Viall’s Crossing Farm has a unique connection to John Brown. Asa Viall, the son of the farm’s first owner, was a friend of the abolitionist, who led an unsuccessful raid on a Virginia armory in 1859.
When Brown was executed for leading a rebellion to end slavery, Asa Viall provided and drove the wagon that took Brown’s body to its final resting place at his farm in North Elba, near Lake Placid.
The Viall farm had been in the same family for five generations when CATS preserved the 135-acre property in 2018, working with the Eddy Foundation to purchase the property and then purchasing a conservation easement to protect the history and the land for future hikers to enjoy. Viall’s Crossing was then sold to a young farming family and CATS created a popular network of trails on the land.
The Full Moon Hike will follow a loop trail at Viall’s Crossing called John Brown’s Trail, which commemorates the farm’s historical connection to John Brown, passing by some towering trees that bore witness to Brown’s passage 160 years ago.
The hike will begin at 5 pm under the first full moon of 2020. The 1.5 mile hike will take about an hour and a half and if there’s snow, participants are welcome to snowshoe or cross-country ski. The hike will begin at a point just west of the railroad tracks on Route 22, about halfway between Westport and Wadhams; look for the bright yellow trail signs.
After the hike, participants are invited to meet and dine at a local restaurant to be determined.
There is no fee for the Full Moon Hike, but registration is advised in case there is last minute information to share. Call the CATS office at (518) 962-2287 or send a message to [email protected]
Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is a nonprofit organization that creates and maintains hiking and cross-country ski trails in the Champlain Valley, with the goal of linking communities, connecting people with nature and promoting economic vitality. For more information call (518) 962-2287.
John Brown Lives! (JBL!) is a freedom education project founded in 1999 to promote social justice and human rights through the exploration of issues, social movements and events, many of them rooted in Adirondack history. For more information call (518) 744-7112.
Photo of full moon provided by Champlain Area Trails.