KANSAS CITY, Mo. – While some people may think it’s too hot to be outside, one nationwide company with a Kansas City branch is encouraging people to find a trail this summer.
The push celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System Act. It established hiking and auto trails across the United States to preserve history and inspire exploration. The act established scenic trails like the Appalachian Trail and helped preserve historic trails like the Oregon, Santa Fe and California trails which all cut through Minor Park in Kansas City.
This summer LL Bean employees from across the country are split into relay teams to hike across the Appalachian Trail. Two employees from the LL Bean retail store at Town Center Crossing in Leawood recently returned from their leg of the relay.
Katie Raymon and Aileen McDaniel hiked 50 miles in four days along a stretch of the trail in Virginia.
There is a marketing aspect to the hike. The employees hiked the trail using gear from LL Bean. The teams also take pictures and document the trail for agencies which take care of it. The overall hope is to encourage people to get outside.
“I was a little nervous about the physical aspect as to whether I could make it through,” admitted Raymon. "A lot of it was mental. Knowing you can do this, push through it, you got it. Once you reach that top, it will all be worth it.”
This past Sunday the relay team reached its halfway point toward completing the 2,100-mile hike from Georgia to Maine. The team hopes to finish by the end of September.