Silver Spring, MD- September 22, 2011– American Hiking Society (AHS) kicks off a year-long celebration of three important organizational Mile Markers this October. The non-profit, which is dedicated to promoting and protecting foot trails and the hiking experience, is planning a series of special activities to commemorate the organization’s 35th anniversary on October 13, 2011, Hike the Hill’s 15th anniversary, and the 20th anniversary of National Trails Day®. These three notable milestones represent significant progress for AHS, just as passing each Mile Marker on a trail is a sign of great accomplishment for a hiker. The work of the organization is far from finished and is more relevant than ever, as AHS will now embark on an expanded hiking safety campaign.

Celebration of the 15th Hike the Hill Mile Marker will take place in February of 2012 in Washington D.C. Hike the Hill is an event that enables trail enthusiasts and professionals from across the country to participate in cutting-edge policy briefings, to learn skills for effective non-profit management, and to meet with federal agency officials and members of Congress. The resulting spotlight on hiking will facilitate AHS’s plans for increased public outreach concerning outdoor safety.

On June 2, 2012, AHS will celebrate another Mile Marker: the 20th annual National Trails Day. The day will bring together hundreds of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts all across the country for a wide variety of events on America’s trails. National Trails Day activities will include hiking, trail maintenance, biking, trail celebrations and more. This program’s nationwide reach and growing participation provide an excellent opportunity to remind America’s burgeoning hiking population about the importance of having adventures that are safe as well as fun. More than 300,000 volunteers participated in National Trails Day events in 2011.

“American Hiking Society has come a long way since its founding in 1976, though we still have many goals to reach and a challenging trail ahead of us,” noted Gregory Miller, American Hiking Society president. “Recent accidents on trails have made us aware of the need to expand our educational outreach program. So, as we honor each of our upcoming anniversaries, we will be using those opportunities to encourage safe enjoyment of outdoor adventures.”

With support from partners such as Sea to Summit, Adventure Medical Kits, Brazos Walking Sticks, and Cascade Designs, AHS will be celebrating the hiking experience as it approaches each of its Mile Markers. AHS will collaborate with these brands to promote their hiking safety campaign by hosting giveaways that highlight the 10 Essentials for hiking, which include items like appropriate footwear and gear, first aid supplies, and navigation.

About American Hiking Society

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call 301-565-6704.

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