National Trails Day, June 3, 2006

Come out and celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 3.

National Trail's Day is Saturday, June 3rd. Cities and towns throughout the U.S. will be hosting events and showcasing their trail systems.

Here in Fairfield and Jefferson County, the following events will be taking place:

Recreational Trail Activity:

The Jefferson County Conservation Board will kick things off with their annual Senior Citizens Trail rides on Thursday June 1 and Friday June 2. The JCCB will offer these rides in Jefferson County Park for Seniors and individuals of any age who are physically challenged. This year the rides will be on their new, quiet 8-passenger "Electric" Club Car.Club Car

Rides begin and end at the Nature Center. The rides will be at 9:00 am, 10:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on both days. Pre registration is required with a fee of $3.00/person payable the day of the ride. To reserve a seat, call 472-4421. The Club Car does not accommodate wheelchairs but special arrangements will be made for those individuals who are wheelchair bound.

The tentative route this year will be out to the Cedar Creek Bridge and back. This will allow people to see the new wetland and to see the path of the new Hwy 34 By-Pass and how it will affect the Cedar View Trail.

On Saturday June 3rd the JCCB will host an Open House at the Nature Center from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. They will be showing their new "Trail Buggy," providing trail maps and other trail and health related literature.

The Jefferson County Trails Council will host a volunteer day, for installing 4 new benches and 6 new trees on the Loop Trail. Meet at the east end of Chautauqua Park, by the new wooden bridge, at 9:30 AM with your work clothes on! Bring shovels if you have them.

The JCTC also announces the official opening of a new gazebo, at the north end of Reservoir #1. The gazebo was built by friends and family of Kathy McSweeney and Julia Hunter to honor their memory.

Heritage Trail Activity:

Bonnifield Log House

Bonnifield Cabin: Located in Old Settlers Park just west of the parking area for the new beach, will be open from 1:00-4:00 PM. This is the first time the cabin has been open to the public since restoration work was completed on the foundation and floor.

A formal ribbon cutting will take place at 1 PM. The open house is being sponsored by the Jefferson County Historic Preservation Commission, the William Coop and Bonnifield chapters of Questers and the Jefferson County Historical Society. FHS drama students have volunteered to portray pioneer settlers, Rodham and Nancy Bonnifield - in costume - for the ribbon cutting.

Water Trail Activity:

A formal ribbon cutting will take place for the new boat dock recently installed at Reservoir #1. The dock is located to the east of the restrooms and the old aerator, next to the waterworks plant. The ribbon cutting will be at 1:30 PM.

The dock is for rowboats, kayaks, canoes, and fishing boats. No gas powered engines are allowed in the reservoirs. The pier and dock are approximately 30' in length. Steps and boat slides have been built to assist in launching of craft.

Other important trails news:

The JCTC is pleased to announce that their website was an award winner in the national 2005 American Trails Website Contest. American Trails launched the first-ever contest to seek out the best websites in the cyberworld of trails and greenways. The judges looked for sites that really make trails come alive, and provide effective information delivery, support volunteers, and engage the public. You can see the award-winning website, which includes the Fairfield Heritage and WaterTrails at

The JCTC has received a second National Endowment for the Arts grant. The funding will be used to enhance the existing bridge on the Cedar View Trail and a second bridge, which will be built later this year, over the Hwy 34 By-pass. Local artist Judy Bales, who designed the artistic enhancements for the BNSF bridge, has been hired to do the design work. The JCCB is a partner for the project. The Fairfield Art Association is a sponsor.

The JCTC and City of Fairfield were recent recipients of a federal grant to fund an attractive trail bridge over Highway 1, just north of the MUM Campus where the old Rock Island Railroad trestle used to cross over the road. A second grant is being pursued. The bridge will be named in honor of William "Bill" Matkin. The bridge is projected to be built in Winter of 2007 or Spring, 2008.

National Trails Day is a reminder for us all to appreciate, use and enjoy our trails. Use them as often as you can.

What Is National Trails Day?

(From the American Hiking Society website).

National Trails Day is a celebration of trails that evolved from the report of President Ronald Reagan's President's Commission on Americans Outdoors. In 1987, the report recommended that all Americans be able to go out their front doors and within fifteen minutes, be on trails that wind through their cities, towns or villages and bring them back without retracing steps.

The recommendation, dubbed Trails for All Americans, became the impetus behind several public and private parties joining American Hiking Society in launching National Trails Day in 1993. NTD was started to both increase the awareness of community trails but also provide a helping hand for the hundreds of volunteer trail clubs for which every day is National Trails Day.

With 1,132 registered events in 2005, the awareness of trails was brought to thousands of people through dedications, hikes, nature walks, bikes, paddles, horse rides, trail maintenance trips, and many other activities. Event hosts include local hiking clubs, federal agencies, municipal parks, retailers, land trusts and many other businesses and organizations.

Why Celebrate National Trails Day?

Trails do not just appear for our enjoyment, it takes many hours of planning, labor, and negotiating, to develop them. National Trails Day, the only nationwide celebration of trails, is a day that brings awareness to trails and thanks the many people for their support and hard work, including volunteers, land agencies, and outdoor minded businesses.

It is also a day to introduce people to the many enjoyments and benefits of trails.

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