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Using Trails

Celebrate Trails Day: Ideas and Resources for Trail Fun

By: Suzanne Matyas
April 13, 2021

Graphic by RTC
Graphic by RTC

Every spring, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy encourages everyone to join us in celebrating America’s trails on the fourth Saturday of April.

This national day—“Celebrate Trails Day”—is a chance for people from coast to coast to enjoy the tens of thousands of miles of trails that connect the country. For many, that means simply getting outside and experiencing nature in their own neighborhoods, whether that’s going for a walk or ride, hanging out with loved ones, or taking time away from the screen to focus on wellness.

Over the past year, trails have provided this essential close-to-home outdoors space for millions of people, including those who are new to trails and those who’ve been frequenting them for years. And although there are countless ways to spend time on the trail, it’s always helpful to have a little guidance to get you off on the right foot!

With that in mind, Team RTC developed a list of Celebrate Trails Day ideas that could help anyone have a fun time on the trail.

Get Ready

Recreate Responsibly short rules | Download
Recreate Responsibly short rules | Download

Before you even hit the trail, you can set yourself up for success by taking a few steps to get ready:

Find Your Trail on | Graphic courtesy TrailLink
Find Your Trail on | Graphic courtesy TrailLink

All Aboard for Training

Metropolitan Branch Trail in Washington, D.C. | Photo by India Kea
Metropolitan Branch Trail in Washington, D.C. | Photo by India Kea

If tackling that race or reaching a certain fitness goal has been sitting on your bucket list, then let the trail help you train your way to glory. Whether it’s a bigger goal like biking a century or a smaller one like committing to 30-minute daily walk, the trail can be your free outdoor gym.

Here are a few training guides to try:

Maryland's Jones Falls Trail | Courtesy of Paola Tejada Lalinde
Maryland’s Jones Falls Trail | Courtesy of Paola Tejada Lalinde


If you’re seeking a way to add entertainment or an extra challenge to your trail time, consider gamifying your visits! Ready, Player One? Here are some quick-start games for you:

Mix It Up

Maryland's Jones Falls Trail | Photo by Side A Photography
Maryland’s Jones Falls Trail | Photo by Side A Photography

Sometimes, mixing up your routine can add delicious zest to your life. If you’re in the habit of doing one activity on the trail or if you haven’t used the trail before and are searching for new ideas, we’re here to help! No matter how you choose to switch things up, the change can help bust up boredom and unlock the health benefits of varied physical activity.

Here are a few fresh ideas for your trail outing:

Want more inspiration for getting outside to enjoy and celebrate trails? Check out the Celebrate Trails Day section of our website for tons of resources, tips and fun ideas!

Suzanne Matyas | Photo courtesy Suzanne Matyas
Suzanne Matyas

Suzanne Matyas is RTC’s social media and engagement strategist. She is an inline skating and skiing enthusiast, and a mediocre runner, and loves corny jokes.

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