Urban Trails Offered as Solution to America’s Physical Inactivity

May 27, 2016

SILVER SPRINGMD – May 27, 2016 – At a media event on Capitol Hill yesterday, American Hiking Society released a report supporting the creation of trails, especially in urban areas where 81% of Americans live, as a way to address the many health issues facing the American public due to physical inactivity. The existence of such trails, they stated, is critical to ensuring that hiking and walking opportunities are readily available to the American public so they can reap the vast health benefits that hiking and walking offer.

In the report, Hiking Trails in America: Pathways to Health, American Hiking Society cites that with just 1 out of 5 American adults meeting the CDC’s minimal physical activity guidelines, that “business as usual” just isn’t working. The report makes the case that hiking – including urban hiking – with its focus on recreation and fun, can be just the thing that helps get people on the path to better health, not just for a while but for a lifetime.

Kicking off the event, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01) highlighted how trails are the type of infrastructure that bring people closer together and are a part of the fabric of communities, telling the attendees that “trails play an important role in promoting family-oriented recreation, economic growth, and healthier lifestyles.”

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), in his remarks, while citing the need to be fiscally responsible, drove home the point that the benefits of trails far outweigh their costs stating, “The resources we invest in natural area trails, urban connectivity, pays for itself many times over in terms of environmental benefit, in terms of healthcare.”

Also in attendance, Tom Tidwell, the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, encouraged the American public to get outside for fun and fitness by hiking on some of the 157,000 miles of public trails managed by the Forest Service, telling those gathered that “These are your trails. These belong to you.”

Download the full reportView the full slate of speakers at the press event.


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.