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Contact: Bradley Block, 605-673-8330
Custer, SD – Across America, people of all ages are getting ready to celebrate the great outdoors at this year's National Trails Day®, scheduled for Saturday, June 7. Organized by the American Hiking Society, the 22nd annual National Trails Day is set to kick off this weekend with events at numerous public land sites in all 50 states.
Hike the "Roof" of Jewel Cave at 10:30 a.m. This easy trail takes participants through a one-quarter mile of ponderosa pine forest, with scenic views of nearby Lithograph and Hell Canyons. The trail meanders along a natural path, which is perfect for families with young children. Along the route, hikers have the opportunity to witness the natural features that are symbolic to the Black Hills: dense timber stands, open meadows, forest wildflowers, and wildland fire scars that run through the rocky limestone canyons.
Trek through the Scars of the Jasper Fire follows the three-mile Canyons Trail and begins at 1:30 p.m. This adventurous hike into the backcountry of Jewel Cave National Monument ventures along a natural trail with multiple interpretative stops. Ranging from the obvious fire scars to hands-on management practices on site, a park ranger will offer insight into the stories behind the scenery. Participants should wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring sunscreen, and furnish their own water and snacks.
Chief of Interpretation Bradley Block states, "National Trails Day is our first special event for the summer season. We encourage local park enthusiasts to visit the monument and take a guided hike with our park staff. Although the monument isknown for its cave resource, its surface features also captivate attention. Hike for the scenery; hike for the education; hike for some physical activity. "There is no pre-registration for either event; participants meet at the visitor center located 13 miles west of Custer, SD, and 24 miles east of Newcastle, Wyoming, on Hwy 16. Be advised that road construction is occurring along Hwy 16 within the monument.
National Trails Day 2014 is part of Great Outdoors Month, a month-long effort in June to get Americans outside. Great Outdoors Month is coordinated through a coalition of recreation and environmental organizations including American Hiking Society, American Recreation Coalition, National Wildlife Federation, among others. Bolstered by proclamations issued by the President and all fifty state governors, Great Outdoors Month celebrates everything wonderful about America's abundant recreational resources while highlighting Americans' passion for the outdoors.
For more information, contact the visitor center at (605) 673-8300 or visit the monument online at www.nps.gov/jeca. For other NTD hikes in the local area, visit the American Hiking Society online at www.americanhiking.org and select South Dakota.