Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is hosting its second Grand Hike to highlight walking on trails and scenic backroads from hamlet to hamlet in New York’s Champlain Valley on Saturday, May 9th. “One of our goals is to provide residents and visitors with trails that connect our communities,” CATS Board Chair Katherine Preston said in an announcement to the press.
“This hike promotes that idea, builds for stronger economic vitality, and provides a fun outdoor springtime activity for all.” Last year over 200 people came out for the hike and block party.
Hikers will walk from the Westport Hotel & Tavern to the Essex Inn where they will enjoy a post-hike block party from 4 to 7 pm featuring rock-and-roll music by the Riddlers, restorative yoga and chair massage provided by Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness, an Erin C. Hall Studio art table for children, a photo-booth from Overtime Photography, and food and drinks. People can hike the whole route or join at one of the five designated “oases,” with the goal of arriving when the block party begins. Hikers can also stop at the oases and ride a shuttle van provided by the Town of Willsboro back to their cars.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest in the May 9th Grand Inn-to-Inn Hike,” Chris Maron, Champlain Area Trails executive director said, “so this Saturday we expect to see a lot of people hiking between Westport and Essex. The weather forecast looks great, the block party band is geared up for playing, and volunteers are preparing the trails.”
Check-in is from 10-11:30 am at the Essex County Fairgrounds across from the Westport Hotel. Participants can park there or at the Essex Ferry parking area where a free shuttle provided by Camp Pok-o-MacCready will take them to Westport at 9:30, 10, 10:30, and 11:00. The shuttle will take people from Essex back to their cars at 5:30 and 7:00 p.m.
Everyone is welcome for the hike and block party, which non-hikers can attend. There is a registration fee of $5/person or $10/family for the hike. The block party is free and open to all. To preregister go to the CATS website ChamplainAreaTrails.com or call 518-962-2287.