Established in 1993, American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® (NTD) is an annual celebration of America’s magnificent trail systems that occurs on the first Saturday in June. NTD features a series of outdoor activities, designed to promote and recognize the importance of trails in the United States. Individuals, clubs, and organizations from around the country host National Trails Day® events to share their love of trails with friends, family, and their communities. NTD introduces thousands of Americans to a wide array of trail activities: hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, trail running, and bird watching and more.
In Connecticut, the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) serves as the coordinator of Connecticut Trails Weekend, the largest NTD celebration in the nation. Event leaders register their events with CFPA, and CFPA registers the Connecticut celebration with the American Hiking Society. This unique national, statewide, and community collaboration, provides towns, parks, land trusts, nature centers, historic attractions, and others with the opportunity to share their trails and knowledge with thousands of people.
Why Celebrate Trails? America’s 200,000 miles of trails allow citizens to access the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and much more. Trails give us a means to support good physical and mental health; they provide us with a chance to breathe fresh air, get our hearts pumping, and escape from our stresses. All it takes is a willingness to use them!
National Trails Day® also aims to highlight the important work thousands of volunteers do each year to take care of America’s trails. Trails do not just magically appear for our enjoyment; their construction and maintenance takes hours of dedicated planning and labor. So give thanks to your local volunteers and consider taking a day to give back to your favorite trail.