HISTORY OF NATIONAL HIKING DAY
Hiking wasn't always the popular pastime that it is now. Prior to the Subarus, Jeeps, and Patagonias creating an economy around the pastime, walking – in any form – was thought to be a poor or vagrant activity.
Until the Victorian years, Romantic era spurred writers like Walden and Thoreau to reconnect with nature, inspiring landscape architects to create parks with good walking pathways (looking at you Frederick Law Olmsted of Central Park fame). Walking became associated with the educated, unhurried, and opulent.
Until John Muir came along and walked his way through California's Sierra Nevadas, demanding that not only should hiking, walking, meandering, sojourning, or whatever you want to call it be accessible to every American citizen, but that the country actively preserve natural areas of pristine ecology and beauty. As a result of his petition in 1890, the National Park System was established, and we were given "America's best idea" — Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.
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