Have you ever wondered who created the trails you hike on? Have you ever wondered why lands became public parks? Have you ever seen trail workers busting a sweat while you hike past by them? Well, I have many of times! It crossed my mind that someone hiked out to remote places in the mountains to create trails and campsites so my family can enjoy the beauty of this land.
Since 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national organization that promotes and protects foot trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience. American Hiking Society champions conservation issues, builds public and private partnerships, supports volunteer stewardship, and provides critical resources to help plan, fund, and develop trails.
In early November this year, I took a solo trip to Washington D.C., more specifically to Silver Springs, Maryland the home of the American Hiking Society for our bi-annual board meetings. It is a rare occasion that I leave my family to do anything but when I do it is for a very good reason. Over the course of a day and half, the board plans and prepares how the AHS will work to "Protect the places you love to hike!" I am blown away by the amount of knowledge, passion, and wisdom that is shared over a weekend of planning for the American Hiking Society and I'm very proud of being on this board. Of course we ended our board meetings with a Fall Hike at Northwest Branch Park, Silver Spring, MD.
National Trails System 50th Anniversary
American Hiking Society along with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Trails System Act, will celebrate the 50 years of protecting these trails including water trails. Even though the AHS is a hiking organization that protects the hiking experience, it also advocates for all trails such as water-ways like the Lower American Wild and Scenic River. My family and I have one of these trails that was protected in the National Trails Act that was enacted 50 years ago nearby. I am truly grateful for the advocacy organizations and conservationist that put all their effort in this, so my family can have rivers and trails for my family to connect.
National Trails Day
On the first Saturday of every June is National Trails Day. National Trails Day is very special to me because I'm part of the organization that created this day to celebrate trails in all its uses whether it be trail restoration, hiking, biking, kayaking, equestrian riding etc.
In 2017, National Trails Day had 1,492 events with 122,879 people participating across the US and Puerto Rico. For more information please visit "American Hiking Society National Trails Day 2017 Report".
On a personal note, National Trails Day is also very special to me because my first hike after my brain surgery was on this day. I wasn't sure if I was going to be to physically hike 4 miles, but to my surprise I was able to with very little discomfort. This day was the beginning of my physical recovery from surgery and this day will always remind me of that. I'm very used to leading events, so I was also very glad to be able to attend an event where there was a very knowledgeable leader from the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge that could answer my children's 100 questions.
Hiking for American Hiking Society
My family loves hiking, but I don't want my family to just love it. I want my family to be good stewards and advocates in protecting lands and the hiking experience, which is the American Hiking Society's mission. Past conservationists made the effort in protecting the outdoors and my family is enjoying the benefits, so it is my duty to do the same for future generations.
My goal is to raise $1,500 for the American Hiking Society by December 31st.
For every dollar you donate, my family and I will do the following:
- We will hike one mile for every dollar donated cumulative as a family, starting in 2018. We are family of five so if I reach my goal we will hike a max of 300 miles in 2018.
- Trail running: Family hiking 6 miles a week is attainable but I will also run for miles! So for every dollar you donate I will live up to my "Chasqui" name and run in the mountains to help my family reach our 300 miles.
- I will dedicate our hikes in your honor on social media. I will give your social media (your choice) a "shout out" on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I will be tracking this hikes with the following hashtag: #HikingForAHS
Will you help me "Protect the places you love to hike?"
To make a donation please go to my Facebook post HERE.
You can also join in on my Social Media, which is updated daily with outdoor activities. Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment below!