This article is part of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Trail Moments initiative—to elevate new and tried-and-true trail voices around the country, and how trails impact the lives of Americans. Learn more at trailmoments.org and #TrailMoments on social media. Share your story, or view a collection of trail moments stories.
Millions of people across the country enjoyed their summer by getting outside and visiting the trails this year. We were thrilled to see so many share their summertime #TrailMoments, ranging from pursuing fitness goals on their local trails to exploring via cross-country tours, and these experiences were wonderful to witness.
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But with summer giving way to the business of school, work and other autumnal activities, making time for regular outdoor outings can be tricky—though still vitally important.
Research has overwhelmingly pointed to time in nature as being beneficial to our mental health, especially as many of us navigate the stresses of daily life during the pandemic. Furthermore, routinely spending 30 minutes a day doing moderate aerobic activity, such as walking, biking or running, can improve our physical health and help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and conditions.
Making Moves Together and Celebrating Gains
We all know how difficult it can be to create or maintain healthy habits! That’s why the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy team launched our #TrailMoments 21-Day Challenge—so an entire community could band together and keep each other motivated.
Over a period of 21 days, our team posted trail-centric content and stories, which provided daily encouragement and easy-to-do actions participants could take while they worked toward healthy habits. Many people stayed motivated during the challenge by sharing their #TrailMoments on social media and tagging us @railstotrails.
We were wowed by what they shared.
Not only did challenge participants keep themselves accountable, but they also inspired other participants to stick with the challenge and have fun doing it.
We were so moved that we threw a virtual #TrailMoments celebration! It was a great way to applaud everyone who joined the challenge and bring together a few of the participants to hear about their takeaways and experiences, including pedaling across the country on solar-powered e-bikes, embarking on a transformative health journey, and spending quality time with loved ones.
In case you missed it or need some extra encouragement to get on the trail, watch the celebration now!
Keep the Good Times Rolling (or Walking, Running, Riding, etc.)
To help you keep up the momentum or kick off your healthy habit as the seasons shift, we’ve made the daily trail-centric actions available on this calendar that you can download on your phone, computer or tablet, and complete whenever you need an energy boost! What’s more, we’ve collected a ton of ideas, tips, how-tos and activities to help you stay inspired and on the trail all year long, including 21 easy ways to enjoy your local trails.
Have you recently discovered trails, or are you a long-time trail enthusiast? Either way, we hope you’ll share your “Trail Moments”—and the stories of how trails have impacted your life during COVID-19. Take the survey below, or share using #TrailMoments on social media.