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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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San Antonio, TX
If you haven't gotten a chance to check out the 40+ miles of hiking and biking trails located right in San Antonio's backyard, now is the time. Volunteers will be leading guided hikes and bike rides throughout Government Canyon, an area full of rugged hills and canyons emblematic of Southern Texas. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:00 am—12:00 pm
Where: Government Canyon State Natural Area, 12861 Galm Rd, San Antonio, TX
 
Cincinnati, OH & Louisville, KY
BYOB: Bring Your Own Boat (or rent) on this 4.1-mile float along the Kentucky River, a blueway river trail, taking out at Carrolton Point Park, where the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers meet and lunch awaits. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:30 am—1:00 pm
Where: General Btler SRP Recreation Center, 1608 US Hwy 227, Carroliton, KY
 
Milwaukee, WI
Beautiful, glacially shaped valleys, bluffs, and drumlins provide the scenery along the Ice Age Trail, making the annual Mammoth Fun Run & Hike (6k, 8k, 1k and 6k hike) one of the most gorgeous in the state. Add in free massages and homemade treats, and it's an event that's hard to beat. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:00 am—11:30 am
Where: Doctor's Park, 218 South Main Street, Lodi, WI
http://lodivalley.iceagetrail.org/mammoth-fun-run-hike
 
Raleigh, NC
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail aims to be an impressive 1,000-mile footpath, stretching across most of North Carolina, from the Great Smokey Mountains to the Outer Banks. Help make this trail a reality by spending a day doing trail maintenance at Falls Lake—a 60-mile section that boasts both a tight, cozy passage through Piedmont hardwood forests and sturdy beech, and a glimpse into North Carolina's tobacco-growing past as you meander past abandoned barns. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:00 am—4:00 pm
Where: Falls Lake (Meet at Food Lion Parking Lot, 121 Sherron Rd, Durham, NC)
 
Nashville, TN
Run then play on this 5-mile race ($35/person), a course through rolling hills that includes a portion of the historic Trail of Tears. Reaching the finish line means free entry to the annual Barrel Festival, offering live music, checkers tournaments, and dancing. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 7:30 am
Where: Coopertown City Hall, 2525 Burgess Gower Rd. Springfield, TN
 
Austin, TX
Did you know that of the 1,000 caves located in Texas, 750 of them are in Williamson County? Learn that and much more as you explore the Discovery Wells Cave Preserve, home to 10 of these caves and several miles of hiking and biking trails. A different topic and hike will be covered each hour, so check the schedule, and leave a bit of free time to check out adjacent Buttercup Creel Cave Preserve, accessible via trail at Information Point 13. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:00 am—3:00 pm
Where: Brushy Creek Lake Park, 3300 Brushy Creek Rd. Cedar Park, TX
 
Virginia Beach, VA
Feeling out of the technological loop when it comes to hiking? Learn all about nature photography and Geo-caching on this interactive hike that promises scenic vistas, waterways, and visible wildlife. Afterward, try out your new geocaching skills on a whirlwind tour of Williamsburg.
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:30 am—12:30 pm
Where: Water Mill Park, 901 Airport Rd. Willliamsburg, VA
 
Greensboro, NC
Make sure to pack your energy for the Greensboro Trails biggest event of the year. Hiking, workshops, fitness clinics, gear demonstrations, mountain biking, and live music.  It's a jam-packed day, so be sure to hit the food trucks to keep yourself fueled. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 7:00 am—1:00 pm
Where:  Country Park, 2902 Nathanael Greene Dr. Greensboro, NC
 
Providence, RI
Test out your running skills and take in your American history during the Old Sandwich Road Race ($20/5k; $30/10K; $45/Half Marathon). The road, a scenic dirt road encompassed by towering pines and ancient oaks, holds the record as the nation's first public road. As you're running, you can reminisce about the Wampanoag tribe, the first people to trample your current path into the primitive woods and, later,  the Pilgrims who followed. 
 
