How to Celebrate National Hiking Day

October 31, 2022 | by BMI Staff

November 17 is National Hiking Day, first established in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Since his declaration of this national observance, the number of trails in North America have doubled, totalling upwards of 88,000 trails, today! We’re here to provide a few tips to help you celebrate this fantastic holiday centered on exploring the great outdoors.

Get out and explore.

Whether you are new to Missouri or a life-long resident, there are so many beautiful sights that can only be explored on foot. Hiking is a fantastic way to get a bit of exercise while enjoying fresh air and great sights. Celebrate National Hiking Day by trying out a new trail. To discover a new trail near you, download the AllTrails app from your phone’s app store. From there, all you need to do is enter your location and you’ll get a list of results with tons of great information, such as trail length, difficulty, location, and features.

Hike with a group.

If you are looking to meet new friends who also enjoy hiking, consider joining a group hike. This is a great way to get in some socialization and exercise all at once! All it took was a quick Facebook search of “hiking groups near me” to find the Women Who Hike Missouri group along with the co-ed Missouri Hiking and Backpacking group. 

Try something new.

Even if you revisit a favorite trail on National Hiking Day, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a brand new experience there. Consider pairing your next hike with a bit of bird watching! Using a trail you already know well will make this activity much safer, and it will provide a new perspective that you perhaps haven’t experienced before.

Visit one of Missouri’s national parks.

Missouri is home to seven national parks, giving locals the opportunity to explore pieces of our nation’s history from their own back yards! Celebrate National Hiking Day with a day trip to one of our state’s national parks, listed below:

  1. Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis
  2. George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond
  3. Harry S. Truman National Historic Site in Independence
  4. Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Van Buren
  5. Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park in St. Louis
  6. Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis
  7. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Republic 

Challenge yourself.

Calling all avid hikers! If you’ve been waiting for a sign to up your hiking game, what greater sign is there than a day dedicated to your favorite hobby?? Celebrate this annual observance by hitting a new milestone in your hiking journey. Pick a more advanced trail to try out or extend your trip with an overnight camp. Whatever you can do to wrap up this holiday with sweat on your brow and a triumphant smile!