Hiking Trails

Get started by joining a walking group in the LS area


Jan Nelson enjoys hiking the KC area trails.

Courtesy picture

Hoping to start enjoying the many trails and parks in and around Lee’s Summit by starting a biking or walking program? Getting started can be daunting for many, but with the use of technology, you’ll find plenty of ways to get help.

The motivation to start and then to persevere are two major obstacles. One way to get motivated is to join friends who enjoy biking, hiking, or walking. If you don’t have any interested friends, look for dating groups on Facebook and other social media sites.

These groups let you know where and when they meet so you can join them. Search Facebook community groups for cycling and walking groups to get started. It’s easier to persevere when you connect with others.

Other useful technology resources are apps for your smartphone. There are many GPS programs for hiking. All Trails, Trail Link, Avenza Maps and Gaia GPS are examples. These apps show trails in areas where you want to walk, run, or bike. Information on the level of difficulty, length of the trail and directions to get there, as well as how to track your progress on the trail once you are there, is given.

Hikers and cyclists provide trail reviews so you can find the right ones for you. These apps allow you to find new places to explore, yet another great motivation to get out and move.

Finally, one of the best non-tech strategies I learned from my daughter, an avid runner. It was to make biking, hiking, running or walking a top priority. Every morning, she looked at her calendar to determine what time she was going to run. I always thought I would make it when I could, which often didn’t happen.

I learned from her to make it a daily priority by first determining when it would happen. This small change in my routine increased my walking/hiking plan. I walk every day now and I always check my calendar every morning to see what time it is.

Get moving and enjoy our community’s trails, streets and parks.

Jan Nelson is a resident of Lee’s Summit and a member of the Livable Streets Advisory Board, a volunteer board of directors appointed by the mayor whose goals include working to make our community and our streets more livable, safe and accessible for all of our citizens.