The public is welcome to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the national trails act with hikes on June 2
The Natchez Trace Parkway Association asks the public to attend the National Park Service (NPS) “Hike to Celebrate” event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Act.
The public is invited to attend the event from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 2nd, National Trails Day, which will take place at the Garrison Creek trailhead of the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail (Natchez Trace Parkway milepost 427.6 south of Leiper’s Fork, TN). The long-distance trail is parallel to the Natchez Trace Parkway and the Tennessee Highland Rim section runs to the Duck River in a 26-mile stretch.
The story of the trail will be told through guided hikes. Hikes throughout the day are “Hike with a Ranger” (8:30 a.m.) with NPS and “Hike through History” (9 a.m.) with a reenactor portraying the 1801 U.S. Army colonel who oversaw development of the Natchez Trace. Chickasaw Nation will lead “Hike with the Chickasaw” (10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.) which will give hikers a special look into American Indians’ relationship with nature. A guided hike on “Hike for Fitness” (10:30 a.m.) will show the public unique benefits of exercising outdoors and how to maximize hikes for fitness. REI will present a talk on “Hiking 101.”
The event will draw the public’s attention towards the trail for use in fitness, education, recreation, and relaxation.
A trail maintenance volunteer program will be a legacy of the anniversary. In addition to involving the community in the outdoors, NPS will use the Hike to Celebrate event to train volunteers to help NPS maintain the trail. Local groups have been recruited to “adopt” 2-mile segments of the trail. The groups will be recognized at a brief ceremony at 12:30 p.m.
The public is also invited to bring their own picnic lunch, water, and blankets for a picnic at noon. Weather may affect the schedule. Please check the Natchez Trace Parkway website www.nps.gov/natr or call the Natchez Trace Parkway at 1-800-305-7417 for the latest announcements.
About Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail and Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail was authorized by Congress in 1983 as one of the first national scenic trails. About 70 miles of the trail have been completed in five sections. The Natchez Trace Parkway is a scenic parkway that extends 444 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. The beautiful, tree-lined parkway was signed into legislation by President Franklin Roosevelt on May 18, 1938 and was completed in 2005. Part of the Old Natchez Trace is preserved on the trail and its travelers have included everyone from settlers to soldiers and American Indians. Not only can Natchez Trace Parkway be driven on, but it is a national park that can be enjoyed for hiking, bike riding, camping, and even horseback riding. The national scenic trail is maintained by the National Park Service.
Membership and donation information for the Natchez Trace Parkway Association, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, can be found at www.natcheztrace.org.