National Take a Hike Day – November 17, 2019

Sat Nov 16

What is National Take a Hike Day

Grab your boots, trail mix, and some water because on November 17, it’s National Take a Hike Day! This annual event gets you outside for scenery and exercise by tackling America’s 60,000 miles of trails. It’s also a great way to get that heart pumping while you breathe in pristine air. 

History of National Take a Hike Day

Hiking, while a major part of our culture today, wasn’t always the ubiquitous weekend warrior activity is today. Before Walden, Thoreau, and John Muir there was Romantic and Transcendentalism movement, art and cultural shifts to the natural order and time spent being outside. A reaction to the Industrial Revolution, train schedules, 90 hour work weeks and more.
 
The idea of taking a hike turned romantic and peaceful. 
 
Since the 1800s, hiking has steadily built into the hobby that it is today. This is especially true in the early 1900s to mid-century, as technological innovations allowed us to push ourselves farther and accomplish more in the fields of mountaineering and hiking than previously thought. 
 
Furthermore, the popularity of rock climbing helped propel hiking deeper into the cultural vernacular as most climbing areas require a small hike to reach. Hiking is, really, a gateway drug to other, stronger versions of outdoorsmanship. Skiing, rock climbing, and canyoneering are all just things to do along the trail. 

National Take a Hike Day timeline

​1985

​Dick Bass reached Mt. Everest

He became the first person to reach the highest mountain peaks on all seven continents.

​1953

​Climbers conquered Mt. Everest

​Climbers Norgay and Hillary achieved success by hiking to Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

​1913

Climbers reached Denali

​A group of climbers, including someone named Hudson Stuck (not the best name for a mountain climber), reached the summit of Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America.

1819

Trailblazing begins

In 1819 one of the first, major manicured hiking trails is created to lead up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.

National Take a Hike Day FAQs

How do I celebrate National Take a Hike Day?

You can celebrate National Take a Hike Day by getting lost – kind of. Obviously it’s enjoy a nice stroll in the woods but make sure you bring your compass and ample amounts of water!
 

When is National Take a Hike Day?

National Take a Hike Day is when you get outta here – to go walk up a stunningly beautiful mountain with a few friends or your dog. Either way, getting some dirt under your feet is what it’s about.
 

Do I tell someone to go away on National Take a Hike Day?

You can – if you want them to go take a hike! National Take a Hike Day is about actually, literally hiking, and not just telling someone to go away. 
 

National Take a Hike Day Activities

  1. Decide on where to hike

    Even if responsibilities don't allow you to take a trip in the near future, make a plan to go when you do get the time. The National Trail System covers all 50 states. You can take a short hike. Or, you can go on a hike for two or three days. It's up to you.

  2. Take a volunteer vacation

    A volunteer vacation is a one where you give something back. On National Take a Hike Day, the American Hiking Society can recommend a variety of vacation options. Many trails require regular maintenance, debris cleared, or small buildings constructed. At the end of the day, everybody shares stories around the campfire.

  3. Blog about your hike on social media

    Blogging about something beneficial and important like hiking may get you some attention and make you feel terrific. Take pics and post (on your return, of course) about your hiking experience. Share on all the social media platforms including Instagram and Facebook.

3 Reasons That Hiking Rocks

  1. ​Trails are highly desirable amenities

    Prospective homebuyers seek out nearby hiking trails over security systems, golf courses, and neighborhood parks.

  2. ​It leads to skiing

    ​Hiking inspires both skiing and snowshoeing as new sports.

  3. ​It enhances your taste buds

    ​Hiking reportedly enhances your taste buds by 35 percent on the trail — boosting the flavors of energy bars and freeze-dried foods.

Why We Love National Take a Hike Day

  1. It's outdoorsy fun

    So much of our lives are spent inside buildings. After awhile, it could seem like the walls are closing in. That's why National Take a Hike Day is a great opportunity to break free. For a couple of hours on the trail, you can look at actual scenery instead of pretty scenic pictures on your computer screensaver. Breathe deeply and remember that life does exist outside boxes.

  2. It's fantastic exercise

    Don't get us wrong — we love our gyms. But walking on a treadmill is more akin to what hamsters experience inside their wheels. To get a better workout, hit the trail. The changes in elevation from flat, to slight incline, to steeper incline, to downhill — all help you use muscles that you may not flex everyday. Plus, on a leisurely hike, you don't feel pressured to keep up with the Joneses in the gym.

  3. It's quality time with Mother Nature

    On a hike, check out the birds that you don't see in the city or near your home. There may be all kinds of wildlife scurrying around you in a parallel universe where humans only reside on the periphery. Look at the vistas as you walk and marvel at the formations of the clouds. Breathe.

National Take a Hike Day dates
YearDateDay
2019November 17Sunday
2020November 17Tuesday
2021November 17Wednesday
2022November 17Thursday
2023November 17Friday