Wednesday, August 1, 2012

CATS Summer Travel Writing Contest Begins

Summer is prime time for exploring New York’s Champlain Valley. “There are few places with historic hamlets settled so sweetly into a rich landscape of forests, farms, and hills with views of a beautiful lake and mountains,” notes Chris Maron, executive director of Champlain Area Trails (CATS).

This is the perfect place to hike, paddle the lake, browse a farmer’s market, track songbirds, or enjoy a gourmet meal. Then write about your summer adventures—your story could earn you $500.

“Now in its third cycle, the CATS Travel Writing Contest aims to spread the word about all the Champlain Valley has to offer and promote tourism to the area,” explains Gretel Schueller, contest coordinator. The winner, selected by guest judge, Adirondack Almanack regular contributor Diane Chase, will receive a $500 first prize. There’s also a chance for everyone else to pick their favorite story during online voting in October. The People’s Choice—the story with the most online votes—wins $250. Winners will also have their entries published online in the CATS destination guide, “Tales from the Trails.”

Guest judge Diane Chase is author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, including Champlain Valley: Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga. Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities with GPS Coordinates.

“A travel writing contest is a fun way to attract attention, invite new visitors, and encourage authors to write about this special place,” Maron says.  “We want to strengthen the area’s economic vitality by attracting visitors to enjoy the outdoors, walk around our villages, visit local farms and businesses, and come back with their friends.”

The deadline for entries is September 30, 2012. For full contest details, visit For contest-related questions, email

Champlain Area Trails is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to develop hiking/skiing trails that link Champlain Valley communities, connect people to nature, promote economic vitality, and protect habitat and scenic vistas.  For more information, go to or call 518-962-CATS (2287).

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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