Posts Tagged ‘CATS’

Friday, May 6, 2022

Honoring Seneca Ray Stoddard

seneca ray stoddard trail sign

Not far from the Acropolis in Greece, there’s a famous rock outcropping high above the Mediterranean Sea where the Apostle Paul tried to talk the Athenians out of their idolatry. Or so they say. No one thought to take any Polaroids as proof.

But there is something special about natural features that in some way connect us through the centuries — a vista of Gothics that Old Mountain Phelps insisted was “not the sort of scenery you want to hog up all at once”; a tremendous erratic that abolitionist John Brown certainly would have noticed on the rutted wagon trail out of Keene; a stony summit into which surveyors pounded a medallion under the watchful eye of Verplanck Colvin.

And then there’s Stoddard’s Rock. For all his accomplishments, having a rock named in his honor — and not a large rock, either — might not have made the great Adirondack photographer’s Top 10, even if he’d known about it, which he assuredly didn’t.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 25, 2022

Taking time for impromptu outing

bobcat trail CATS

For more than a few Adirondackers, buying groceries is more complex than it ought to be, because the simple act of loading bags in the hatchback is complicated by the presence of skis, snowshoes, spikes and myriad other vaguely medieval looking winter gear left there for the express purpose of impromptu adventures

Don’t try to tell me I’m wrong about this. I’ve been in the grocery store parking lot. I’ve seen your cars. But it’s OK, because I maintain that you haven’t lived until a previously unnoticed trailhead causes you to slam on the brakes on an icy road, affording the people behind you one of those all-too-rare chances to test out their wintertime evasive driving skills. 

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 30, 2022

Town to Town on the CATS trails

turnpike signBy Mary McGowan

I saw on the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) map that there is a town to town hike starting in Port Kent and ending in Ticonderoga. Well, Peter and I were game. Since we could not go to Spain and walk the Camino de Santiago, we decided to do el Camino de Ticontiago!

Looking over the map we pieced together the trails we would take and made a guess at the mileage. Choosing the number of days, we would walk lead us to what towns we would sleep in and where to eat along the way. Planning our meals to coincide with restaurants being open was a challenge.

Choosing a Tuesday as our start day, we drove to the Port Kent train station and parked the car there as I felt it would not be in the way since the train is not running. With a clear sky we started out with our trusty walking sticks, small backpacks of dry socks, toiletries, change of outfits, sweaters, light rain jackets, water and snacks.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Champlain Area Trails to Open Spirit Sanctuary Trail

Hikers enjoy a sneak peek of the new trail at Spirit Sanctuary.

WESTPORT – Champlain Area Trails (CATS) will host a trail opening hike on the new Spirit Sanctuary Trail in Essex, on Saturday, November 27th at 10 a.m.  

The Spirit Sanctuary Trail is a one-mile there-and-back trail that begins on Cook Road, about 1.3 miles west of NYS Route 22 in Whallonsburg. It goes through the new “green” cemetery, then along a forested little ridge overlooking a wetland and connects to the popular CATS Black Kettle Trail. Hikers can continue on this 1-mile loop trail with beautiful views, cliffs, big trees, and a scenic brook and then return through the Sanctuary. 

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The secret life of water

At the recently opened Essex Quarry Nature Park, a classic Adirondack brook winds through a cedar forest, chatters over boulders artfully accented with moss and ferns and then — disappears.

Like water running down a drain, it plunges down a stony crevice in the earth and is gone. Trail stewards say it doesn’t reappear again until it reaches Lake Champlain. Precisely where it goes and what it encounters along the way will likely forever be a mystery.

The Secret Life of Water is a fascinating story that escapes most people as they appreciate the beauty and charm of Adirondack lakes, rivers and streams. Paddlers might not realize that beneath the surface Mirror Lake, to pick one example, has important work to do, and some of that work is fraught.

Water sustains life, but it is also a mover, a builder, a gardener and an excavator. What it encounters in one spot can have implications in another, as we’ve seen with road salt and excessive nutrients.

Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Lake Placid on Friday, talking about the importance of water quality and showing off permeable pavement that allows rain to seep through the ground before it reaches the lake instead of running along the surface collecting man-made toxins as it goes.

Water is the reason the Adirondack Park was created. Left to its own devices, it does its job well. But where development has knocked it off its game, sometimes it can use a little help.

 A scene from the Essex Quarry trail. Mike Lynch photo


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Grand opening of Essex Quarry Nature Preserve set for Sept 18

essex quarry
Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is hosting a Grand Opening Celebration for the newly opened Essex Quarry Nature Preserve on Saturday, September 18th from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The day will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and then a self-guided hike through the preserve.
It will feature Taylor Haskins playing his unique style of music as you walk around the quarry. Plus – there will be free food and refreshments graciously supplied by Essex Eats, activities for kids and more.
Organizers ask that you sign up in advance so they can gauge how many people will attend. Please park at the ferry parking lot, in downtown Essex, and on School Street. The EQNP parking lot will be closed off. To sign up, click here!
Photo provided by CATS

Monday, July 26, 2021

Scenes from the Champlain Valley

champlain valley

Coming up Wed July 28 at 7 pm, join Adirondack Explorer multimedia reporter Mike Lynch and Champlain Area Trails Executive Director Chris Maron on a virtual journey of scenic highlights from the Champlain Valley. RSVP here: http://ow.ly/19ct50FxEAV


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Champlain Area Trails announces Northern Pathways Challenge

patch of cats northern pathways challenge

Champlain Area Trails (CATS) has announced the Northern Pathways Challenge. Participants can register on the CATS Website. Hike three of the five trails described on the website, and earn a limited-edition commemorative patch.

