Hiking – Healthcare in Hightops

May 26, 2016

Addressing the Health Crisis One Step at a Time

SILVER SPRING, MD-May 26, 2016—In a just-released report, Hiking Trails in America:  Pathways to Health, American Hiking Society cites the critical need to make getting healthy fun so that people stick with it not just until they drop a few pounds but for a lifetime.

With only 1 out of 5 American adults meeting the CDC’s physical activity guidelines, the report notes that we must change how we approach fitness and makes the case that by promoting something fun, such as hiking, we can achieve better health outcomes for America. For those who get out and hike – including on trails in urban areas – hiking is more about recreation than fitness, yet the participants still reap all the therapeutic benefits of physical activity.

American Hiking Society’s report includes important calls to action to help make this highly accessible activity more readily available and to encourage Americans to get outdoors and hike for fun and fitness:

  • Connect and complete America’s trails
    • Connecting existing trails into a network helps create more opportunities to get in more miles and more fun with minimal expenses added.
  • Build more urban and suburban trails
    • With 81% of Americans living in urban areas we must make pleasant hiking trails, both paved and unpaved, available close to home for convenient access.
  • Promote urban/suburban hiking for fitness and fun
    • Many Americans think of fitness regimens as something to endure, not enjoy. We must encourage them to get outdoors and have fun and then enjoy the “collateral benefit” of improved health.

The report, Hiking Trails in America: Pathways to Health, is available as a free download on American Hiking Society’s website, AmericanHiking.org.


Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, please visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call (301) 565-6704.