November 17th

National Hiking Day -

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National Hiking Day is a unique celebration that honors a beloved outdoor pursuit - hiking. This annual event inspires us to discover new paths, soak in the serenity of the great outdoors, and spread awareness about the myriad health benefits associated with hiking.

On this day, the hiking community also comes together to underscore the significance of protecting our precious trails and wilderness areas, ensuring they remain accessible and enjoyable for generations to come.

History of National Hiking Day

The American Hiking Society annually observes National Hiking Day on November 17th. This special day was created to encourage more people to engage in this popular activity and enjoy the natural beauty that abounds in the United States.

Hiking, as we currently understand it, began to rise in popularity during the romantic period of the 18th century. Originally a leisure activity of the European upper class, it was sought for both aesthetic and spiritual inspiration from nature. This enthusiasm for hiking traversed the Atlantic and found fertile ground in the beautiful natural landscapes of America by the 19th century.

With the creation of the National Parks Service and various state park systems in the 20th century, dedicated hiking trails were meticulously established and preserved. These trails have given countless Americans the opportunity to connect with nature in specially designated areas.

The American Hiking Society, which was formed in 1976, began to fight for the recognition and conservation of America’s hiking trails. It also aimed to educate the public about the many benefits of hiking. The Society saw the need for a designated day to celebrate and raise awareness about this activity, hence the establishment of November 17th as National Hiking Day.

National Hiking Day Timeline

First Hiking Club Established

The first hiking club in America, Appalachian Mountain Club was established, contributing to the popularity of hiking.

Appalachian Trail Completion

The Appalachian Trail, one of America's first long-distance hiking paths is completed. It stretches 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine.

Creation of National Trails System Act

The National Trails System Act recognized important trails and protected them. This enhanced the availability and quality of hiking trails in the U.S.

Establishment of American Hiking Society

The American Hiking Society was founded, promoting and protecting America's hiking trails and the hiking experience.

Pacific Crest Trail Grading

The Pacific Crest Trail, another popular hiking path in America, was officially designated and graded for hikers.

National Hiking Day

National Hiking Day is officially celebrated in the U.S., aimed at encouraging people to take up hiking and enjoy nature.

Ideas to Celebrate National Hiking Day

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Embarking on a Challenging Hike

Push your physical limits by tackling a challenging hike in your locality or a nearby location. This could be a mountain, nature trail, or forest reserve. Don't forget to pack essentials like water, food, and first aid kit.

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Early Morning Hiking

Start your day off with an invigorating morning hike to celebrate National Hiking Day. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the morning hours.

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Exploring a New Trail

Take the opportunity on this special day to explore a new hiking trail. It can be a great adventure and you might discover something unexpected along the way.

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Educational Hike

Turn your hike into an educational experience. Do some research about the flora and fauna you may encounter and use the hike to look for them.

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Group Hiking

Invite your friends or join a local group to celebrate National Hiking Day. Not only will it make the hike fun, but it will also be a great bonding experience.

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Hiking Photography

Take your camera along for the hike to capture the stunning views or interesting wildlife. You could even use these pictures to participate in a photography competition.

6 Interesting Facts About Hiking


Longest Hiking Trail in the world

The longest hiking trail in the world is The Great Trail in Canada. It runs for 14,912 miles (or 24,000km).


Mount Everest isn't the longest hike

While impressive, the hike to the summit of Mount Everest is not the longest in the world. The trail to the peak is approximately 40 miles, significantly shorter than long-distance hikes like The Great Trail or Pacific Crest Trail.


Benefits of Hiking

Hiking is not only fun but also beneficial to health. It improves cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, bone density, reduces stress and alleviates symptoms of depression.


Highest Mountain to Hike

The highest elevation someone can hike is Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. The elevation of this mountain is 19,341 feet above sea level.


Hiking Vs. Trekking

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there's a difference. Hiking is usually a short recreational activity while trekking implies a longer and more strenuous journey.


Therapeutic Hiking

There's a practice in Japan called 'forest bathing' or 'shinrin-yoku' which involves slow and mindful walks through the forest. This form of nature therapy is said to lower heart rate, reduce stress, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing.

National Hiking Day FAQs

Next National Hiking Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 November 17th Friday
2024 November 17th Sunday
2025 November 17th Monday
2026 November 17th Tuesday
2027 November 17th Wednesday
What is the pattern? Every November 17th

National Hiking Day Word Search

  • Hiking
  • Trail
  • Mountains
  • Nature
  • Forest
  • Adventure