The Grand Opening of the Sophie’s Lair and Florence Hathaway Trails in Willsboro, the newest additions to the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) network of trails in Florence Hathaway Park, has been postponed until January 2018. The event was originally scheduled for Sunday, October 29, but changed due to weather.
The Florence Hathaway Trail is a one-mile loop trail and leads to Sophie’s Lair Trail which provides for easy hikes of up to five miles on a variety of paths through a lovely forest with stone walls and beautiful old oak, hickory and pine trees. There are small creeks, seasonally wet areas, and gentle hills. Come winter, the trails will be available for cross-country skiing. » Continue Reading.
A new trail is being added to the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) network, thanks to the efforts of 13 volunteers who recently visited the area. The Volunteer Vacationers came from Colorado, Arizona, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey and New York in an American Hiking Society program that links people who want to spend their vacation building and maintaining trails for organizations like CATS. This is the fourth year CATS has hosted Volunteer Vacationers.
The group stayed at Camp Dudley while working under the supervision of CATS Trail Steward Bill Amadon to build a new trail. They spent a free day during the week exploring the Lake Champlain area from Ticonderoga to Rouse’s Point, including travels in Vermont to Middlebury and Burlington. » Continue Reading.
Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is raising the funds needed to complete a trail improvement project, using a crowdfunding program offered through Adirondack Gives, part of the Adirondack Foundation.
The Get Out of the Mud! campaign is planned to provide the $1,500 needed to complete the Bobcat Trail Improvement Project; the Essex Community Fund previously provided $1,500 for the project in memory of two early CATS supporters, Bruce Klink and Baird Voorhis. » Continue Reading.
My wife Beth works for Champlain Area Trails out of Westport but, long before she started there, we were major fans of the network of hiking opportunities radiating through hill and dell interwoven throughout the eastern side of Essex County. The trails are gorgeous, running through field, forest and stream, and have some of the best views anywhere of Lake Champlain and are a perfect, nearby antidote for those wishing to take “pressure off the peaks.”
They don’t present the physical challenge that the High Peaks do, but look, it’s not every day that you want to climb up the south side of Saddleback.
Being generally free of erosion, roots and rocks, the trails are a break for the knees. Being mostly short, and at lower altitudes, there is no need for a pack full of survival gear. And being more open and interspersed with civilization than the wilderness to the west, there’s little chance of getting lost.
To keep up to date with its expanding network of hiking trails in the Champlain Valley, Champlain Area Trails (CATS) has published a new, updated paper trail map for 2017-18, including new trails that have been added to the network and updated information on existing trails.
A new feature on the trail map is the inclusion of icons to identify trails especially good for cross-country skiing and biking or that feature scenic views. It also notes those trails that are wheelchair accessible.
Champlain Valley fossils, ancient reefs, and old forts are the topics professor and paleontologist Nancy Budd will cover on August 19 at the Crown Point Historic Site, from 10 am to 12:30 pm. The program is sponsored by Champlain Area Trails (CATS).
After a 45-minute presentation in the Museum’s theater, program participants will find and identify fossils in the rock exposures at the historic site. Most fossils in the Champlain Valley are approximately 460 million years old and are remnants of what was once a shallow sea along the edge of the Adirondacks. The climate of the Champlain Valley was subtropical, and the fossils include a diverse group such as sponges, brachiopods, gastropod snails, bivalves, and trilobites and many others. » Continue Reading.
Champlain Area Trails (CATS) and Essex Initiatives have completed construction of the new informational kiosk in the heart of Essex.
The kiosk, located behind the Essex Town Hall right by the sidewalk, highlights outdoor recreation opportunities in and around Essex and points visitors and residents alike to local businesses and community activities. It’s visible to visitors traveling through Essex, especially those arriving by ferry. » Continue Reading.
A research project examining wildlife friendly farming in the Champlain Valley is currently underway by Alex Caskey, graduate student at Tufts University. Caskey is a summer intern in a project sponsored by Champlain Area Trails (CATS), the Eddy Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
Caskey is currently conducting interviews with local farmers about their interactions, positive and negative, with local wildlife. The results of his inquiry will create a baseline of current practices in wildlife friendly farming for future investigation and recommendations for wildlife friendly practices in agriculture. » Continue Reading.
UPDATE 6/29: Owing to the weather forecast for heavy rain, this Split Rock Oak, Hick and Hop Hike, scheduled for this Saturday, July 1, will be rescheduled to a date to be determined.
Conservationist John Davis will lead an educational nature hike on Saturday, July 1, to showcase forest types common to the Champlain Valley and West Champlain Hills. The hike, sponsored by Champlain Area Trails (CATS), begins at 9:30 am and is open to the public.
Hikers are to meet at the Whallonsburg Garage and carpool to the Bobcat Trail Trailhead. The hike will last until about 2 pm . Participants can also learn about the ecological importance of the Split Rock Wildway wildlife corridor stretching through the valley and hills of the central Champlain Valley. » Continue Reading.
Champlain Area Trails will formally open the newest addition to the CATS trail network on Sunday, June 25 in Willsboro, with a hike starting at 1 pm. All are invited to celebrate the grand opening of the “High Point Trail” which goes to the highest point on Willsboro Point.
The High Point Trail is on the property of Marsha and Bill Harbison, who developed the trail and have opened it to the public for hiking. CATS completed trail work, marked the trail, and created a small parking area trailhead. » Continue Reading.
On June 3, 2017 the Moriah Chamber of Commerce will celebrate National Trails Day by hosting hikes on four local Champlain Area Trails (CATS) trails. The hikes officially kick off at 10 am, but the public is welcome to join at any time throughout the day.
The four trails are; Belfry Mountain Trail, Big Hollow/Coot Hill Trail, Cheney Mountain Trail, Crowfoot Pond Trail.
There is no cost to participate and the public is welcome. The greeting tables will set up at the trail heads to welcome hikers, give information or answer questions, and to sell patches for the individual trails to anyone who would like to commemorate their accomplishment. » Continue Reading.
Against the backdrop of the Champlain Valley, the fourth Grand Hike to the Essex Inn will be held on May 13. Hosted by Champlain Area Trails (CATS), the 12-mile “Town-to-Town” hike travels CATS hiking trails and scenic back roads from Wadhams to Essex.
After parking at the Essex Inn, hikers ride free shuttle buses to Wadhams to begin the full hike back to Essex. Shuttle buses start to run at 11 am, with check-in across from the Dogwood Bakery in Wadhams from 11 am to 12:15 pm. » Continue Reading.
How can everyone benefit from trails? Let’s look at the past, present, and future.
The Champlain Valley was the last part added to the Adirondack Park. It has little public land and, until recently, few hiking trails. This limited the economic benefits of outdoor recreation because people bypassed the valley on their way to trails in the High Peaks. But, that is changing.
What led to the change? First, land conservation organizations and the state purchased key properties like Split Rock Wild Forest, Coon Mountain, and Black Kettle Farm. This expanded public access to the outdoors. Next, new “local-food” farms started up attracting young people and reviving the farm community. » Continue Reading.
Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is hosting the North Country’s fourth “Inn-to-Inn” hike on Saturday, May 13th. The 11-mile “Grand Hike to the Essex Inn” will be on CATS hiking trails and scenic back roads from Wadhams to the Essex Inn where there will be a “block party.” The celebration features the Zip City Blues Band, restorative yoga and chair massage provided by Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness, kids crafts, a photo booth, and a buffet dinner. » Continue Reading.
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