Walkers of all levels of fitness and experience are being invited to pull on their hiking boots and set themselves the challenge of walking the National Forest Way through the heart of the Midlands on an adventure to remember. 

Registration is now open for the National Forest Trek, an annual walking challenge weaving through the lush woodlands, rugged countryside and industrial heritage of the National Forest, Britain’s largest broadleaf forest. 

Running from 9 to 11 September 2022, entrants can choose from one, two or three-day treks that undulate through the Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire countryside, offering a journey for almost everyone - or even a team. 

Seasoned trekkers looking for more of a challenge can sign up for the full, three-day 75-mile trek. Those with only a couple of days spare for a micro-adventure can join for either the 2-day or 1-day, 20-mile hike that almost anyone can do.  

In the evening, trekkers can either head home for a comforting night’s sleep or set up a tent in the campsite to share stories of magnificent views or impressive blisters. There’s no need to carry big backpacks either, as tents and camping equipment will be transported from stop to stop.  

Mark Ellis, Interim Lead at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, completed the full 75-mile National Forest Trek in 2021. He explains why he’ll be signing up again this year: 

“For me, it’s the chance to escape everyday life for three days in the great outdoors where I can reconnect with nature, with myself, and with my fellow trekkers. During the day, everyone is walking at their own pace and you could walk alongside many different people for a few miles at a time. At night back at the campsite, I always look forward to catching up with those I have met along the way for a bite to eat or a restorative drink. So many people have been putting off adventures for so long now, why not try the one right on our doorstep?”  

From rugged countryside and lush new woodland to historic industry, the full National Forest Trek route stretches along the National Forest Way from Beacon Hill in Leicestershire to the finish line at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. 

The National Forest Trek was created by three charities, the National Forest Company, the National Memorial Arboretum and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Benevolent Fund. As well as an entry fee, trekkers are asked to fundraise a minimum donation so, step by step, they are supporting the work of these three important charities. Alternatively, trekkers can opt for the self-funded option and fundraise for a charity of their choice. 

To find out more and to register a place for individuals or teams: www.nationalforesttrek.co.uk