Thursday, June 4, 2009

National Trails Day events in the Smokies

This Saturday is National Trails Day. National Trails Day is a celebration of trails that evolved from the report of Ronald Reagan's President's Commission on Americans Outdoors, in 1987, that recommended that all Americans be able to go out their front doors and within fifteen minutes, be on trails that wind through their cities or towns and bring them back without retracing steps. The recommendation, dubbed Trails for All Americans, became the impetus behind several public and private parties joining the American Hiking Society in launching National Trails Day in 1993.

There are roughly 200,000 miles of trail in the United States now!

The Outdoor Industry Association's annual Outdoor Recreation Participation Study for the United States in 2006 reports that 72.1% of all Americans 16 and older (or 162 million people) participate in at least one of the 22 outdoor activities they track, which include:

* 76.7 million hiking
* 13.5 million backpacking
* 40.4 million trail running
*10 million cross country skiing

The following are a few of the events that are happening in the Smoky Mountains region that hikers might be interested in. Please note: some of these events will not be held this Saturday - make sure to check dates and times on all events.

* Appalachian Trial Work in the Smoky Mountains

* Big Creek hike in the Smokies

* Benton MacKaye Trail walk-thru (in short segments)

* Hike from Carver's Gap to Hampton Creek via the AT and the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

* Sandy Mush Bald Ramble

* Roan Mountain Flower Hike

* Mountain-to-Sea Trail building, west of Soco Gap in Pisgah National Forest

* FMST - South Ashe Workday - Blue Ridge Parkway - section between NC 16 and US 421, near milepost 272

* FMST - Watauga MST Trail Workday - Blue Ridge Parkway - between US-421 and US-321 near Blowing Rock

* List of all events in Tennessee

* List of all events in North Carolina

Jeff Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.

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