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National Trails Day - June 4


American Hiking Society's National Trails Day(R) is the only nationwide trails celebration, bringing together thousands of outdoor enthusiasts to participate in educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops and trail work projects on the first Saturday of June. It also provides an opportunity to thank the volunteers, land managing agencies, and outdoor-minded businesses for their support in developing and maintaining trails. National Trails Day (NTD) brings greater awareness to trails, along with their many benefits and pleasures. Whether the event involves one trail or a variety of activities, NTD is a wonderful opportunity to introduce people to trails. Many new trail users become dedicated to trails and their preservation once they get out and learn about them and they realize the many volunteer and paid hours required for creating the trails.

Trails and health

The theme "Take the Path to a Healthier You relates trail activities to improved health. Improve your health by getting outdoors on a trail. Print off any of our fact sheets for more information on hiking and health. With the extremely high obesity rates in the US, trails can become the pathways to better health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity, including trail use, is very beneficial for preventing or controlling many diseases. National Trails Day is June 4th, 2005, the first Saturday in June, but National Trails Day events can also take place at other times during the year. If your organization has a conflict with that date, plan a day or weekend convenient for you. But still register your event on our Web site, so participants and the media can find it. Check back in January to register your event or to search for an event to attend in your area.

Top 10 family friendly trails

BOSTON: Lizzy's Trail, Bradley Palmer State Park Local contact: John Hendrickson, 781-221-1133, East Coast Greenway 45 minutes from downtown Boston. This hike covers about two miles along the scenic Ipswich River.

CHICAGO: Illinois & Michigan CanalContact: Chuck Oestreich, American Discovery Trail Society, 309/788-1845 45 minutes from downtown Chicago; Channahon - McKinley Woods, 3.0 miles. This wonderful walk starts in the village of Channahon by the locktenders house for Lock #6.

CLEVELAND: Ohio & Erie Canal Trail Contact: Bob Maruna, 440-439-9421, Cleveland Hiking Club 30 minutes from downtown Cleveland; Boston Store - Station Road Bridge, 4.3 miles. This hike follows a section of the famous Ohio & Erie Canal.

NEW YORK: Long Path Contact: New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, 201-512-9348 10 minutes from downtown New York City; Fort Lee - Rockefeller Lookout, 3.3 miles.This hike takes you along the spectacular Palisades of the Hudson River, overlooking New York City.Along the way old roads and rock walls mark former settlements.

ORLANDO: Florida Trail Local contact: Pete Durnell, 407-847-4553, Florida Trail Association 20 minutes from downtown Orlando; Little-Big Econ State Forest, 4.8 miles roundtrip. This hike begins at the Barr Street trailhead and follows the banks of the Econlockhatchee River to ajunction with the Henry Flagler Rail-Trail.

PITTSBURGH: Great Allegheny PassageLocal contact: Linda Boxx, 1-888-ATA-BIKE, Allegheny Trail Alliance25 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh; Boston, PA --Dead Man's Hollow, 2.3 miles,including a loop in the hollow. Hike runs north from Boston on the Youghiogheny River Trail for 0.8 miles to Dead Man's Hollow, a 400 acre wildlife preserve.

PORTLAND: Horsetail & Ponytail Falls Local contact Al LePage 503-335-3876 Coastal Trail 45 minutes from downtown Portland; Trail is a 2.7 mile loop beginning at Old Columbia Highway. The hike is located in a scenic area of the Columbia River gorge known as waterfall alley.

ST. LOUIS: KATY TrailLocal contact: Ron Coleman, 636-733-0088, The Open Space Council 50 minutes from downtown St. Louis; Matson, MO -- Augusta, MO, 5.7 miles. Thislinear hike follows the KATY rail-trail. The scenery alternates between mixed woods, open fields, towering limestone bluffs and dramatic views of the Missouri River.

SAN FRANCISCO: Point Reyes National Seashore 45 minutes from downtown San Francisco; Coast -- Laguna Loop, 5 miles. This is a gentle walk through coastal scrub and grasslands that features wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean.

WASHINGTON, DC: Chesapeake & Ohio CanalLocal contact: Christine Cerniglia, 301-340-6361, C&O Canal Association 20 minutes from downtown Washington, D.C.; Angler's Inn -- Great Falls, MD, 2.3 miles. Hike starts at lot across from Angler's Inn and follows canal towpath to Great Falls Tavern.Route passes through spectacular Widewater area, an old river channel used for the canal.

See the website for American Hiking for more details:

For more articles about California Nature

California Beach Communities
Common Native Plants of Southern California Uplands
Natural Los Angeles Resources
Common Native Wildlife of Southern California
Common Native Birds of Southern California
Attracting California birds with native plants
Los Angeles Urban Forest
There's a Park Near You in Los Angeles
News about the SoCal Environment
Least Terns Preserve on the LA Beach
Visiting California Beach Communities - An Overview
Los Angeles Area Nature Link List