c668626ed2c246b0ecd44/.

National Park Service. (19 Jan 2018). National Trails System Act Legislation. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationaltrailssystem/national-trails-system-act-legislation.htm

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