National Trails System Act

The National Trails System Act created the National Trails System back today in 1968.ย  The Act created national trails to promote the enjoyment and appreciation of trails while encouraging greater public access.

The Act established four classes of trails: national scenic trails, national historic trails, national recreation trails, and side or connecting trails.

The first two national scenic trails established under the Act were the Appalachian and the Pacific Crest trails. These two trails cover almost 5,000 miles between the two trails and go through some of our nationโ€™s most beautiful areas.

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Today, the system consists of 30 National Scenic and Historic Trails and over 1,000 National Recreation Trail and two connecting-and-side trails, with a total length of more than 50,000 miles.

Check out this video made last year for the 50th anniversary. It’s less than a minute! Click here.

I love maps, so had to share one!ย Click here for a map of all the trails in the system.

To celebrate this 51st anniversary, go and get out on a trail today!

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National Public Lands Day

Today celebrates National Public Lands Day!

Started in 1994, “It celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and health benefits.”

Get outside and celebrate this day!

Visit a national park for free today, volunteer outside at a local park, and enjoy time outside!

Indiana Dunes National Park

Recently, we visited Chicago and Indiana to see family and show the kids some fun there. During this trip, we visited a national park! And we got see a newly designated one!

Indiana Dunes National Park sits along the southern shore of Lake Michigan in northwestern Indiana. This national lakeshore became a national park as of February this year.

We checked out the visitor center first and our kids become junior rangers there! As I’ve mentioned, you definitely need to check out the junior ranger activities at our national parks! Great way to get the kids involved and learn something!

At the center, we read up on the park, watched the short history film, and even bought our youngest a junior ranger vest and hat. ๐Ÿ˜

I love learning cool facts about the park like the fact that Lake Michigan took form 11,000 years ago when the Wisconsin glacier began to melt.

We headed to the shoreline and parked by the Kemil Road Access Point. We enjoyed seeing the lake and let the two kids skip some rocks.

We had to drive over and check out the park’s most dynamic dune, Mount Baldy. Mount Baldy stands 126 feet tall. To see this powerful dune, you need to take a short, fun trail to reach the beach from the parking area. It’s a fun little hike!

If you’re in the Chicago or Indiana area, check out our 61st national park and the first national Park in Indiana.

Bring a Friend ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ‘ฃโค๏ธ

A few weeks ago, our daughter brought Bunny along on a hike. This weekend, Lilly, a purple stuffed bunny, joined us. And Lilly got to ride a Barbie scooter in the air! Pretty lucky stuffed animal! Woody and Buzz would be jealous!

Pre-children, I would have laughed seeing a purple bunny on a scooter out on a hike.

Now, it seems normal. And it makes a hike so much more fun for a 7 year old! She loved bringing her friend along for our 3 mile hike!

“Mommy, take lots of pictures of Lilly!” So, I did! It made me smile too!

Bring a friend and enjoy a hike! ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ‘ฃAnd enjoy a smile! ๐Ÿ˜

P.S. It’s also a great way to celebrate a birthday!

National Trails Day ๐Ÿ‘ฃ

Happy National Trails Day today!  Today kicks off the Great Outdoors Month of June!

Did you know that there are over 18,000 miles of trails in the national park system? And did you know that there are 158,000 miles of trails in national forests and grasslands? So, we have lots of trails to explore in the United States!

Enjoy this day and month and find a trail to enjoy!  Happy National Trails Day! ๐Ÿ‘ฃโ˜€๏ธ

Muir Woods

Search for the Fairies

A few weeks ago, we wanted to go on a hike with our two kids and my sister and her husband. After weeks of rain here, the sun had come out. So, we wanted to get outside and enjoy the sun and fresh air along the American River.

Our 7 year old little girl ran around the house getting supplies for this hike. No, she did not get a compass nor a map. She got her small brown shoulder purse, her little white stuffed bunny (named Bunny), lipstick (really just chapstick), and a plastic spoon.  She brought her supplies in the car for our hike.

On the trail, she announced that we were searching for fairies. Little fairies would like the trail, so we had to look out for them. Bunny helped look for them too. Every so many feet, she would stop, lift her hand to her forehead and search around an area.

After about a mile or so of hiking, she started to get a little low due to the lack of fairy sightings.  A little snack helped the spirits (which she did call it the cure). She kept on hiking and looking.

Then, we found the perfect tree. It had to be a fairy home.  The tree had a small hole facing us with dark green moss around it. We even saw some pixie dust inside it.  Our daughter took out the spoon and scooped up a very small bit of the pixie dust. Bunny even checked it out and agreed! She could not stop grinning.

Something fluttered nearby. It had to be a fairy or two even watching us hike. She knew that they were close.

We walked over a small bridge and something fluttered nearby. It had to be a water fairy or maybe the tree fairy following us.

Bunny cheered on the fairy trees, the fluttering sounds, and little bits of pixie dust. And our little girl smiled the rest of the hike and the day.

So, make sure to look for fairies and the magic of hiking the next time you are out on the trail!