National Trails Day June 2 will be celebrated on Yates County’s favorite local trail — the Keuka Outlet Trail — with the 2018 Walk for Water, an event that supports the work of the Friends of the Outlet, Penn Yan Rotary, and HTS Congo.

Here in the Finger Lakes we are blessed to be surrounded by abundant fresh, clean water. Protecting the clean water sources that we have and increasing global access to clean water are important efforts.

The Keuka Outlet Trail is a popular trail used by hikers, strollers, bicyclists, and horseback riders during the spring, summer, and autumn. In the winter, a snowshoe walk or cross country ski along the trail is a unique experience. 

Now there’s an opportunity to celebrate National Trails Day and help support three organizations whose missions protect clean water or increase access to it. On June 2, a simple walk along the Keuka Outlet Trail can help support these three organizations:

• Friends of The Outlet: These volunteers work hard to protect and improve the Outlet Preservation Area which surrounds most of the Keuka Outlet, an important waterway between Keuka and Seneca Lakes.

• Rotary: In their quest for service above self, Penn Yan Rotary serves our local community and also tends to urgent needs far abroad. Rotary International’s mission integrates water, sanitation, and hygiene into education projects for children.

• HTSCongo: works to provide clean drinking water near homes in remote villages and sanitation facilities to schools, hospitals, and clinics in the third world. Director Leon Fontier, of Penn Yan, has been in Congo since February, installing wells and sanitary systems in several villages.

The Walk for Water is an opportunity for everyone to help raise funds to support the efforts of these three groups.

This year’s event is a five-mile fun walk through nature and history that will begin at the Penn Yan Boat Launch about 9 a.m., and conclude at the Cascade Mill site with a picnic, lawn games, and activities starting about 12:30 p.m. Participate in at least four interactive learning opportunities on the trail and turn in your card, or make a donation for admission to the picnic.

Bring friends and park a car at Cascade Mills or use the provided shuttle to return to Penn Yan after the picnic.

Spread the word about your walk and create your own fundraising campaign to support this event at crowdrise.com/WFWNTD.

For more details, and to register ($20 per individual, $30 for a family, $10 for students), visit KeukaOutletTrail.org/WalkforWater.