When: Sat. June 1, 2014 10:00 am
Where: Plymouth South High School, 490 Long Pond Road, Plymouth, MA
 
 
Hartford, CT
Spend a morning trailblazing and clearing in Connecticut's second largest state forest followed by a work party and potluck. Have mad kitchen skills? Show them off by bringing your own dessert or side dish to add to the party. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:30 am—1:00 pm
Where: Cockaponset National Forest (Purple Trail), 261 Filley Rd. Haddam, CT
 
Greenville, SC
Let nostalgia roll over you as you curl up around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and listening to stories as the stars shine overhead. Let the Palmetto Conservation Foundation act as your camp counselors for the weekend, guiding hikes, bike rides, and kayaking adventures in Croft State Park's 7,000 wooded acres. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:00 am— Sun. June 8 10:00 am
Where: Croft State Park, 450 Croft State Park Rd. Spartanburg, SC
 
Memphis, TN
Shelby Farms Park boasts more than 4,500 acres—that's more than 5x the size of NYC's Central Park!—making it one of the largest metro parks in the country, and one of Memphis' biggest draws for outdoor lovers. Spend a morning helping to clean and maintain some of the 20+ miles of trails, and an afternoon exploring all the park has to offer: its own buffalo herd, guided horseback riding, and 120 acres of "Outback" designated for Fido to have some off-leash fun. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:00 am—12:00 pm 
Where: Shelby Farms Park Conservatory, 500 North Pine Lake Dr. Memphis, TN
 
Birmingham, AL
Enjoy a guided hike through 1,200-acre Red Mountain Park, traversing the ridges and hollows of its namesake mountain, whose rich iron ore deposits once fueled the Birmingham economy. Snacks, drinks, and giveaways are the bonus. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:00 am—11:00 am 
Where: Red Mountain State Park, 2011 Frankfurt Dr. Birmingham, AL
 
Harrisburg, PA
Do you know a little one with an affinity for turtles? Join the Lancaster Herpetological Society—that's amphibian/reptile enthusiasts for the rest of us—and the Appalachian Trail Conservatory for a day devoted to our shelled friends. There's a turtle maze, turtle crawl, coloring of the turtle, and an opportunity to interact with the ancient reptiles. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:00 am—3:00 pm 
Where: Children's Lake, 4 East First St., Boiling Springs, PA
 
Buffalo, NY
If you're going to run a marathon, you might as well enjoy the 26.2 miles of aching feet and burning lungs. The Sehahunda Trail Marathon and Relay follows trails as old as the Seneca people, traversing the northern edge of the Finger Lakes and skirting the eastern rim of Letchworth Gorge—nicknamed "The Grand Canyon of the East." Don't let the picturesque views fool you, with over 3,000 feet of climbing and more than 100 gullies to cross, it's one of the toughest races in the East. 
 
When: Sat. May 24, 2014 7:30 am—3:00 pm 
Where: Mount Morris Dam & Recreation Area, 6103 Visitor Center Rd. Mount Morris, NY
 
Albany, NY
A morning of clean-up deserves an afternoon of sun and sand, even when you're far from the ocean. Spend the morning improving the 25-mile Grafton trails system, enjoy a complimentary BBQ, and then head to the large, sandy beach along Long Pond to bask in the late spring sun.  
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 9:00 am—1:00 pm 
Where: Grafton Lakes State Park, 194 Shaver Pond Rd. Grafton, NY
 
Albuquerque, NM
Positioned at 6,500 feet, Albert G. Simms Park allows views of the Jemez Mountains to the north, the vast Tijeras Arroyo dry wash to the south, and Mt. Taylor to the west. A morning with these views, working on conservation projects and enjoying free lunch and prizes, is hard to qualify as work. 
 
When: Sat. June 7, 2014 8:00 am—1:00 pm 
Where: Albert G. Simms Park (Elena Gallegos Picnic Area), 7100 Tramway Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM
 

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