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Backpacker Magazine – June 2014: Online Exclusive

Celebrate National Trails Day 2014

A cross-country roundup of events for National Trails Day (June 7).

by: Rachel Sayers

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New York, NY
Take a hike through the urban jungle of Manhattan on Giraffe Path, a 6-mile trail that links Central Park to the parks of northern Manhattan. You'll end at Highbridge Park to a community party teeming with more than 1,500 people. Expect music, dancing, arts and crafts, and, of course, lots of food. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:45 am—3:00 pm
Where: Highbridge Park at the Sunken Playground, 167th & Edgecombe Ave.  New York, NY
 
Los Angeles, CA
Traverse the last undeveloped coastal canyon in Los Angeles county and gain more than 1,800 feet on this 8-mile hike that promises a "secret" trail and views from the "real" Mesa Peak. The best part? Post-hike lunch at Malibu Seafood with views of the Pacific Ocean. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:00 am
Where: Corral Canyon, 25653 Pacific Coast Hwy. Malibu, CA
 
Washington, D.C. 
Take in some late-blooming wildflowers, spectacularly big champion trees, and rocky outcroppings on this moderate 3-mile hike through C&O Canal National Historic Park. Grab one of the small trash bags provided and help make sure the park is more beautiful than you found it.
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:00 am
Where: C&O Canal National Historic Park 11710 MacArthur Blvd. Potomac, Maryland
 
San Francisco, CA
Calling all history buffs: Follow in the steps of the Buffalo Soldiers (via chartered bus) as they made their historic 1899 march from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park.  Buffalo Soldiers, a nickname given to the African American calvary by the Native Americans, were once integral to California's parks, providing safety and preservation in their early years. Once in Yosemite, expect several presentations about the historical significance of the Buffalo Soldiers, followed by a camp out and a morning hike led by Robert Hanna, John Muir's great-great-grandson. 

When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:00 am — June 8, 2014 6:00 pm
Where: Presidio of San Francisco, 105 Montgomery St. San Francisco, CA
 
Boston, MA
Trail running? Mountain biking? Equestrian trail riding? Kayaking? No matter what your outdoor passion, the ECTAthlon Team Relay ($50/person) allows you to show off your skills, while giving back to those that make the wilderness possible. Start off running a 3.5-mile loop, hand off to a partner to bike one similar, followed by a 4-mile equestrian course, and finished off by a paddle in the Ipswich River. Celebrate the finish with lunch and live music in downtown Ipswich. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 10:30 am—3:30 pm
Where: Bradley Palmer State Park, 40 Asbury St. Topsfield, MA
 
Dallas, TX
Spend an afternoon helping park staff build and maintain Two Bridges Trail before cooling off with a swim, and taking advantage of the lake's abundant fish population to grill up some dinner and watch the sun set. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Where: Lake Whitney State Park
 
Atlanta, GA
Bring the entire family on this easy 4-mile loop through FDR State Park, beginning near the past site of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's farm and culminating in a spectacular view of the valley from Odie Overlook. The free GA park pass and prizes are just a bonus. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 10:00 am—2:00 pm
Where: Pine Mountain Trail (FDR State Park) 2970 Highway 190 E. Pine Mountain, GA
 
Detroit, MI
Dust off your poker skills and your spokes for this 18-mile bike ride along the Paint Creek Trail. Participants ($25/person) pick up a single card from five waypoints along the trail and the person with the best hand will win it back a tenfold. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:00 am—1:00pm
Where: Children's Park, 175 S. Broadway, Lake Orion, MI
 
Phoenix, AZ
Pack a simple summer picnic and hike in .75 miles to view some of the petroglyphs left behind by the Hohokam people that inhabited the Honey Bee canyon more than 1,000 years ago. Take in the sunset from a blanket as you hear more about these ancient people, before heading back as darkness falls and the stars arrive. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 6:30 pm—9:30pm
Where:  Honey Bee Canyon Park, 13880 N Rancho Vistoso Blvd. Oro Valley, AZ
Minneapolis, MN
Bring your binoculars and your Wellies on this guided, 2.7-miler through the marshes of Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge. Just miles from Minneapolis, it's a place where coyotes, bald eagles, river otter, and brilliantly colored wood ducks coincide. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:30 am—11:30 am
Where: Rapids Lake Education & Visitor Center, 15865 Rapids Lak Rd, Carver, MN
 
Denver, CO
Delve into fantasy on this easy hike through Boulder's Open Space, stopping at intervals to watch as actors recreate scenes from the Lewis Carroll classic, Alice in Wonderland. Bring camp chairs and snacks for a meandering picnic. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 11:00 am—2:00 pm
 
Portland, OR
Work hard, play hard. Put in a day of serious trail building at Coldwater Lake, located  on the north side of Mount Saint Helens, before celebrating with an epic end-of-the-day party and campout. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:00 am—2:00 pm
Where: Coldwater Lake on the north side of Mount St. Helens
St. Louis, MO
Capped at 150 participants, the Green Rock Trail Challenge is popular for a reason. Enjoy complimentary busing, breakfast and lunch as you spend a morning in the Rockwoods Reservation, traversing 6.5 miles of wooded hills and cool, northern facing ravines. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 7:30 am—12:00 pm
Where: St. Louis Greensfelder Park, 4515 Hencken Road, Wildwood, MO
 
Columbus, OH
Test out your wilderness navigation skills sans the fancy GPS, utilizing nothing but a map, compass, and pencil as you find your way from point to point. Orienteering, which developed as a training exercise in land navigation for military officers, has developed into an exciting recreational activity. Spend the first half of the day working on trail maintenance, and the second half following a detailed map, racing to various points across the park. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:00am—5:00 pm
Where: Alley Park 2805 Old Logan Road, Lancaster, OH
 
Indianapolis, IN
Take in the Indiana countryside from the seat of your bike on the 22nd annual B&O Bicycle Tour ($25/person). Pick your distance—10, 25, 45, or 62 miles—and enjoy live music, BBQ, and treats as you check out the newly-constructed B&O Trail. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 7:00 am—2:30 pm
Where: Williams Park, 940 South Locust Lane, Brownsburg, IN
 

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