Californians Celebrate National Trails Day by Volunteering This Saturday
Thursday, June 1, 2023
This Saturday, June 3, thousands of Californians will be among hundreds of thousands of Americans heading into the great outdoors to celebrate National Trails Day.
Thousands of events are planned nationwide from hikes to cleanup events and more.
Alanna Smith, parks program associate for the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League, noted most trails cross the unceded ancestral homelands of native nations, adding the holiday is a good time to give back.
"Thinking about how these trails are created, and ways that we can help maintain them, that's a big part of National Trails Day," Smith explained. "Any way that we can give back is really a great way to celebrate National Trails Day, also."
This year is special, because it's the 30th anniversary of the first National Trails Day. The original was held on June 5, 1993, sponsored by the American Hiking Society. You can enter your ZIP code on their website, AmericanHiking.org to find an event or service project near you.
Smith added getting out on the trails has many benefits, both to physical and mental health.
"You also don't have to be out doing some strenuous activity," Smith pointed out. "You don't have to be trail running or mountain biking in order to reap those benefits. You know, just the act of being on the trail. It helps to promote calm, it lessens stress, it helps us to regulate negative emotions."
Organizers also encouraged people to consider other ways to make use of the trails this weekend from biking or bird-watching, to geocaching and nature photography.
The national system of recreation, scenic and historic trails was created in October 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Trails System Act into law.
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