Saturday is National Trails Day: Get out and celebrate

Before: At last year's NTD cleanup of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake, Freinds of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail Vice President Jeff Brewer gives out morning work orders.

There are roughly 200,000 miles of trail in the United States, according to the American Hiking Society. Of those that came about over the past couple of decades, the vast majority were created largely by volunteers. And of those that existed beforehand, it’s a good bet they’ve been maintained by volunteers. Without volunteers we wouldn’t have the growing system of trails we now have.

Saturday is your chance to become part of the vast volunteer network that keeps us in trails. Since 1993, the first Saturday in June has been designated National Trails Day. It’s a day set aside to celebrate our trails. In some instances, that celebration is by riding or biking those trails. In most, though, that celebration comes through picking up a pickax or pulaski and clearing new trail or tidying up existing tread.

Last year, according to the sponsoring American Hiking Society, there were 2,063 registered National Trails Day events attracting 330,000 participants. Some 7,626 miles were hiked or biked, 799 trail projects were completed. A total of188,833 volunteer hours invested, worth $4 million in labor.

After: Volunteers working one half mile stretch of the Falls Lake portion of the MST hauled this off the trail, converting it from eyesore to I-wanna-hike-that!

This year, in North Carolina alone there are 29 NTD events planned for Saturday. Eight are in the mountains, 21 in the Piedmont. Odds are there’s an NTD event near you. To help you find out, we’ve condensed this list from the American Hiking Society Web site. See something that interests you, click here and you’ll find everything you need to know.

As for me, I’ll be celebrating one trail in particular, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and Diane Van Deren’s epic expedition across it, at the Great Outdoor Provision Co. store in Raleigh’s Cameron Village. Live music, refreshments, and Van Deren on hand to discuss her journey, from 5-7 p.m. (More info here.)

Saturday, get out and celebrate a local trail.

National Trails Day Events in North Carolina


  • Black Mountain: Greenway walk. Black Mountain Greenway Commission
  • Boone: Trail maintenance, construction.  Boone United Methodist Church
  • Boone (vicinity): Cascade Falls Recreation Area clean-up and hike. KAMPN Inc.
  • Brevard: Trail workday. Bracken Mountain Trail Project
  • Burnsville: Hike to 6,189-foot Grassy Ridge on the Appalachian Trail. North Carolina High Peaks Trail Association
  • Chimney Rock: Rumbling Bald hike. Chimney Rock State Park
  • Lake Toxaway: Panthertown Valley Work & Fun Day. Friends of Panthertown
  • Nebo: Trail maintenance and hike, Lake James State Park. Overmountain Victory Trail Association


  • Cary: Trail workday at Hemlock Bluffs. Friends of Hemlock Bluffs
  • Cary: Swift Creek Greenway and bridge dedication. Town of Cary
  • Columbus: Hike, other activities. Polk Fit, Fresh and Friendly
  • Danbury: Trail maintenance, construction.  Hanging Rock State Park
  • Durham: Trail maintenance on Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail
  • Greensboro: National Trails Day Festival. City of Greensboro
  • Holly Springs: Trail dedication, greenway ride and hike. Bass Lake Park
  • Huntersville: Trail maintenance. Latta Plantation Nature Center
  • Lillington: Art in the Park Hike. Raven Rock State Park
  • Mt. Pleasant: Trail construction, Carolina Thread Trail, at Buffalo Creek.Carolina Thread Trail
  • Orrum: Hike at Lumber River State Park. Lumber River State Park
  • Raleigh: Trail workday at Blue Jay Point County Park. Blue Jay Point County Park
  • Raleigh: Workday on Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail
  • Raleigh: Walnut Creek Greenway Walk. Triangle Greenways Council
  • Raleigh: Triangle Greenways Council Bike Ride. Triangle Greenways Council
  • Raleigh-Durham: Triangle bike ride & clean-up. East Coast Greenway Alliance
  • Rougemont: Ranger-led interpretive hike at Little River Regional Park. Little River Regional Park and Natural Area
  • Southern Pines: Old-growth tree-hike at Weymouth Woods State Natural Area. Cub Scout Pack 82
  • Troutman: Trail workday. REI and Tarheel Trailblazers
  • Uwharrie: Canebrake Horse Camp Cleanup. Uwharrie Trail Riders Association
  • Wake Forest: Trail dedication and hike. Town of Wake Forest Greenways Advisory Board

For details on any of the above events, go here.

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