Supplement to “Trailblazers”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Trails Day, sponsored by the American Hiking Society and held on the first Saturday in June to encourage people to get out and enjoy the nation’s abundant and beautiful 200,000-mile trail system.
Each year, states and cities across the country host thousands of special National Trails Day activities, from bird watching and guided hiking excursions to volunteer efforts and cleanup initiatives along trails in cities and state parks and within National Forests and Wilderness Areas.
To see a searchable state-by-state listing of National Trails Day events scheduled for June 1, 2013, go to www.americanhiking.org/NTD/Events.
If you’re looking for a longer volunteer project, the American Hiking Society (AHS) also sponsors one-week “volunteer vacations” that allow you to help clear and maintain trails throughout the country. A listing of available locations can be found online at www.americanhiking.org/volunteer-vacations. Note that, in Kentucky, the Pine Mountain Trail Conference will host a volunteer vacation through the AHS beginning in late September. From their Web site, click on “Kentucky” for more details.
Another opportunity to help keep our public spaces beautiful comes on September 28, the observance of National Public Lands Day. Again, across the country, activities will be held that allow you to grab a shovel and some work gloves and pitch in to help clear a trail, pick up litter, or help with small repair projects in an area park. To see if there are any events planned for Kentucky, click “Find a Site” then Kentucky on the map.
Finally, the Sierra Club also offers a multitude of “volunteer vacation” options each year through its National Outings program. In 2013 the projects range from restoring the natural landscape of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida to planting shrubs and trees in New York City’s Riverside Park. Whether you’re interested in viewing stars on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon or whales in Maui, there’s a trip for you. For background on Sierra Club volunteer opportunities, go to www.sierraclub.org, under “Outings,” to Volunteer Vacations. www.sierraclub.org/outings/national/service.aspx. Here is a full list of 2013 Sierra Club volunteer vacation trips available. http://content.sierraclub.org/outings/national/trip-search/results?trip_type=46.
To read the Kentucky Living April 2013 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Trailblazers.