June 1st is National Trails Day. Founded by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day celebrates the importance of our hiking trails.
Our hiking trails connect us with nature. Studies have shown that walking in a natural setting actually reduces blood pressure and stress levels, more so than simply walking on a treadmill or in an urban setting. Being out on the trail helps put things into perspective. Unplugging and getting on the trail eliminates the myriad of distractions that demand our attention at work, home and school.
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir
Our trails connect us with our bodies, keeping us healthy and active as we hike further, climb higher, and push ourselves to do more. Who needs a gym?!
Our trails connect us with history. Hiking through the Sierras, we share the same views and footpaths followed by Ansel Adams, John Muir, and Native Americans before that. We connect with history through the shared experience.
On National Trails Day, take the opportunity to appreciate our trail system. How can you get involved?
- Take a hike! Get outside and hike a trail you haven’t explored before. Check our SoCal trail guide and choose your adventure. You can also find many group hikes via Meetup.
- Volunteer! Trails need constant maintenance, and that doesn’t happen by itself. There are numerous groups that organize volunteer trail work, including the American Hiking Society, the Sierra Club and others. Plan to give back to the trail system by volunteering some of your time each year.
- Donate! You can also show your support with your pocketbook, giving to the organizations that help maintain and promote our trail system. Consider contributing a portion of your giving to one or more of these charitable organizations.
How are you celebrating National Trails Day? Let me know in the comments below.