Take a Hike – It’s Official
We don’t stop hiking because we grow old –
We grow old because we stop hiking.
– Finis Mitchel
I will celebrate the newly discovered (by me) National Trails Day on June 1, 2019 and National Take a Hike Day, November 17, 2019. Here are the various advocacy statements I have found about this on the internet – all of which I agree with.
National Trails Day is an annual event hosted by the American Hiking Society, which celebrates not only national scenic and historic trails, but all trails on public lands.
National Trails Day is the only nationally-coordinated event designed to unite all muscle-powered trail activities with the goal of connecting more people to trails. Every trail beckons adventure and has a story to share with any person willing to discover it, and the American Hiking Society believes these trail experiences can improve the lives of every American.
By coordinating a wide array of trail activities on a single day, National Trails Day attracts new trail users and helps connect existing trail enthusiasts with local clubs and organizations with the hopes of creating trail advocates and stewards. Their task is to protect and maintain more than 200,000 miles of trails in the U.S.
This day is advocated, among others, by the AARP for the 50 and older crowd.
Grab your hiking boots, the dog, a couple of energy bars, and some water. It’s time to hit one of America’s 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System. On November 17, it’s National Take a Hike Day, an annual event designed to get you outdoors for some fresh air, scenery, and exercise. Hiking is a cross-country-long walk to get that heart pumping while you breathe deeply in air that’s not clogged with auto fumes and pollution. You never know what you’ll see out on the trail.
Why National Take a Hike Day?
- It’s outdoorsy fun
So much of our lives are spent inside buildings. After a while, it can seem like the walls are closing in. National Take a Hike Day is a great opportunity to break free. For a couple of hours on the trail, you can look at actual scenery instead of scenic pictures on your computer screensaver. Breathe deeply and remember that life does exist outside boxes.
- It’s fantastic exercise
Walking on a treadmill is more akin to what hamsters experience inside their wheels. To get a better workout, hit the trail. The changes in elevation from flat, to slight incline, to steeper incline, to downhill, all help you use muscles that you may not flex every day. Plus, on a leisurely hike, you don’t feel pressured to keep up with the Joneses in the gym.
- It’s quality time with Mother Nature
On a hike, check out the birds that you don’t see in the city or near your home. There may be all kinds of wildlife scurrying around you in a parallel universe where humans only reside on the periphery. Look at the vistas as you walk and marvel at the formations of the clouds. Breathe.
None of these words are mine – but by now you know, they could have been! I would add that taking a hike with close friends or family is an awesome version of “quality time.”