A Grand Slam: 2019 Opening Day for Trails

Posted 04/16/19 by Suzanne Matyas in America's Trails, Trail Use, Health and Wellness

Photo by Eva Garcia

On Saturday, April 13, people across the country kicked off the spring trail season on Opening Day for Trails (Opening Day). For the last seven years, Opening Day has brought trail newbies and long-timers together to say goodbye to winter and get outside on America’s spectacular trails and trails systems.

And this year, we were stunned by the celebration.

Near and far …  whether snow on the ground or sun in the sky … solo or as part of a large party, tons of trail users flocked to their favorite pathways to hike, bike, ride, walk with friends, bond with family, ski, paddle, give back to their community or other great cause, explore nature, have a picnic, practice yoga, get to know their region’s trail projects, appreciate art and even go kite flying! 

And with more than 34,000 miles of trails to choose from nationwide, there was a ton of trailside fun going on—including approximately 100 special events planned in over 20 states. Thank you to countless trail groups, agencies, community organizations, clubs, local businesses and organizers of all varieties who brought people together at an Opening Day event!

The RTC team was proud to co-host 10 events, and support several more, with our wonderful on-the-ground partners. Adding extra cause to celebrate, these events highlighted their regions’ trail networks and systems—generating excitement for trails as well as enthusiasm for these aspiring trail projects.

From a volunteer cleanup on the W&OD Trail, a key connector and piece of the Greater D.C. area’s Capital Trails Network.

To park beautification and guided tours along two trails that help form the Baltimore Greenway Trails Network.

And more than 20 events staged on and around the Circuit Trails, the trail network connecting people and places in the Greater Philadelphia-Camden, New Jersey area—including a celebration along the route of a future trail section in Pennsauken and a health walk in the City of Brotherly Love.

Plus, several events that showcased how trails transform Ohio, featuring a big riverside bash in Cleveland and another in Dayton.

A brew-haha beside the Oak Leaf Trail that celebrated the Route of the Badger, Southeast Wisconsin’s growing trail network, with the reveal of the project’s new map and a special-edition BikeTrail Bock, created by Good City Brewing.

As well as pedal-powered tours on three trails in Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley, which is home to the burgeoning “Active Plan” network.

To a doubleheader in the Bay Area that sported bike tours on trails and around communities that are part of the region’s developing 2,700-mile network.

But the celebration didn’t stop there! Thanks to our 2019 Opening Day sponsors and partners, some lucky trail users even won awesome gear just for participating! We’d like to give a shout-out to Wheel & Sprocket, adidas, Hydro Flask, KEEN, Topo Designs, Patagonia and Niantic for teaming up with us to inspire thousands of people to pledge to be a part of Opening Day for Trails.

By joining in, Opening Day participants helped show the nation and decision-makers at every level how much they love and value trails.

Thank you again to everyone who celebrated! Here’s a look back at some of our favorite #RTCOpeningDay memories:

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1st Annual 5k Mud Run on Opening Day of the Trails! #rtcopeningday #wolfecity #wolfecityrailtrail #nett #northeasttexastrail

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