Join a historic event and leave the trail a better place with the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day on Saturday, June 2. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System, the American Hiking Society is asking volunteers to pledge to pack out trash, join a trail work project or clean up a park. Together, they hope to improve 2,802 miles of trails - the distance across the United States.
Dr. Briget Eastep, Director of Southern Utah University’s Outdoor Engagement Center and creator of the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative has a passion for the outdoors, specifically in southern Utah.
“Cedar City (and southern Utah) is blessed with amazing trail systems branching across the city, county, state parks, national forests, national parks and BLM lands,” said Eastep. “These trails open Cedar City’s foothills and the backcountry to people of all ages and abilities to rejuvenate their bodies, minds, and souls."
"Some of Cedar City’s trails are less than a mile from SUU’s campus, making it easy to get out on National Trails Day and enjoy a trail with a friend.”
Events are taking place across the United States for National Trails Day, in all 50 states and Washington D.C. The closest event to Cedar City will be held in the city of Kanab, Utah, just 80 miles southeast. The National Trails Day Event will celebrate some of southern Utah’s local trails. Participants will be able to learn about trail stewardship, meet local outdoor guides and outfitters, access the new Kanab Trails app, and receive information about the Kanab Treasure Quest and Kanab Rock Hunt.
While no events are happening in Cedar City for the National Trails Day, Eastep encourages visitors to become a trail steward whenever outside.
“National events are wonderful reminders that public lands belong to us and can use our care and stewardship,” said Eastep. “Becoming a steward is as easy as picking up trash, staying on the trails, reporting undesired conditions to land managers, and practicing Leave No Trace wherever you go out.”
Even if you are unable to attend a sponsored National Trails Day event or activity, SUU Outdoors recommends three ways to contribute while you are out on the trail:
Keep It Clean. Take a small grocery bag along on your hike and pick up any trash that you find along the trail. You may be surprised just how much you come back with.
Stay on the Trail. Walking on vegetated areas or using shortcuts and social trails can cause a trail to widen and intensify erosion. This leads to increased scarring of the landscape and can expose tripping hazards like rocks and tree roots.
Take Inventory. Mark down the location of any vandalism such as graffiti and fire rings, or damaged trail improvements like bridges, boardwalks, and markers that need to be repaired. Share your list with the agency that oversees the area or in the trail register.
Dr. Eastep’s work focuses on outdoor education, leadership, and partnerships within parks, recreation, and tourism. She is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit her profile.
Briget Eastep Executive Director of Outdoor Pathways
Specializing in public lands, youth engagement, wilderness first aid, conservation youth corps, and recreation impact monitoring.