National Trails Day is June 3, and The Trails State a fitting place to celebrate

Michiganders have numerous options in which to celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 3, including the Iron Belle Trail shown here. (Michigan DNR)

Michigan is widely known as The Trails State, making it a fitting place to celebrate the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day – the nation’s largest celebration of trails – Saturday, June 3.

Events are taking place across the nation, including Michigan, where thousands of people are hiking, biking, horseback riding, going on paddling trips, birdwatching, taking part in stewardship projects and more.

National Trails Day, observed annually the first Saturday in June, features a series of outdoor activities designed to promote and celebrate the importance of trails in the United States. Individuals, clubs and organizations from around the country host National Trails Day events to share their love of trails with friends, family and their communities.

One of the largest organized National Trails Day activities in Michigan is the large contingent of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who will be spending time on hiking and biking trails, especially Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail. Scouts around the state will hit the Iron Belle Trail – the longest designated state trail in the nation – and join others in exploring pristine forests, cool rivers and charming towns along the trail. The DNR is offering a special commemorative patch for participating Scouts.

The Iron Belle Trail features a 1,273-mile hiking route (69 percent complete) that incorporates a large portion of the existing North Country National Scenic Trail. It traverses the west side of the Lower Peninsula and borders Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. The trail’s 791-mile bicycle route (64 percent complete) utilizes existing multiuse trails and follows U.S. 2, a designated national bicycling route in the Upper Peninsula.

Those planning activities around National Trails Day are invited to share stories and photos of their experiences with the Michigan DNR by emailing donnellyd@michigan.gov. Anyone sharing their story or photograph will receive an exclusive Iron Belle Trail sticker.

You also can find DNR Iron Belle Trail staff on Facebook (@MIIronBelle) and Twitter (@ironbelletrail).

To learn more about Michigan trails, visit michigan.gov/dnrtrails.

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