American Hiking Society


Mission Statement

Empowering all to enjoy, share, and preserve the hiking experience.


Our Vision
We envision a world where everyone feels welcome in the American hiking community and has permanent access to meaningful hiking, including urban, frontcountry, and backcountry opportunities. We will achieve this vision by empowering all communities to enjoy, share, and preserve the hiking experience; advocating for the protection and expansion of hiking spaces; fostering trail stewardship; and collaborating with partners whose strengths are complementary.

Value Statement

1. We Are Hikers

We share our love of hiking. We achieve our mission through uniting the diverse hiking community.

2. Hiking Matters

We believe in hiking’s transformative power: It boosts mental and physical health, engenders respect for ourselves and our surroundings, and creates and strengthens a sense of community.

3. Trails Are for Everyone

We believe that everyone should feel welcome as a hiker on all trails. Hiking offers low-threshold access to a positive outdoor social activity available to all.

4. We Share the Trail

We collaborate with partners that complement our strengths and weaknesses, rather than competing. We convene, amplify, and lead, rather than direct.

5. Hiking Inspires Sustainability

We protect the places we love. Because hiking directly engages hikers with their surroundings, it invites deeper personal connections with that land, leading to a commitment to care and advocate for its health and preservation.

American Hiking Society Diversity Statement
American Hiking Society (AHS) affirms the value of a diverse hiking community. By enhancing diversity—philosophically and operationally—AHS maximizes the benefit to its individual members and to the hiking community.
Diversity speaks to a richness of resources, perspectives, and experiences. A diverse hiking community is more insightful, responsive, and dynamic than one that is homogeneous. We use “diversity” as encompassing variety in race, ethnicity, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, creed, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, marital status, medical condition, pregnancy, education, socio-economic status, political affiliation, or parental status.
AHS therefore commits to:
  • Proactively recruiting individuals of broadly diverse backgrounds for its staff and board of directors.
  • Vigorously and proactively rejecting prejudice and stereotyping wherever it is encountered in the hiking community.
  • Being a good ally by actively promoting justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion (JEDI) in the hiking community. To that end, AHS will promote the work of and collaborate with individuals and groups with expertise in JEDI and led by and/or primarily consisting of people from groups historically disenfranchised in the outdoors.
  • Ensuring that our marketing, messaging, images, advocacy, and other content feature and promote JEDI.
  • Recruiting diverse crews for our volunteer programs.
  • Constantly assessing how we are doing against these commitments, being transparent about that progress, and seeking to do better.

Program Details

Policy & Advocacy
American Hiking Society works with Congress and federal agencies to shape public policy and legislation affecting hiking. Our efforts ensure funding for hiking trails, the preservation of natural areas and the protection of hiking experiences. Through our national advocacy, Hike the Hill®, and regional initiatives American Hiking protects trails and the hiking experience in areas of the country where specific and urgent needs exist.
Volunteerism & Stewardship
American Hiking Society organizes and coordinates Volunteer Vacations and National Trails Day® – nationally recognized programs that help keep our trails open, safe, and enjoyable.  Our National Trails Fund is the only national private grants program for hiking trails across the United States.
Outreach & Education
American Hiking Society is committed to increasing Americans’ participation in and enjoyment of hiking and conducts outreach through events, educational materials and partnerships with other recreation and conservation organizations.
Primary Issue
8605 Second Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
United States
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Supporting Members