We get it—there are a LOT of obscure holidays out there.
From oddly specific holidays like National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day (Jan. 22) and International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept. 19) to seemingly pointless ones like No Brainer Day (Feb. 27) and National Reach as High as You Can Day (April 14), it seems there’s a “holiday” for just about anything—if you search the internet hard enough.
But for the backcountry enthusiast and the outdoor appreciator, National Trails Day, the first Saturday in June, is a real reason to celebrate—and the Reno-Tahoe area has thousands of miles of hikable, bikable, ridable and just plain enjoyable trails on which to celebrate.
The American Hiking Society launched the first National Trails Day in 1993 to promote and celebrate America’s trails and their use. In the almost 30 years since, thousands of events have been held for this holiday, involving hundreds of thousands of Americans. NTD events range from trail workdays to guided hikes to group picnics—and even just getting outside at the same time as others. If you haven’t yet had a chance to partake in one of these diverse NTD events, don’t despair: There are TONS of ways to get involved in the 30th annual celebration of America’s trails right here in Northern Nevada!
The classic way to get involved with National Trails Day is to join a trail workday. If you’ve ever spent time out on the trails and marveled at how perfectly carved out a path is, now is your chance to find out how it’s done. There are trail workdays happening all across the Reno-Tahoe area on June 4—and the rest of the summer too!
If Tahoe is your go-to trail area, and you watched in horror with the rest of us as South Lake was engulfed in the smoke and flames of the Caldor Fire last summer, consider jumping in on the Caldor Fire Restoration Workday, hosted by the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (tahoerimtrail.org) at Echo Summit. The TRTA is also hosting trailhead cleanup events at three trailheads around the lake: at Brockway Summit (near Kings Beach), Van Sickle Bi-State Park (in South Lake Tahoe) and Echo Lakes (near South Lake Tahoe).
The Carson City Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department is co-hosting a part-celebration, part workday with Muscle Powered at the Kings Canyon Trailhead in the foothills next to Carson City. This multi-faceted event will celebrate the grand opening of the new trailhead, as well as the new Lincoln Bypass Trail. The day includes some trail maintenance, naturalist-led interpretive hikes, and possibly even a historian to recount the unique and fascinating past of Kings Canyon Road.
For the true wilderness warriors, Friends of Nevada Wilderness is hosting this year’s National Trails Day at Steven’s Camp, on the north end of the Black Rock Desert. This weekend-long event starts on Friday, June 3, and includes two full days of trail work and cabin maintenance in this unique and remote desert region. You have to bring your own camping gear, most of your food (breakfasts and a group dinner on Saturday are included), a go-get-em attitude for hard work in the sunny desert, and a vehicle that can handle the intense roads in this rugged area (with high clearance and 4×4 capabilities). The work, the views and the potential for new friends make this National Trails Day event something memorable and enticing.
You can also join efforts within Reno by hopping on one of two possible slots at the Bicentennial Park Planting, hosted by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful. While it’s not technically listed as a National Trails Day event, these dual planting efforts will still get you outside and involved in making our local spaces beautiful and functional—and that’s a big part of the National Trails Day spirit.
Already have plans for June 4, or perhaps you’re reading this column later in the month? We get it; summers are busy! There are ways to get involved in workdays and trail improvement projects throughout the summer and early fall. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association hosts the most public workdays in the area, with opportunities to work on the trail several times a week (plus trainings and other recreational opportunities). Friends of Nevada Wilderness also offers plenty of workdays, cleanup opportunities and fun events throughout the hiking and biking season.
Avid cyclists may be interested in helping with some of the local area mountain biking association workdays. The Biggest Little Trail Stewardship (formerly Poedunks) has opportunities to get involved. So, too, do the Carson Valley Trails Association, Muscle Powered (also in Carson City) and the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association in South Lake Tahoe.
Want to get your company, church group or scout troop involved in the spirit of outdoor stewardship? The city of Reno and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful offer Adopt-a-Park and Adopt-a-Spot programs for businesses and community groups to invest in the health and beauty of our local outdoor spaces through supported cleanups of a chosen park or area, three times a year.
There is no shortage of organizations and workdays in the Reno-Tahoe area to join. With that in mind, we wish you a very happy National Trails Day!