Volunteer Vacations

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We all love vacations. We work long hours to earn those few precious days of freedom with family and friends.

I personally love to grab my pack and hit the trail the moment I can, preferably to a state or national park with no cell phone service. As I walk up scenic boulder-lined mountain passes or along perfectly manicured single track among wildflowers, I always marvel at how well-maintained the trails are. Stone stairs don’t magically appear in nature, and wildflowers and brush don’t prune themselves. They come from the hard work and sweat of trail volunteers.

Why not spend your next vacation a little differently by both doing something you love and helping others? Give back to the trail community by traveling to a new destination, trading your beach umbrella for a shovel and your flip flops for some hiking boots, and cleaning up some trail systems.19082954054_edc64b94b3_b

American Hiking Society offers volunteer vacation packages where you can sign up for a week of building and maintaining trails in diverse and scenic locations all over the country. You get to backpack or day hike, do trail work, and meet other outdoor enthusiasts. The vacations range from easy trips with indoor lodging to strenuous backpacking excursions where previous experience is strongly recommended. Whichever trip you choose will guarantee to nourish your body and soul and give back to the community we love so much.

We’re excited to be on “vacation” with American Hiking Society this week at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City. It’s always a treat to meet with our friends and make exciting plans for the year ahead!

To celebrate, Menasha Ridge Press, Wilderness Press, Clerisy Press, The Unofficial Guides, and Nature Study Guides are having an online book sale. From August 3 – 8, 50% of proceeds will go to American Hiking Society.

Whether you go on an American Hiking Society volunteer vacation or stay close to home and clean up your local trails, hikers will thank you. And your trail karma will increase tenfold.

Join @menasharidgepress and @americanhiking on Twitter for #SEHikeChat Wednesday, August 5th at 12 p.m. EST to talk about volunteer vacations.