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. to 1:00 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, Tennessee). 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” (9:00 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 1:00 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. “Few people know that we have a long-distance hiking trail, a national scenic trail, along the Natchez Trace Parkway. This 50th anniversary event is a great opportunity to explore the trail,” said Tony Turnbow, president of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association.
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.