For the past few decades, the first Saturday in June has marked National Trails Day, a nationwide event focused on celebrating the over 200,000 miles of trails in the United States. Organized by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day events are hosted by local trail clubs, individuals, and organizations across the country and range from guided hikes to weekend long festivals on public and private lands. National Trails Day is not just about hiking though; it also includes trail running, mountain biking, horseback riding, paddling on river trails, and less intensive activities like nature walks and bird watching. Not only that, National Trails Day also aims to raise awareness and recognition of all the volunteers, maintenance, and labor it takes to keep the Trail System in good shape, in the hopes that they will give something back to the trail in the future. It is truly an event that incorporates everyone, and every use of our vast Trail System.
In conjunction with National Trails Day, Devils Backbone Brewing Company is hosting Nelson County Trail Daze on Saturday at their brewery campus in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Devils Backbone annually hosts the Festy Experience at the same venue, but this event will have a decidedly different feel. The proceeds of Trail Daze will benefit the Blue Ridge Medical Center and focus of the event will be to promote health and wellness through outdoor recreation. There will be guided hikes on the Appalachian Trail right from Devils Backbone, as well as hiking and backpacking workshops for those looking to get into the activity. For the more competitively natured there will be a 5k trail race (also a 5k fun run) and a short track mountain bike race. If relaxing in the summer sun is more your scene, there will be live music all day, and local food and beer will be served. Tickets will cost $15 at the gate, unless you register for a race, are a A.T. thru-hiker (free camping!) or a Nelson County Resident ($5).
This is a great opportunity to see all that the outdoors has to offer even the most casual enthusiast, so head out to Devils Backbone Brewing Company on Saturday to have fun, support a good cause, and maybe even learn a thing or two.