Take a Hike on National Trails Day
Grace Weatherby
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2023

Take a Hike on National Trails Day

Taking place on the first Saturday in June, National Trails Day recognizes the many benefits federal, state, and local trails provide for recreation and exposure to nature.

National Trails Day encourages people to discover their local trails, become active concerning trail issues, and share their excitement for the outdoors. Events held across the country help to promote awareness of the wide variety of services the trails systems offer and invite people to come together in partnership to advocate for, maintain, and clean up public lands and trails.

In addition to providing hiking opportunities, trails provide access to waterways for paddling, traffic-free riding and running opportunities for cyclists and trail runners, unique places for discovering geocaches, and limitless opportunities for observing wildlife ranging from birds to bull moose.

Nestled as we are amid the Green Mountains, Berkshires, and Taconic Mountains, there’s no shortage of amazing trail opportunities. No matter what kind of hike you’re looking for—from flat walking paths to challenging climbs—you can find it using the links below.

Southern Vermont

North Adams and Williamstown, MA

Eastern Rensselaer County, NY

Before you head out, be sure to think about how far you plan to hike, how remote the location is and what the weather forecast has in store, and pack accordingly. No matter how near or far you’re going, consider the following  must-haves:

  • Hiking backpack
  • Weather-appropriate clothing (think moisture-wicking and layers)
  • Hiking boots or shoes
  • Plenty of food
  • Plenty of water
  • Navigation tools such as a map and compass
  • First-aid kit
  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Insect repellant and sunscreen

If you’re new to hiking, you may want to read this handy Hiking for Beginners article before heading out.

As with any adventure, be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to be back. If there’s a sign-in book at the head of the trail, be sure to log in and out.

One last ‘pro tip’ from an experienced hiker: leave a bag with clean clothes, dry socks, and shoes in your car. Your weary—and maybe wet—feet will thank you for the comfort, and your tired body will appreciate the feel of fresh threads on your body Be sure to check for ticks (they have a tendency to ‘hitch-hike’ with you).

Happy trails!

 

Pam Duchene, PhD, APRN-BC is the Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Southwestern Vermont Health Care.

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