National Trails Day: Find Your Path

The American Hiking Society event takes in a deep breath of air, and the view, on the first Saturday in June.

Max Whittaker

MAYBE YOU HAVE BIG SUMMER PLANS, or, scratch that, start over, you have amazingly gargantuan goals, the kind of goals that entail you hiking a mile in each California-based national park or calling upon every state park that's within 20 miles of the beach. We can order our nature-fun goals in almost limitless ways, creating different combinations of where and when and why we go to a place, but, very often, every wilderness plan involves a hike of some sort. And if there's a hike, quite often there's a trail, a pathway that others before you have trod (meaning future trodders will one day take it, too). Finding a beloved trail, or a few dozen, is a joy if you're a regular hiker, or even if you don't get out and commune with the trees and canyons as often as you'd like. But there's a day that reminds us of all the fantastic, wending pathways out there, and it comes when the big hiking season is truly picking up steam. It's...

NATIONAL TRAILS DAY, and it will grab its walking stick, and favorite boots, and head out on Saturday, June 3. The American Hiking Society-helmed occasion boasts a number of meet-up events, so simply try to find a group close to where you want to explore. In California? Join Big Bear's National Trails Day at Aspen Glen, Lopez Lake Trail Work Day in Arroyo Grande, or another hike-ready happening. Even if you and your hiking bud simply want to hit an oldie/goodie on your own, without making it to an event, well, that's way cool, too. Let the date, the first Saturday in June, be the inspiration you need to quickly finalize your summer hiking goals list, and then get moving. Summer's short, and very sweet, and the trail? It's long, at least, in your heart, if you connect together all the trails you've loved.

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