“I’m looking forward to this challenge,” said Derek Rogers, CATS Development Director, “It will give our supporters a chance to explore some wonderful Clinton County trails.”

The Northern Pathways Challenge will be Clinton County-based, and participants will have to complete three out of the five trails to be awarded a patch. It runs from National Trails Day, June 5th, 2021 until December 31st, 2021. Registration is $5 per hiker.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, June 4, 2021

CATS marks National Trails Day on June 5 with service projects

CATS logoThis year for National Trails Day on June 5th, Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is doing something different.  Instead of just hiking trails, we will be making trails! Please join us and help make a trail. Choose between these two projects:
Broughton Ledges Trail in Moriah –  We initially cleared this trail going up the mountain over a year ago and it needs to have fallen branches removed and some pruning. There is also a new section about a mile in which needs to be cleared and another section that needs rerouting to avoid a wet portion of the logging road. Tools to bring are loppers, a hand saw, and gloves to protect your hands as you pick up the branches. To sign up, click  here !
*This is a fairly difficult 4-mile long trail so please keep that in mind when you consider registering.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Champlain Area Trails awarded State Grants

Essex Quarry provided by CATSChamplain Area Trails (CATS) has been awarded two grants from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) totaling $63,225.

“We are thrilled to be awarded $28,500 to create a new website that will greatly improve our online presence,” said Emily Segada, CATS Operations & Communications Manager, “We’ve already reached out to designers and are working to have a much more interactive trails page among many other improvements.”

CATS has also been awarded a $34,725 grant to support their Essex Quarry Nature Preserve and Trail project. These funds will help pay transaction costs (legal, survey, staff time) and some of the trail-making expenses.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

CATS volunteer work day and winter finch update

An update from Champlain Area Trails (CATS):

Please save the date for a volunteer workday at CATS Essex Quarry Nature Preserve. We will be meeting at Essex Quarry on Friday, November 20th at 1p.m. This will be a fantastic way to see and improve the new preserve and trail as we gear up for our formal opening next summer! Please note that we need to limit the number of volunteers to 10 people given the most recent NYS regulations related to COVID-19 safety. Please RSVP to [email protected] as soon as possible! Bring loppers and gloves. We hope to see you there!

Winter Finch Alert

This winter is shaping up to be an exciting year for viewing “winter finches” in the Adirondacks and Champlain Valley.

Winter finches refer to the groups of finch species that prefer northern boreal or arctic habitat and occasionally irrupt south in search of food.

This year, essentially all of the known winter finch species are already showing up and have been spotted in the Champlain Valley! Among them are Common Redpolls (featured in this photo), Pine Siskins, Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Grosbeaks, Bohemian Waxwings and Red Crossbills.

You can learn more about these species by reading the 2020/2021 Winter Finch Forecast.

Redpoll photo courtesy of Derek Rogers/CATS


Monday, October 19, 2020

Eastern Red Bat sighting

red batHalloween came early this year at the CATS Ancient Oak Trail when CATS Development Director, Derek Rogers, noticed a bat flying around the meadow area adjacent to the forest. It was actively feeding on insects and made a few close passes, allowing for some fun flight photographs.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Efforts Underway To Protect Historic Essex Quarry As A Nature Park

Essex Quarry Nature Park provided by CATS

Champlain Area Trails (CATS) has announced plans to preserve 35 acres in the Town of Essex, NY, on land that features 400 million-year-old fossils — part of an ancient coral reef — as well as a type of forest considered globally rare and an historic stone quarry.

The Essex Quarry Nature Park will be located on the southern edge of the hamlet, a short distance from the Essex – Charlotte, Vt. ferry landing. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

2019 CATS Grand Hike Route Announced

Champlain Area Trails (CATS) has announced the route for the 2019 Grand Hike on May 11 which includes revisions to last years route. For the last few years, the final stretch of the 14-mile Grand Hike from Westport to Essex included a three-mile walk along Route 22.

This year, though, the route leaves the highway for all but 500 feet and instead crosses scenic pastures and forests before connecting with Blockhouse Road into Essex. » Continue Reading.


Friday, December 14, 2018

CATS Celebrating New Viall’s Crossing Trails Dec 29th

Volunteers on Vialls Crossing trailsChamplain Area Trails (CATS) has announced a grand opening hike, snowshoe, or ski, set for Saturday, December 29, beginning at 10 am, to celebrate the addition of two new “loop trails” to the Viall’s Crossing Trail.

Since opening last spring, the Viall’s Crossing Trail, has been an increasingly popular addition to the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) network. People use it to hike between Westport and Essex, or to make a five-mile loop that starts and ends in Westport, or as an out-and-back. » Continue Reading.



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