National Park Service Celebrates Trails Day: Everything to Know About America’s Largest Trails Event

by Amy Myers

This June 4th marks the 30th annual National Trails Day, as hosted by the American Hiking Society. Naturally, the National Park Service is helping outdoor enthusiasts celebrate with some info about the routes we love so much.

In 1992, the Society created the holiday to raise awareness about the proper treatment of our trails and the organizations that make outdoor recreation in national parks possible.

“National Trails Day is a day of public events aimed at advocacy and trail service,” the American Hiking Society informed. “Thousands of hikers, bikers, rowers, horseback riders, trail clubs, federal and local agencies, land trusts, and businesses come together in partnership to advocate for, maintain, and clean up public lands and trails.”

National Park Service Encourages Americans to Explore This June 4th

Likewise, the NPS encouraged park-goers to pay a visit to their favorite pathways. Hikers can go one step further and find out ways they can become involved in the maintenance and upkeep of the area. Similar to many outdoor organizations, the NPS is always in need of volunteers. For example, a simple trail clean-up goes a long way for the sustainability and protection of our parklands.

“As the nation’s largest trails event, National Trails Day is a day of public events aimed at promotion, conservation, stewardship, and trail service,” the Service explained on Instagram. “We invite you to join thousands of other trail enthusiasts in getting outdoors, exploring new spaces, while leaving trails better than you found them!”

“Trails can serve as recreational pathways to life-changing experiences,” the NPS continued. “They can be storytellers that communicate journeys of triumph, discovery, settlement, hardship, and resilience. Trails can take many forms: from dirt pathways, to roads to waterways. Whatever the type, they all provide opportunities for exercise, learning, and self growth.”

To find out how you can volunteer with the NPS, head here.

Yosemite Celebrates National Trails Day and National Black Bear Day

One of the many parks celebrating National Trails Day is California’s Yosemite. But this isn’t the only holiday the park wants to raise awareness for. As it turns out, today is also National Black Bear Day. So, to raise awareness, Yosemite posted a few tips for hikers that come in contact with these creatures.

“Wild bears naturally fear and avoid people, but if they spend time around us without negative consequences, they can become habituated,” Yosemite National Park explained.

“When bears get too comfortable around people, conflict arises,” the park continued. “Bears are highly food-driven, and those that become bold or aggressive in the hopes of getting human food may have to be killed. Yelling and scaring away a bear can help save a bear’s life.”