National Trails Day - Celebrating the Trails We Love

The first Saturday of every June is National Trails Day. On this day, all over the country, outdoor enthusiasts get to meet others who are passionate about trails. Find a trail near you to show some love - and read this great blog about Victoria's experience helping trails in Mazama.
Victoria Sellers Victoria Sellers
Mountaineers snowshoe grad and avid hiker
May 30, 2017
National Trails Day - Celebrating the Trails We Love
by Victoria Sellers

I’ve been a member of The Mountaineers since 2002, when I joined to meet other outdoor enthusiasts and learn about hikes in the area. Since then I’ve explored many of our local trails year-round. 

But it’s always about this time of the year when I yearn for warmer temperatures. Last year was no different, so I decided to do something about it and made a plan to go east in where there would be a high probability of blue skies and dry weather. I perused The Mountaineers website for activities and found a variety of activities in Winthrop for National Trails Day (NTD) in June. The Methow Valley is one of the most beautiful areas in Washington state, so I decided this would be a perfect opportunity to explore the area and build my hiking portfolio.

National Trails Day is a celebration of America’s magnificent Trail System, occurring annually on the first Saturday in June. Designed to promote and celebrate the importance of trails in the United States, NTD features a series of outdoor activities where individuals, clubs and organizations from around the country host events to share their love of trails with friends, family and their communities. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect that weekend, but I’m really happy I attended. I’m a slow hiker – always the last to the top and last back to the trailhead. It bothered me for decades, but that weekend I finally realized trailblazing is not a race. It’s about being out there — enjoying the fresh air and warm sun on my face, and exploring different landscapes with the new friends I meet along the way.

My favorite activity last year was a Saturday evening presentation where I learned about the best hikes and views in the area. In fact, I can’t wait to use this information to explore these areas when I participate in NTD activities hosted by The Mountaineers in Mazama the first weekend in June.

With a goal of connecting people with the natural landscape, The Mountaineers will offer a wide array of activities that introduce people to the Methow Valley’s trails and waters as well as highlight special landscapes and threatened locales.

I’m interested to see how the plants and animals of the area are coming back from the devastating fires and floods last summer, as well as what I can do to help in the recovery. I invite you to join me to explore a new area with your hiking buddies, give back to trails by participating in a number of trail stewardship projects, and learn about Mazama’s surrounding landscape. 

I think my favorite activity this year will be hiking Driveway Butte Trail. It’s a challenging hike that tops out to what guidebook author, Craig Romano calls “an eagle’s perspective of the West Fork Methow River, Early Winters Creek, Rattlesnake Creek, Robinson Creek, and Lost River valleys.” I can’t wait! And I look forward to seeing you at the trailhead. 

Show love to the trails that give so much to you. Invite your friends and find a trail to work on for National Trails Day - always on the first Saturday in June. Find opportunities here.

This article originally appeared in our March/April 2015 issue of Mountaineer magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, click here.