If you consider yourself to be a big hiking fan, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard about the American Hiking Society (AHS). For the uninitiated, the AHS serves as a non-profit organization based in Maryland. Every year, the AHS sponsors a yearly event celebrated across the country: the National Trails Day.
The AHS main mission is to preserve the country’s natural trails, the areas surrounding them, and the hiking experience in general. But today, we’re going to talk about the National Trails Day. And most importantly, why it’s an important event for all outdoor enthusiasts.
When is National Trails Day?
Every year, the National Trails Day is celebrated throughout the United States. It takes place every first Saturday of June. So, for 2020, start planning your National Trails Day activities for June 6.
What is the National Trails Day?
Trails are more than just for hikers and trekkers. The natural trails all over the country serve an important purpose of providing access to waterways. This opens them up for those who enjoy canoeing and paddling.
Basically, trails provide a safe space for people of all ages to experience healthy outdoor recreation.
Most importantly, trails are also tools for ecology and conservation. They help preserve natural landscapes and provide links between fragmented habitats. In other words, trails are an important part of our natural resources.
National Trails Day is a nationally coordinated program. Mainly, it works to raise awareness of natural trails and greenways. In addition, it also promotes healthy and active lifestyles. It does this by encouraging people to discover their natural local trails.
Aside from raising awareness for trail issues, the event also aims to instill excitement for all things outdoors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most common questions about the National Trails Day event.
What happens on National Trails Day?
Well, this is all up to your local area organizer. Or you can be an event organizer yourself.
So, if you’re looking to host your very own event, you can simply go to the American Hiking Society website. Simply register your event. Best of all, registration won’t cost you a penny.
So who can register a National Trails event?
They welcome any group, organization, club, business, or company who is interested in raising awareness about trail use. Then, once you have registered your event, they’ll post it on AmericanHiking.org website. In addition, people will also be able to find it by searching within your area.
Can you host a private event?
And in case you want to host a private event, you can simply enter the word “PRIVATE” in the description box of your event. As a result, your event won’t be publicized. However, you’ll still receive “freebies.”
What sort of events can I organize?
The possibilities are endless, and you’re only limited by your imagination.
As an example, you can invite volunteers for trail maintenance and construction. Also, you can organize fun runs and walks and biking events. Additionally, other possibilities you can host are horseback rides, wildlife exhibition, and gear demonstrations. You can even host backpack trips.
What support or promotional items does the AHS provide for organizers?
The AHS will do a local and national PR campaign for the National Trails Day. On top of that, you will be supplied with promotional support. So, you’ll receive media alerts, press releases, and posters. This way, you can use the flyers and other materials to promote your event locally.
If you’re one of the first 500 registrants, you will also receive promotional freebies.
Why host a National Trails event?
Hosting an event during this campaign is a great way to engage your local community. You can use it to gain more supporters and donors. Here are some ways that your organization can benefit from hosting an NTD event:
Reach new audiences
Most importantly, your event will get plent of publicity, thanks to the AHS. You’ll see your event on the website. Along with that, you can also see your ads in places like magazines and other media outlets. Basically, it’s all free publicity for your organization.
Recruit new members and donors
Hosting an NTD event will surely expand your network and increase its donation potential. In addition, you can gain new members for your group by organizing fun outdoor activities. So, consider hikes, bike rides, horseback riding, and paddling trips to appeal to a wide range of people.
Showcase new trails
Has your organization succeeded in opening or renovating a new trail? If so, there’s no better way to showcase it than hosting an NTD event. By hosting an event, you can easily showcase the successful trail-related work that your organization has done.
Support public awareness
With our nation resources frequently threatened by government funding shut-downs and deregulation, it’s more important than ever to get involved. So, make sure all of your family, friends, and colleagues know you support public lands and national parks. National Trails Day is the perfect opportunity to shine light on this precious resource and inspire others to take a stand for their protection.
Take the National Trails Day Pledge
Along with hosting, the American Hiking Society is asking all outdoor loves to take a pledge to work to improve our public lands. You can become part of a national movement to support our forests and parks.
Best of all, you can become actively involved in improving trails. You’ll be able to work to make our public lands better for all visitors. Helping to maintain a trail can be as easy as picking up trash along the way. Not only will you enjoy the benefits of healthy outdoor exercise, you’ll also be leaving a better trail behind.
And if you have more time and ambition, you can also sign up with a local work crew to repair or add new trails. Keep tabs on the American Hiking Association’s website for projects in your area.
Rally Your Legislators
Additionally, if you’re passionate about ensuring legal protection for our precious natural resources, get your local legislators involved. You can use the tools at the National Parks and Recreation Association website. They’ll walk you through the process of informing local politicians about the event. They’ll also help you notifiy media members about your National Trails Day event.
Ready to Share the Adventure?
Summer is fast approaching, which means that National Trails Day is just around the corner. The event truly is a great way to meet new people with a common interest in anything outdoors. It’s also a great opportunity for family and friends to experience the wonderful outdoors for a great cause.
Use #NationalTrailsDay on social media to spread the word.