Anish on the Continental Divide Trail.
Photo Credit: Heather Anderson
I am Heather Anderson, a 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. I am also Anishinaabe, and I am known as Anish on the trails. I have hiked and run 30,000 miles on our national trails, including three times each on the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide National Scenic Trails.
But, before all of this I was an overweight, Oreo-eating, inactive child. I was also a dreamer. I grew up in Michigan, but I felt a strong pull to the unknown, distant wilderness even though it terrified me. I was ordinary, but it was the pursuit of a wild dream along a national scenic trail that sent me down a new path: to become an adventurer.
Today, I’m writing to you on behalf of the trails that shaped me. The Partnership for the National Trails System is seeking 500 new supporters by August 1st. Well, 499 now – I just joined too.
The 30 national scenic and historic trails, plus over 1,000 recreational trails and over 2,000 rail trails, create a tapestry in which anyone can find adventure and communion with wilderness, far away or close to home. But this tapestry of adventure won’t maintain itself.
We need your support today to continue the work of creating a National Trails System for all of America so that the children of our future will not have to dream of wilderness far away, but will be able to find it close to home.
Thank you for your help,
PS: For more of my story, see my new book “Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home”; I hope to encourage others to follow their passions, even if it’s a fearsome leap.
The National Trails System includes 30 national scenic and historic trails and over 3,000 national recreation and rail trails.