June 5 is National Trails Day

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Trail ridersIn 1968, the National Trails System Act created the American National Trails System. The goal of the Act was “to promote preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation.”

National Trails Day is sponsored by the American Hiking Society, but the event is for trail users of all non-motorized types. All Americans are encouraged to get out on the trails this Saturday, whether on horseback or on foot. To find a National Trails Day event in your area, visit americanhiking.org

Trail and pleasure riding is the most common use for horses in the United States today. Equestrians enjoy the benefits of many of the trails in the National Trails System, though riders typically must share trails with hikers, mountain bikers, and sometimes ATVs or snowmobiles. Due to conflict, liability and ecological issues, many trails are being closed to equestrians. Through continued joint efforts with other trail users, organizations like Back Country Horsemen of America work to preserve wilderness trails for equestrian use.

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