One of the great benefits of being an American is having access to all the amazing natural wonders in the country. This includes more than 200,000 miles worth of trails!

The American Hiking Society is an important resource for the protection of America’s vast trail network. Whether you love to hike, bike, or ride horses on these many miles of trails, the American Hiking Society is a great organization.

The American Hiking Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1976 with a mission to support the preservation of trails and natural areas in the United States. They regularly work with Congress as well as federal agencies on legislation and policy to help improve America’s trail network.

If you are looking for a great hiking magazine, a membership in the American Hiking Society includes a subscription to their fantastic publication, Backpacker magazine.

How to Get Involved with the American Hiking Society

​Likely, if you are interested in supporting the American Hiking Society, you like to spend a lot of time being active outside in fresh air. And, of course, many opportunities with the American Hiking Society involve stepping into the great outdoors. However, you can also get involved with the organization from the comfort of your own home.

Here are a few ways to support and contribute to the American Hiking Society:

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Become a Member

​Image Source: americanhiking.org

Becoming a member is, of course, a way to donate to the American Hiking Society. It’s also a way to get your voice heard, as you will be counted among the many other members who care about America’s trail system when the American Hiking Society advocates for or against legislation.

A basic membership is $40 for a single “hiker” and $85 for a family. A subscription to Backpacker Magazine is included with the membership.

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​Help with Advocacy

​Image Source: americanhiking.org

Advocacy is all about being active in our government and encouraging the development of legislation friendly to trails and our national and regional parks. Advocacy can take the form of staying in touch with current issues and writing your representative to taking a more active role.

For example, each year, members of the American Hiking Society meet in Washington DC to advocate for trail protection. This “Hike the Hill” event is open to anyone.

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​National Trails Day

​Image Source: americanhiking.org

National Trails Day is a fun way to celebrate America’s amazing trails and natural resources. Every June, on the first Saturday, the American Hiking Society and the trails community host a number of fun events and trail activities. Many of these events are free. The purpose of National Trails Day is to generate enthusiasm and support for more trail advocacy.

With events held all over the country, you may be able to find a National Trails Day happening near you. They might include a group hike, or mountain biking expedition, and may even include overnight camping.

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​American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacations

Looking for something meaningful to do on your next vacation? Consider American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacations. You will join a crew of 6 to 15 volunteers led by a crew leader. Crews work on rehabilitating park areas and trails with a goal of helping the environment.

Many different types of projects are available in levels from “easy” to “strenuous.” Your trip may include some hiking and backpacking. Accommodations depend on the location you are serving and can range from campsites (with little amenities) to fully equipped cabins.

You may even go to a tropical location such as the US Virgin Islands!

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​Alternative Break

​Image Source: americanhiking.org

Alternative Break is similar to volunteer vacations, only it is designed for college students – thus the name “Alternative Break” (instead of Spring Break). The crew size for Alternative Break runs from 8 to 15 students. Alternative Breaks last for one week, including weekends, and leave plenty of time for fun and relaxation. Yes, you will work on trail restoration, but you can also enjoy time with your friends as well.

You might stay in a lodge, campground, cabin, or bunkhouse. Additionally, all locations, even the campsites, have indoor bathrooms and some sort of setup for food preparation, whether it is a kitchen or cooking gear. This makes the Alternative Break experience a safe and hospitable introduction to young people who want a taste of the outdoors.

Join the American Hiking Society Today!

The American Hiking Society is the premiere not-for-profit organization advocating for America’s trails. By joining the American Hiking Society, you get to be part of an amazing group while helping maintain and improve the environment. It is a win/win!

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