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ST. MARYS — Running, biking, dog walking and hiking are just a few of the activities occurring nationwide today in celebration of the 20th annual National Trails Day.
National Trails Day is “a celebration of trails that evolved from the report of President Ronald Reagan’s President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors,” according to AmericanHikers.org, the American Hiking Society’s website. Reagan’s report called for Americans to have a trail within 15 minutes of their homes. Each year, National Trails Day “increases awareness about trails and celebrates the hard work and support of many people and partners — including volunteers, land agencies and outdoor minded businesses,” according to the website.
Locally, the Miami and Erie Canal Corridor Association celebrates National Trails Day. This year’s celebration, the eighth of its kind, will be held at 10 a.m. today at the High Street shelterhouse along the Miami and Erie Canal in St. Marys.
“This is the eighth National Trails Day celebration that the Miami and Erie Canal Corridor Association has hosted,” Miami and Erie Canal Corridor Association Director Neal Brady said. “We feel that it’s great that we can celebrate all the different development along the canal. National Trails Day is a great time that we can celebrate what’s happening.”
He noted the group of speakers that is slated to address attendees.
“The mayor is going to offer a few words about the development of the uptown canal corridor with the shelterhouse and the walkway,” Brady said. “He’ll also talk about the future plans for the canal corridor. I’ll be saying a few words about how the canal and the recreational trail benefits the economy and the quality of life in the community. Brian Miller will be talking about the partnership with the state of Ohio and the communities.”
The local National Trails Day celebration also coincides with a Road to Fitness 5K run/walk.
“We’re also hosting an event for the Road to Fitness,” Brady said. “It’s a 5K walk from Memorial Park to the 33 underpass. The roundtrip will be a 5K.”
Registration for the 5K opens at 9:30 a.m. at the High Street shelter house. Grand Lake Health System will be on hand at the event.
“The Grand Lake Health System will be coming out here also and they’ll be promoting healthy living in the summertime,” Brady said.
Brady said he expects the event to draw a crowd, as temperatures are forecasted to be in the 60s.
“It’s supposed to be a nice day (today),” Brady said. “It’s supposed to warm up a little. We’re expecting a good crowd.”
For more information about the Miami and Erie Canal Corridor Association, visit Meccainc.org. For more information about National Trails Day, visit AmericanHikers.org.