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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

Date: May 27, 2011
Contact: Julie Buchanan, Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-2292, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov

Va. Department of Conservation and Recreation offers many ways to observe National Trails Day, June 4

RICHMOND — As the weather warms up, and Virginians look to spend more time outdoors, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has many trail and trail-related options available for everyone — from the family of novice hikers venturing outdoors for the first time to local volunteers, community groups and government officials seeking to build or enhance local trials.

“Trails are important assets to communities,” said DCR Director David Johnson. “Trails provide exercise and recreational opportunities, help boost local economies through tourism and enable people to experience nature, reinforcing the need for conservation initiatives. Our agency offers expert assistance to communities seeking trail information, and our state parks provide recreational opportunities with hiking, biking, equestrian and multi-use trails.”

Just in time for National Trails Day on June 4, DCR has updated its online “Virginia Greenways and Trails Toolbox.” The toolbox is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to planning and developing trails of all kinds in Virginia. It can be accessed at http://go.usa.gov/Dxd.

“The online toolbox provides information on trail design and construction tailored to Virginia’s regulatory framework and geographic characteristics,” Johnson said. “A team of trail builders, designers and agency experts worked together to create this invaluable content to help trail-building efforts at the grassroots level.”

To stay up to date on Virginia trail news, sign up for DCR’s “Greenways and Trails Program E-News.” This free quarterly e-newsletter offers information about trail openings, grant opportunities and events. To sign up, contact Jennifer Wampler, trails coordinator, at jennifer.wampler@dcr.virginia.gov.

In addition to expert assistance to communities, DCR provides access to hundreds of miles of trails in its state parks and several natural area preserves.

Virginia State Parks will mark National Trails Day with trail improvement projects in every state park, featuring the work of volunteers, staff and AmeriCorps workers. The public is invited to participate.

In addition to volunteer opportunities, Virginia State Parks offers Trail Quest, a program through which participants are given unique pins for visiting park trails.

Virginia State Parks offers more than 500 miles of trails in state parks, historic sites and natural areas across the state. Universally accessible trails are in Belle Isle, Chippokes, Claytor Lake, Fairy Stone, First Landing, Hungry Mother, James River, Kiptopeke, Leesylvania, Mason Neck, Natural Tunnel, New River Trail, Pocahontas, Staunton River Battlefield and York River state parks.

For more information about trails in Virginia State Parks or to make reservations in a cabin or campsite, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.

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