Alaskans are known to take full advantage of what can feel like a shortened summer. With the views and wildlife that our state provides, it's easy to understand why many Alaskans value and take advantage of our trail system.

Alaska Trails, a nonprofit, is a passion project with a mission to preserve and promote sustainable trails.

"Alaska Trails got together in 2004 when a bunch of land managers saw a need for a group that could advocate and maintain trails across the state," said Alaska Trails Executive Director Steve Cleary.

Cleary says Alaska Trails has a steward program where they organize volunteer events throughout the summer to provide hiking aficionados an opportunity to give back. Alaska Trails also works with land managers such as the U.S. Forest Service, Chugach State Park and the Municipality of Anchorage.

"We help them figure out what needs to happen to trails," Cleary said. "Maybe they have a trail crew, but can't get to all parts of it. A lot is drainage work. You see a lot, not so much this summer, but rains come and do damage to the trails. So if you can get the water off the trail, make it sustainable, that's the kind of work that we're doing with our volunteers."

Alaska Trails has many events in a variety of locations throughout the summer. For more information and to volunteer, visit the Alaska Trails website.

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