June 2nd marks National Trails Day, recognized annually on the first Saturday in June to show appreciation for the 200,000 miles of trails that stretch throughout the United States and acknowledge those who helped create them. While they are often underappreciated, America's trails serve many purposes by granting serenity away from the worries of work, offering numerous opportunities for outdoor activity, and providing younger generations an opportunity to learn firsthand about the value of nature.
For example, the Florida National Scenic Trail remains incomplete although it is unique in that it is the only national scenic trail that offers subtropical environments, including the Florida Everglades. From Yellowstone to the Appalachian Trail, It is important that we continue to expand and protect these scenic paths in order to preserve their integrity and fully utilize their beauty.
As a member of the Congressional Trails Caucus, I am passionate about preserving and protecting spaces that promote environmental sustainability and outdoor activities. Recently, I cosponsored H.R. 481, Complete America's Great Trails Act of 2011, which would help connect trails across states and complete unfinished trails. This legislation is especially vital to Florida, as it would help finish the Florida National Scenic Trail's construction.
On this historic 20th Anniversary of National Trails Day, I encourage everyone to participate in the festivities of this day. From voicing your support for protection of the outdoors or going for a hike through a local trail, there are numerous ways we can show our admiration for America's trails. Such practices can preserve the charm of these trails and ensure their sustainability for future generations to come.