Tell Your Family to “Take a Hike” on 9-29-12

A happy herd of thru-hikers in Rangeley, Maine. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Yup, tell your family to take a hike on Saturday, September 29, 2012!  Be sure to go with them.

That day has been proclaimed Family Hiking Day by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC).  All families are encouraged to take part in Family Hiking Day.  If you don’t have one of your own, you can always find a welcoming family on the Appalachian Trail (AT).

Every trail town from Georgia to Main is taking part — in conjunction with National Public Lands Day — to get hikers and wannabees to go outside and take a whiff of the AT.

Unplug your kids — no, really … it happens — and take them for a walk.  Maybe you could … um, suggest … that there MIGHT be a video game contest afterward with [insert name of rapper or rock star here] and the top prize MIGHT be a free tour of The Weather Channel (or some other incredibly desirable trip).

Every person who has ever thru-hiked the AT temporarily gave up life on a sofa playing video games to achieve greatness.

Family Hiking Day, grasshopper, might be the first step in your journey to greatness.

The ATC has a plether … plither … plthorah … a bunch of dandy weblinks to help:

Wait! There’s More!

ATC’s Julie Judkins has sweetened the pot.  (Dear Young People: That is a reference to gambling, not drugs.  Thank you.)

If you participate in Family Hiking Day and submit two pictures and a few words about your travels, you can win a prize!

(No, the prize is not as cool as a tour of The Weather Channel.  Sorry.)

But!  You can score an REI Flash 18 pack!  This versatile pack is reversible and can be used as a day pack or a stuff sack for organizing gear inside a larger backpack.  If you win, your story will be published in the ATC’s A.T. Journeys magazine and on ATC’s Facebook page.

The deadline for submissions is October 8, 2012.

Send in your stories and two photos to E-Mail Our Pal Julie Judkins @

Have fun in the woods, but please don’t leave anyone behind.  (No, not even whiners.)  Thank you.

About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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