Hikers, nature lovers and other outdoor enthusiasts across the country will gather in celebration of American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® next week, including volunteers who will work improving the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
National Trails Day®, scheduled for June 7, 2014, is an annual event organized by the American Hiking Society. It is America’s largest annual single-day trails and outdoor celebration with more than 2,000 sanctioned events across the United States holding activities such as hiking, cycling, horseback riding and canoeing, as well as trail stewardship and habitat restoration projects. This is the event’s 22nd year. More than 130,000 people joined National Trails Day events last year.
“Our nation’s trails offer Americans from all walks of life boundless opportunities to enjoy nature, renew themselves, and establish a lifetime of fitness,” said Gregory Miller, President of American Hiking Society. “From city dwellers and suburban families to rural and country residents, children to senior citizens, trails offer every American a healthy, enjoyable way to spend time outside.”
Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Regional Office of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club are participating by hosting the 18th Annual Appalachian Trail Workday event on Saturday, June 7. Participants will perform trail maintenance on sections of the Appalachian Trail between Icewater Springs Shelter and Silers Bald and enjoy a picnic afterwards at the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. The event will be held rain or shine.
Volunteers must register in advance and can download the registration form here. The registration fee is $25, with proceeds going to improve the Cosby Knob Shelter. For more information about the 18th Annual Appalachian Trail Workday, call (865) 932-4794.
Enter your National Trails Day event photos into the photo contest for a chance to win some great prizes!
“We’ve seen significant increases each year in National Trails Day participation, coupled with the growing number of Americans who enjoy outdoor recreation activities,” offers Miller. “This affirms the importance of and need for local trails, parks and open spaces and we urge all Americans to support cooperative efforts to expand, sustain and preserve our trails and natural areas.”
American Hiking Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 with a mission of promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience.
American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® is a nationally recognized trail awareness program that occurs annually on the first Saturday of June and inspires the public to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities, clinics, and trail stewardship projects. National Trails Day® is a registered trademark of American Hiking Society.
Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park works with the National Park Service to preserve and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through public awareness, fundraising and rallying volunteers for park projects.