National Trails Day Slated for June 1

By Joanne A Calitri   |   June 4, 2024
Volunteers cleaning up the LPNF trails (courtesy photo)

The American Hiking Society has announced June 1 as National Trails Day. This is an annual event on the first Saturday of June. The mission is to “Leave it Better than you found it,” by volunteering to maintain, clean up, and advocate for public lands and trails. Everyone is invited to discover events and organizations nearby to participate. 

There is also a photo contest with the winner to receive the 2024 Gear Prize Package, a $1,500+ value. Take your photos, upload and tag them on Instagram as: @AmericanHiking and #NationalTrailsDay for a chance to win one of four Gear Prize Packages. The contest ends June 8.

National Trails Day Federal Partners are the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the National System of Public Lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Locally we have sponsors like REI Coop, and of course our Los Padres National Forest and its partner, the Los Padres Forest Association.

The Los Padres National Forest (LPNF), right in our backyard, has 1,257 miles of trails on 1,762,400 acres, with 875,000 acres of Protected Wilderness to explore. There are over 1,000 cataloged locations comprised of hiking trails, campgrounds, O.H.V. trails, dirt roads, peaks, and springs. 

For National Trails Day, LPNF is having a three-day trail project in the Dick Smith Wilderness, Friday May 31 – Sunday June 2. It involves car camping at the Rancho Nuevo Campground and working up-canyon from there, restoring the trail as you hike it. They point out that with all the rain, the views will be epic this time of year. Volunteers are welcome all three days or any one of the three. All tools to do the work are supplied. Volunteers bring what they need to camp, including food and water. 

Info and sign up here:

Another option is if you are a John Muir spinoff and prefer to explore on your own heading into the LPNF’s offbeat interior sections, be certain to document your hike and submit your findings to the LPNF and their partner organization – the Los Padres Forest Association – for their public use database. 

LPNF is opening most of the December seasonal gate closures from the winter storms. Reopened fan favorites include Pine Mountain, Grade Valley, Bates, and all the usual O.H.V. gates in the Pinos District. 

Gates still closed are Dough Flat, Ojai; Matilija, Ojai; Santa Barbara Canyon, Pinos; Rancho Nuevo, Pinos; Upper Santa Ynez, SB; First Crossing, SB; and Hwy 1, north of Big Sur.

And don’t forget you can do ultra local support on National Trails Day by checking out The Montecito Trails Foundation and volunteer with them.  



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