National Trails Day

Group of diverse hikers exploring a scenic trail, sporting adventurous outfits and backpacks, surrounded by lush greenery..
National trails day illustration

Ever thought about ditching your couch and stepping outside to explore the great outdoors? Well, for all you indoor types, and the seasoned hikers too, there is a day that promotes just that - National Trails Day! This is not just for the people who already have mud on their boots, but for anyone looking to switch things up from their everyday life.

When is Trails Day?

It's national trails day on the 3rd June.

Internet History of National Trails Day

National Trails Day officially became an online sensation in 2017 with a whopping number of 12828 mentions! Who knew hikers were so tech-savvy, right? The development of this day's popularity can be traced much like a switchback trail that suddenly got steeper on June 3rd, 2017, marking the highest mentions it has ever received.

Celebrating National Trails Day

How do you usually celebrate National Trails Day? Well, if the online chatter is any indication, people across the nation celebrate by heading outdoors with loved ones and exploring their local or national park trails. This day isn't exclusively for experienced hikers and mountain striders; even newbies to the hiking scene are welcomed with open arms.

What's The Purpose Of National Trails Day?

This day is much more than just a nice walk in the woods. National Trails Day aims to advocate for the protection and conservation of our natural and cultural resources. It's a day of awareness and advocacy, but also a day of fun and exploration.

History behind the term 'Trails'


Lewis and Clark Expedition

In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the newly acquired western territory of the United States. The expedition, known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition, aimed to find a practical and navigable route to the Pacific Ocean. During their journey, Lewis and Clark documented and mapped numerous trails connecting different regions.


Expansion of Trading Routes

In the early 1820s, as the United States expanded westward, trading routes began to emerge along commonly used trails. These trails played a vital role in establishing trade connections between different regions, facilitating the exchange of goods and ideas. Trails such as the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail became significant routes for the movement of people and commerce.


The Great Migration

In 1843, thousands of pioneers embarked on a treacherous journey westward in what became known as 'The Great Migration.' During this period, several trails gained prominence, including the Oregon Trail and the California Trail. These trails provided paths for settlers seeking new opportunities, gold seekers during the California Gold Rush, and those interested in religious freedom, such as the Mormons.


Pony Express

In 1861, the Pony Express, a fast mail delivery service, began operating along a network of existing trails in the American West. This system revolutionized communication between the eastern and western parts of the United States. The Pony Express riders rode at high speeds, covering vast distances in relatively short periods, delivering important mail and news across the nation.


Transcontinental Railroad

The year 1869 marked a significant turning point in trail history with the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The railroad connected the East Coast with the West Coast, significantly reducing travel time and rendering many trails obsolete. This engineering marvel further accelerated the development and interconnectedness of the United States.


National Trail System

In 1912, the U.S. National Trail System was established to preserve and protect historic trails across the country. The system includes trails from various time periods, such as the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, Oregon National Historic Trail, and the California National Historic Trail. These trails serve as reminders of the rich history, exploration, and settlement of the American West.

Did you know?

Did you know that the highest spike in online mentions of National Trails Day was in 2017? It seems that was the 'peak' year for trail enthusiasts online!


awareness fun loved ones outdoors exploration

First identified

20th April 2015

Most mentioned on

3rd June 2017

Total mentions


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