Resolve to Protect Nature + Inspire Adventure, Every Day

January 01, 2020
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Resolve to Protect Nature + Inspire Adventure, Every Day
Catskill Sunset. Photo by Steve Aaron.


What are your 2020 outdoor resolutions?

This year, the Trail Conference promises to continue caring for your favorite trails and parks. We're here to help you create the kinds of memories outside that last a lifetime. For nearly 100 years, 365 days a year, our volunteers have been caring for cherished outdoor destinations and building the trails for your adventures. For nearly a century, our members have been advocating for the conservation of open space and protecting your ability to connect with nature. 

In 2020, we’re asking our Trail Family to show us how you protect the land you love. Whether you’re a Trail Conference volunteer blazing a trail or removing invasive species, or one of our fans picking up the litter you see on your hike or talking Leave No Trace to the group of teens you snap a photo for at the summit, you’re already an outdoor advocate protecting the experiences important to you.

Now, the Trail Conference has an easy challenge to add one more feel-good duty to your stewardship checklist. Join our #TrailLove365 journey on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as we ask the trail community to spread small acts of (trail) kindness.


Every Friday we will present a new challenge and celebrate the incredible spirit of this trail community. Along the way, we’ll share some of your stories to help inspire others—because small steps can have a big impact! So join the journey, tag your posts with #TrailLove365, and show your love for trails, 365 days a year.

Week 1, Jan. 3: Pick Up One Piece of Litter

Imagine if everyone picked up trash every time they hit the trail.

For the first week of our #TrailLove365 challenge, we're starting simple with something many of you already so awesomely do! On your next adventure, pack out one piece of litter you find on the trail—or go crazy and get all of it! Post a photo of your good deed, and tag #TrailLove365. Encourage your trail friends to do the same.

Remember, nobody's perfect. If you encounter a litterbug, turn it into a positive, teachable moment. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe they didn't know better. Educate them about Leave No Trace principle 3: Dispose of waste properly. (Learn more here.) We all have an important part to play in protecting the outdoors when we're enjoying the outdoors. Let's lead by example! 

Week 2, Jan. 10: Give a Map to a Trail Friend (or Stranger!)

A well-planned adventure is one of the best ways to protect your favorite trails. And that all starts with a map! Not only does the Trail Conference build and protect trails, we also maintain and share the most accurate, up-to-date trail maps, guides, and resources, ensuring that everyday trail users have the tools and education they need to use trails responsibly and sustainably.

Give a map, any map, to a trail friend or stranger you cross trails with! Maybe it's an extra map. Maybe it's your favorite one. And maybe that map will inspire a new (and safe!) adventure. Whenever you explore, always remember to pack an up-to-date, print or digital map and encourage others to do the same.

Week 3, Jan. 17: Say Hello to a Fellow Trail User

Not only is it great trail etiquette to say hello to others you see on the trail (and hey, could spark a new friendship!), it's an easy way to spread a small act of trail kindness. Just in a short interaction, you can quickly check-in and ask how their hike, ride, or run is going and see if everything is okay. That person might be lost and need some help! Flex your navigational know-how, take out your map, and help them find their way.

It's an awesome opportunity to practice your Trail Steward skills, and who knows, you could have potentially prevented a rescue situation. We're all Trail Family, after all! Let's look out for each other.

Week 4, Jan. 24: Plant Native! 

Our Habitat Helpers crew cares for the beautiful native landscape at our headquarters, and they've collected seeds of our 25 species of native wildflowers. These native seeds are available for sale at our trail store (and they’re a steal!) The seeds should be planted now so that they can “experience winter,” so when it gets warm they are cued to germinate.

Let’s make it a 2020 resolution to plant native!

Week 5, Jan. 31: Support Local Small Businesses

Before or after your next adventure, search for a local business located near the trailhead and give them your support. Not only is it great for local communities and economies, but you might just find a new favorite spot! Be sure to mention you're a trail user and are in the area because of your favorite park. Check out our favorite trail-loving businesses.

What's your favorite trailside haunt? Share your favorites with us on social!

Week 6, Feb. 7: Speak Up for Your Trails

Are you an outdoor advocate? 

Our voices are one of the most powerful tools we have in ensuring trail lands remain protected, open, and safe for all people to access. That’s why Trail Conference staff and volunteers are heading to Albany on several days over the next two months to speak with N.Y. elected officials about the importance of connecting people with nature. Explore the issues and raise your voice for parks and trails.

Week 7, Feb. 14: Keep Your Mountains Close to Your Heart, Every Day

Protect the land you love all year long + do it in style with our limited-edition Trail Conference topo tee! Become a Trail Conference sustaining member and receive an exclusive T-shirt. Sustaining members provide critical and continuous funding throughout the year to support the efforts of all the incredible people who serve our mission. 

This new tee features the topo lines of the Catskills' Slide Mountain on the chest. (The peak's name and elevation are written into the lines!) The Trail Conference logo is on the sleeve. It's available in unisex sizes in both gray and white. Hurry! Snag your shirt while supplies last.

Week 8, Feb. 21: Enter a Trail Race

Looking for a little motivation to get you through the rest of the winter? Enter a trail running race!

Not only is this an awesome way to stay active and motivated, but you can support the continued care of your favorite trails at the same time! There are two upcoming races to benefit our mission:

Week 9, Feb. 28: Play, Clean, Go!

Protect the land you love from invasive species by cleaning your boots, mountain bike, gear, and boats before you go out and after enjoying the outdoors. Remember Play, Clean, Go.

Invasive plants can spread through seed dispersal. Seeds can hitchhike in boot treads, laces, and on your gear, especially if the trails are wet. Seeds can hang on your hike for up to 3 miles and from trail to trail. Clean the mud, dirt, and seeds off your footwear and gear before and after your adventures to protect native ecosystems and help stop the spread of invasive species.

Get social + share the trail love 365 days a year!

You'll find us on the trail and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.