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National Trails Day has a new look

The first Saturday in June is celebrated as National Trails Day across the country. In most years, the Lodi Valley Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance would be hosting the Mammoth Fun Run & Walk. (I bet I’ve seen some of you at this event over the years.) Unfortunately, the presence of the coronavirus meant that National Trails Day events could not take place this year as they usually would.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance came up with a unique way to observe National Trails Day safely while also helping local Ice Age Trail chapters in their efforts to maintain the Trail. Volunteers from across the state signed up as individuals or family groups to hike the various segments of the Trail so that over the course of the weekend of June 6-7, all 1000+ miles were left with a hiker’s footprint. To capitalize on this mammoth effort volunteers documented the trail conditions on the segments they hiked, including such things as downed trees or erosion. While local volunteers do their best to maintain the trail to provide an enjoyable hiking experience, issues with trail conditions have not been able to be addressed over the last three months due to pandemic safety measures. This inventory of trail conditions will be a great help to local chapter volunteers as they are just now getting the go-ahead to organize small groups to carry out trail maintenance activities while following COVID-19 safety procedures.

Sound like something you want to be part of? We’d love to have you join us as we come together to improve the trails in the Lodi area. All ages and abilities are welcome (families can do this together) and no experience is necessary. Our next Lodi chapter trail maintenance event will be June 20. Feel free to contact Bill at billpatti@charter.net to learn how you can get involved.

It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. I would also offer that it takes a large group of volunteers to maintain a 1000-mile hiking trail in good condition. You would be a welcome addition to those efforts….Along the Ice Age Trail

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