Also known as “Take A Hike Day,” National Hiking Day may be one of the most important holidays out there. Why? For starters, there’s more than 60,000 miles of trails across the nation (which means nobody has an excuse not to participate). Not to mention, hiking is great exercise for your heart and lungs, and allows you to burn over 550 calories per hour (giving you an excellent excuse to eat that second cheeseburger). Plus, being in the outdoors allows you to get away from your phone and appreciate nature’s beauty and wonder. Grab a friend and get to it!
National Hiking Day - History
October 1, 2013 - September 30, 2014
Paying it forward
Volunteers put in 241,936 hours maintaining the Appalachian Trail for future hikers to enjoy.
The U.S. recognized trails
The National Trails System was established in 1965.
Higher and Higher
A team of mountaineers reached Elbrus - the highest mountain in Europe.
How to Observe National Hiking Day
1. The most obvious: Take a hike
There’s nothing like getting out in the great outdoors. Grab some hiking boots, a sack lunch, a backpack, and some water, and hit the trail! Once you start, you’ll wonder why you don’t do this more often.
2. Share your experiences
Proud of your accomplishment? Take photos and share your hiking experiences on social media! Add hashtags like #NationalTrailsDay and #TakeAHike to inspire others to go out in the great outdoors.
3. Take a "Volunteer Vacation"
Hiking in exotic and diverse locations, all while giving back and building/maintaining trails all around the world. What could be better? Check out the American Hiking Society’s “Volunteer Vacation” for information on how you can make this dream a reality.
Walk This Way: 3 Fascinating Hiking Stats
1. Not just a walk in the park
If you hike the entire Appalachian Trail, you’ll be walking between five to seven months.
2. It’s what the people want
In 2008, “proximity to trails” was the most important amenity to prospective home buyers (this outranked things like access to shopping, golf courses, security, etc.).
3. It Makes You Appreciate Your Food
Believe it or not, hiking makes food (like freeze-dried foods or energy bars) taste up to 35 percent better.
Why National Hiking Day is Important
A. Hiking gives you perspective
Amazing things happen when we get out of the house/office, off our phones, and into nature. Suddenly we start appreciating the beauty around us. Plus, the constant movement allows an outlet that helps our minds focus on solving the problems it’s been trying to figure out all week. Hiking is so effective that Cheryl Strayed (author of the book “Wild”) attributes hiking as the solution that helped her cope with her divorce, drug use, and her mother’s death.
B. Hiking makes you happy
Endorphins and serotonin make people happy — and you get plenty of them when you’re hiking. These hormones help fight off anxiety, prevent loneliness and depression, and improve your mood. Plus, if you bring a friend along, you’re sure to have a good time.
C. Hiking is for every age
Whether it’s hiking the Appalachian Trail or simply walking a well-worn path, nearly every person of every age can go hiking. Plus, since you get to choose the location, the path, and often the terrain, you get to decide how much you want to push yourself.