National Trails Day

National Trails Day is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in June which means it’s coming June 6th, 2015 to a trail near you. It is a day of advocacy, maintenance, discovery, and enjoyment. There are organized events being held across the country and you can find one on the American Hiking Society webpage at http://www.nationaltrailsday.org/. Events may include trail construction projects, cleanup, educational hikes, general recreation, and also extend to bicycle and equestrian trails as well.  As an incentive to participate, American Hiking Society is running a contest with prizes and also encourages everyone to upload photos to their Facebook and Instagram pages.

For Wild Drake, every day is Trails Day and we are actively involved and hiking the trails to our fullest extent. This past weekend, during a pleasant 13.8 mile hike on a local trail, we did some light maintenance along our journey by trimming some thorny plants that were protruding into the path and building cairns to mark the way. There is another section of trail nearby that we are familiar with but realized that it is not adequately marked; we will celebrate National Trails Day by building cairns to guide hikers through that area.

Additionally, this is an important reminder for all of us to make sure our voices are heard and that our representatives and congress members are aware of how vital our trails are to us. We encourage you to contact yours with a quick email telling them to protect and maintain the trail systems and parks. The opportunity to get outside and experience nature, hike, bike, walk, bird watch, run, and the myriad of possibilities is crucial to being healthy and happy, and we need to ensure that those are perpetually available to all.

This year, don’t let National Trails Day go by without joining in on the adventures. Find an event or simply get out and enjoy a trail activity. Take a walk on a nature path or spend a day helping to maintain your favorite one. If you are up for the challenge, find a group that is working on bigger projects like bridges or heavier work and volunteer. One of the wonderful things about our trails is that there is something for everyone, from the kids to great-grandparents, and at all levels of physical capabilities. This can be a chance to meet new people, get involved with projects that matter, and have an incredible day immersed in the beauty of nature.

One of the factors that we find intrinsic to our Wild Drake hikes is that we try to be cohesive with our surroundings. We admire the plant life and respect the animals, insects, birds, and creatures that share the pathways. Becoming submersed in the wilderness, letting go of stress, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine and breeze on our skin, feeling our muscles working to propel us, and visually absorbing the gorgeous wildflowers and distant vistas, invigorates us and gives us health and the strength to deal with the intrusions of regular daily life. Time spent on the trail is like a drug, intoxicating and addicting and we are always looking for the next high, the next trip.

The most critical step is the first one. Take it.  Just get out there, somewhere, whether it is a half-mile stroll or an intense 20 mile hike. We promise you won’t regret it!

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.”
-John Muir

Reach Your Summit™