North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department and North Dakota Department of Health encourage participation in National Trails Day

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

Hiking, biking, horseback riding, and motorized recreation all have one thing in common: trails. There is no better way to celebrate and appreciate the hard work put into North Dakota’s trail systems and recognize the benefits these trails provide for recreation and exposure to the outdoors than on National Trails Day, June 5. This event is a nationwide effort that takes place annually on the first Saturday in June and encourages everyone to explore and advocate for trails. This weekend a number of state parks are hosting events across the state to recognize the day. In partnership with the North Dakota Department of Health, North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging participation in opportunities to volunteer on a trail project, collect litter, or join in a guided hike or trail activity all while finding physical, mental and emotional restoration.  Event information can be found at www.parkrec.nd.gov. 

“Whether you are a beginner or a skilled professional, there is a trail for you,” stated Andrea Travnicek, Director of North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department. “From short, self-guided nature and interpretive trails found in many of North Dakota’s state parks, to nationally recognized scenic and historic trails, our state offers access to the outdoor adventure you’re looking for.”  

North Dakota’s wide-open spaces, beautiful scenery, and public lands support a variety of recreational trails. The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department manages and maintains over 200 miles of non-motorized multi-use trails across state parks and state recreation areas. Employees and volunteers continually perform trail assessments and maintenance to provide recreation opportunities for various users, including equestrians, bikers, hikers, skiers, snowshoers, or those just looking to explore nature in our legendary state. In addition to non-motorized trails, the Department also manages the Snowmobile and Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) programs, which includes 47.5 miles of designated OHV trails and 2,344 miles of snowmobile trails across North Dakota.    

“Exercise and outdoor activities are very important for our physical and mental wellbeing,” said ND State Health Officer Dr. Nizar Wehbi. “Access to parks and trails encourages North Dakotans to walk, bike, hike and spend time in the outdoors, all of which have numerous health benefits. We’re very proud to have numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation in our communities and across the state.”  

When hiking in warmer weather, trail users are encouraged to keep these tips in mind: wear UV protection, dress in loose, breathable clothing, hike at cooler times of the day and stay hydrated. 

A reminder, event activities are subject to change depending on weather and COVID-19 risk levels. The Department would like to remind visitors to follow the CDC’s guidelines on social distancing and personal hygiene while participating in trails day activities.  

The mission of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is to offer a diversity of recreation opportunities and sustainably manage resources.   

The mission of the North Dakota Health Department is to improve the length and quality of life for all North Dakotans.      

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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