Trail Magic: L.L. Bean employees visit area for Appalachian Trail excursion

Published 3:33 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

For a company over 100 years old, it was hard to pass up the opportunity to allow employees to take in the natural beauty of the Appalachian Trail.

L.L. Bean, a clothing company based in Freeport, Maine, recently entered into a partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) to participate in the “Enjoy the View” initiative, a way for employees to document the scenes of the 2,190 stretch of the Appalachian Trail. In turn, the ATC will be able to use the photos and data from L.L. Bean employees to help promote the A.T.’s significance for the eastern portion of the United States.

Throughout the summer, L.L. Bean encouraged employees to collectively hike a section of the trail in a way to encourage the benefits of physical well-being and encourage others to visit the Trail.

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With more than three million people taking to the A.T. each year, Carter County sees its fair share of hikers come through the area.

Enter Josh Andrews, Ben Hoisington and Jessica Kanciruk.

The trio were part of relay teams that made their way through Carter County, prior to the experience, and knew the experience wouldn’t come with ease.

“I was really into hiking and I was able to hike some areas up north, like White Mountain,” said Andrews, who was accompanied by Hoisington for his section of the hike. “I really heard a lot about the Carter County area and looked forward to it. And I wasn’t disappointed.”

Hoisington, who works alongside Andrews at the Maine department in IT, added he too heard a lot about the Carter County section of the A.T. and was more than willing to take part in the endeavor.

For Kanciruk, it was a bit out of the ordinary. Just now getting into the swing of things when it comes to longer hikes, the New York-based employee said she expected a challenge, but knew that it would be a trip worth taking.

“It was just after Christmas time when the company brought up the event,” Kanciruk said. “I was so excited about the opportunity, but knew it would be a challenge. I never really did a big section on a multi-day hike before.”

During the summer trip, Kanciruk handled the section of the A.T. that runs through Roan Mountain.

“I really had an amazing time,” she said. “Carvers Gap was gorgeous. On a hike through Jane Bald, I was able to run into some day hikers. It was great to interact with hikers and hear their stories about coming through the area.”

Kanciruk was also quick to point out the “trail magic” in Roan Mountain, indicating the community was more than accommodating as she made her way through the section. Roan Mountain was the most recent area to receive designation as an Appalachian Trail Community.

Andrews and Hoisington were quick to point out that while their adventure through was a joy, Mother Nature did throw a couple of curveballs.

“It came a torrential downpour,” Andrews said with a chuckle, recalling their experience coming through the Laurels Falls and Dennis Cove area. “We were able to take in a lot of the sights because we actually missed a couple of the trail markers, but we were able to back track. It gave us a chance to really see what the area had to offer.”

Andrews echoed the sentiments of Kanciruk in regards to trail magic, adding he and Hoisington were able to meet with people in the Dennis Cove area that were more than hospitable for the trip.

“It was really a great area to sit back and sort of unplug from the day-to-day grind,” Andrews said. “The cell service was so spotty so it really gives you a chance to take in everything around you. It was definitely an experience I won’t forget.”

The trio indicated the experience is going to lead them to more hiking trips in the future and were all quick to encourage others to take adventure of the resources offered by the Trail.