National Trails Day

It happens on Saturday, so hit the trail—or better yet, build one

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Jon Dorn and Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan totally dig it.

At BACKPACKER, we don’t spend all our time just hiking on trails and writing about them—we help build them, too. Just before National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, 12 staffers joined Boulder County Parks and Open Space to refurbish portions of the Lichen Loop Trail in Heil Ranch Park in North Boulder County.

Publisher/He-Man Kent Ebersole doesn’t need any help.

A lot of our work involved preventing erosion and creating proper channels for runoff, which included digging trenches, smoothing drainages, and adding boulders and rocks to trail pinch points. To do this, we used badass tools named after badass firefighters: the hoe-rake combo McCloud (John McCloud), the shovel-axe Pulaski (Ed Pulaski), and the pickaxe (Antoine Pickaxe).

(Sigh) Interns…

Now it’s your turn: The American Hiking Society sponsors loads of volunteer trailbuilding for National Trails Day across the country. Show your love for trails by getting outside to help keep those trails in tip-top form. And if you don’t feel like digging in the dirt, tons of national and state parks are offering guided hikes, nature tours, and more. Here’s a sampling: 

Oregon: Forest Park

Washington: North Cascades National Park (with camping!)

This group will be pulling invasive plants on a 1-2 mile stretch of trail and within Colonial Creek Campground in North Cascades National Park.

Athens, Georgia

Thomaston, GA

This is a guided hike through G2 ranked imperiled habitat along the Flint River.

California: Pacific Crest Trail Maintenance

California: Laguna Beach

We’ll be launching an all-out assault on non-native plant species (especially mustard) in the meadow and along the trails.

New England: East Boston, MA

Improve trails and plant native specie to restore beautiful wetlands

New York: Manhattan

We will be doing trail maintenance along the mountain biking trails.

Illinois: Libertyville

We will plant prairie wildflowers and repair a short section of trail damaged by muskrats.

Click here for a list of National Trail Day events near you in all 50 states.

And here’s a bonus: If you attend a National Trails Day event, send us your photos for a chance to be featured in the magazine and online. That’s almost as cool as the incentive we had to get our hands dirty:

Sweet rewards…

—Ted Alvarez

National Trails Day

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