The artist Sheri Amsel has created a beautiful map of the Champlain Valley with illustrations of the region’s wildlife and habitats. It also shows the region’s many hiking trails. I suppose a hiker could fold it and put it in a backpack, but I’ll bet more people will frame it and put in on their wall.
Amsel, a resident of the town of Essex, made the map to draw attention to the natural history and beauty of the valley. “I think the Champlain Valley is an untapped resource,” she said.
The 24-by-37-inch map shows roads, hiking trails, lakes, wetlands, peaks, boat launches, fishing-access spots, and state campgrounds in the Champlain region between Ticonderoga and Willsboro Point. The map differentiates between dirt and paved roads. The trails are numbered and cross-referenced in a table that names the trails and gives the hiking distances. Although the map can be used for planning trips, for serious hikes, you should pack a topographical map.
Amsel has filled the edges of the poster with full-color illustrations. She shows six types of habitat and numerous birds, mammals, fish, and other wildlife as well close-ups of tree leaves and evergreen needles and cones. The fauna include white-tailed deer, raccoon, otter, timber rattlesnake, great blue heron, common loon, pileated woodpecker, and red eft, to name just a few.
The map is on heavy stock suitable for framing. You also can purchase a foldable version. Both cost $12. A laminated version is available for $20.
Amsel has graduate degrees in science and biomedical illustration. She has illustrated more than twenty-five children’s books on nature and science.