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High Bridge State Park

Forestry officials invite citizens out to Virginia's state forests to celebrate National Trails Day June 4, including High Bridge Trail State Park.

Many of Virginia's 21 state forests offer miles of trails for walking, hiking and bird watching. Trails allow for recreation and are a great way to get the public to increase their physical activity in an outdoor setting. Trail users can explore in solitude and find peace and tranquility. Or, join family or friends for an outdoor social activity.

“Hiking is an excellent outdoor activity that can be enjoyed on Virginia's State Forests,” said Erik Filep, recreation forester for the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). “The state forests offer another possibility for users to enjoy public land in addition to state and local parks, national parks and national forests.”

Filep has overseen a series of trail and habitat service projects on some of the forests. These include trail marking and trailhead signage; parking access; new picnic pavilions, and trail creation and maintenance. Forest visitors are encouraged to follow the Leave No Trace outdoor ethic.

Passive recreational opportunities, such as walking, hiking and canoeing, are provided free of charge. Horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and trapping all require a State Forest Use Permit when persons 16 years and older enjoy these activities on a state forest.

Located in the Richmond area, the Appomattox-Buckingham, Cumberland, Zoar and Prince Edward – Gallion state forests offer more than 60 miles of trails. A complete list of state forests can be found on the Virginia Department of Forest website at http://www.dof.virginia.gov. To learn more about recreation improvements on the forests visit http://virginiastateforest.blogspot.com/

In 1987, the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors recommended Trails for All Americans, which suggested Americans should be able to walk out their front doors and within 15 minutes, be on trails that take them through their cities or towns and bring them back without retracing any steps. The American Hiking Society launched National Trails Day in 1993.