Clear a path for National Trails Day this Saturday

Volunteers build a bridge on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Saturday is National Trails Day, a day set aside for us to appreciate the more than 200,000 miles of trail in the U.S. Officially, National Trails Day dates back to 1991, when  the American Hiking Society deemed that one day a year be set aside to honor our trails; the first NTD, however, didn’t occur until June 5, 1993.

Over the years, we’ve increasingly embraced the concept of NTD. Last year, more than 2,000 events were held drawing more than 157,000 participants. Some events are workdays, intended to spruce up existing trails or blaze new ones. Other events celebrate our trails by encouraging us to use them, while still others have more of an educational bent.

The 25 NTD events scheduled in North Carolina for this Saturday reflect that mix.

In the Triangle, for instance, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail will work to link 60 miles of MST along Falls Lake with bout 10 miles along the Eno River (see No. 2 under Piedmont). Likewise, NTD volunteers will work to build the new Beech Tree Trail at Elk Knob State Park (No. 3, Mountains) and to add to the ambitious 12-mile Trombatore Trail which will link various features in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge (No. 9, Mountains).

They’ll be doing trail maintenance at Hanging Rock State Park (No. 12, Piedmont) and on the Carolina Thread Trail (Nos. 10, 11, Piedmont); they’ll be dedicating new trail in Cary (No. 3, Piedmont) and in Panthertown Valley (No. 5, Mountains); and they’ll be celebrating in all kinds of ways in Greensboro (No. 4).

We’ve compiled a list of the 25 National Trails Day events reported to the American Hiking Society. (We suspect there are more; if you know of one, let us know about it and we’ll add it to the list.) Scope out our list, then plan to show your favorite trail some love on Saturday.


1. One Step at a Time – Trail Work Day
Organizer: Stone Mountain State Park
Location: Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap
When: Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Workday on the Loop and Wolf Rock trails, plus a kid’s activity.
More info:, 336.957.8185.

2. Appalachian Trail Hike: Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Gap
Organizer: Nantahala Hiking Club, ATC
Location: Franklin
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
9-mile hike on the AT with the Nantahala Hiking Club.
More info:, 828.369.1983 or here.

3. Beech Tree Trail Building
Organizer: Elk Knob State Park
Location: Elk Knob State Park, Todd
When: Saturday, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Help build the new Beech Tree Trail at Elk Knob.
More info:, 828.297.7261.

4. Boone United Trail National Trails Day Event
Organizer: Boone United Trail Champions
Location: Boone
When: Saturday, 12:15 p.m.
Workday on the Boone United Trail, a 2.5-mile trail that’s about a mile finished.
More info:, 828.773.6632 or here.

5. Panthertown Valley Exploration Adventure
Organizer: Friends of Panthertown
Location: Cashiers
When: Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
5-mile hike and trail dedication.
More info:, 828.269.4453 or here.

6. A World of Mountains Piled Upon Mountains
Organizer: North Carolina Bartram Trail Society and Nantahala Hiking Club
Location: Wayah Bald west of Franklin
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
4-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail and Bartram Trail
More info:, 828.524.6593, or here.

Organizer: KAMPN, Inc.
Location: Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 172
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cleanup of the Cascades Parking area, followed by a hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
More info:, 828.264.0054.

8. Rumbling Bald National Trails Day Hike
Organizer: Chimney Rock State Park
Location: Chimney Rock
When: Saturday, 5-6 p.m.
1-mile hike.
More info:, 828.625.1823.

9. Build the new Trombatore Trail with Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, REI Asheville, & Carolina Mountain Club
Organizer: REI Asheville
Location: Gerton
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Work on the new Trombatore Trail, a 12-mile work in progress that will join Bearwallow Mountain, the Florence Nature Preserve, Blue Ridge Pastures, Wildcat Rock, Wildcat Rock, Little Bear Wallow Cliffs and Ferguson Peak in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge area.
More info:, 828.697.5777 or here.


1. Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Falls Lake workday
Organizer: Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail
Various maintenance projects on the 60-mile stretch of the MST along Falls Lake.
Location: Falls Lake, north of Raleigh
When: Saturday

Trail maintenance.

More info and to RSVP: or here.

2. Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Eno River
Organizer: Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail
Location: Durham
When: Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Trail construction to join existing trail along Falls Lake with that along the Eno River, to create more than 70 miles of continuous trail.
More info and to RSVP: or here.

3. Black Creek Greenway Dedication
Organizer: Town of Cary
Location: Cary
When: Saturday, 7-9 a.m.
Activities include a 7-mile trail run to celebrate completion of this 7-mile greenway
More info:, 919.469.4061, or here.

4. National Trails Day Festival
Organizer: City of Greensboro
Location: Bur-Mil Park, Greensboro
When: Saturday, 7:30 am – noon
A celebration of all trails, with various hikes, mountain bike rides, clinics, Living Green Expo and more.
More info:, or here.

5. South Mountains State Park Hike, Bike & Ride
Organizer: South Mountains State Park
Location: South Mountains State Park, Connelly Springs
When: Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Hike, bike or horseback ride one of various designated routes; complete the route (there’s a backcountry check station) and win an award.
More info:, 828.433.4772.

6. Hit the Ground Running
Organizer: Go Run Events, llc
Location: Colonel Francis Beatty Park, Matthews
When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-noon
Trail races of 2K, 6K and 11K.
More info:, 864.907.1742 or here.

7. Gold Hill Rail Trail Hike
Organizer: Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation, Inc.
Location: Gold Hill
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
5-mile hike through Gold Hill Mines Historic Park, with history along the way.
More info here.

8. Middle Walnut Creek Greenway Hike
Organizer: Triangle Greenways Council
Location: Raleigh
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon
3-mile hike on paved greenway.
More info:, 919.828.8322 or here.

9. National Trails Day Hike
Organizer: Little River Regional Park
Location: Rougemont
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon
4-mile interpretive hike along portions of the Ridge, North River Loop and Homestead trails.
More info:, 919.732.5505 or here.

10. Volunteer Trail Workday
Organizer: Carolina Thread Trail
Location: Denver
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon
Workday focusing on the Sally’s YMCA Trail in Denver.
More info:, 704.376.2556 or here.

11. Volunteer Trail Workday
Organizer: Carolina Thread Trail
Location: Mount Pleasant
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon
Workday to complete the 2.5-mile trail at Buffalo Creek Preserve.
More info:, 704.376.2556 or here.

12. National Trails Day At Hanging Rock State Park
Organizer: Hanging Rock State Park
Location: Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Trail maintenance on the new River Bluffs Trail or the Indian Creek Trail.
More info:, 336.593.8480 or here.

13. Pack & Troop 49 Trail Day
Organizer: Pack & Troop 49 BSA
Location: Reedy Creek Park, Charlotte
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Leave-no-trace presentation by the scouts followed by a trail cleanup.
More info: :

14. Pritchard Park Trail Volunteer Day
Organizer: Town of Chapel Hill Department of Parks and Recreation
Location: Pritchard Park, Chapel Hill
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Organizer: While the Chapel Hill Library in Pritchard Park has reopened, the surrounding trail system has not. That’s the goal of this workday.
More info:, 919.968.2819 or here.

15. Uwharrie Trail Maintenance & Trail Ride
Organizer: Back Country Horsemen of Uwharrie
Location: Troy
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Trail maintenance and 10-mile horseback ride.
More info:, 910.690.7500 or here.

16. Rise Above the Mud! Boardwalk Building on New Hope Creek Bottomlands Trail
Organizer: Durham County Open Space Program
Location: Durham
When: Saturday
Work on the New Hope Creek Bottomlands Trail will focus on building 150 to 200 feet of boardwalk.
More info:, 919.560.7957

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