Champlain Area Trails (CATS), an accredited land trust, announced recentlythat it is increasing opportunities for volunteers to help build and maintain trails in the region.
CATS has created over 80 miles of trails, protected 983 acres, and hosted hundreds of hikes, outdoor education outings, and volunteer events, attracting thousands of visitors annually. The organization relies heavily on volunteers to help build and maintain trails. Their efforts directly impact the positive experiences of all who use the trails.
“We could not work without our volunteers,” said Chris Maron, Executive Director of CATS. “Their contributions are essential to our mission of connecting people with nature and promoting outdoor recreation.”
CATS hosts a monthly Second Saturday Trail Volunteering event and is adding an every-other-week Friday Working Hike series. The next Friday Working Hike will be held on February 23rd at the popular Wildway Overlook Trail in Westport. Volunteers will help clear brush, fix erosion issues, and make the trail safer and more enjoyable. » Continue Reading.
Champlain Valley, New York –Champlain Area Trails (CATS), an accredited land trust, is inviting everyone in the North Country to participate in the annual First Day Hikes on January 1, 2024. This event is a nationwide initiative to encourage people to exercise, connect with nature, and enjoy the outdoors on the first day of the year.
CATS will offer self-guided hikes on scenic trails in the Champlain Valley, including popular CATS trails like Cheney Mountain in Moriah, the Wildway Passage Nature Preserve in Westport, the Wildway Overlook Trail in Essex, the Long Pond Trail in Willsboro, Penfield Pond Trail in Crown Point, and other trails noted on CATS website’s events page.
Westport, NY – Discover the beauty of the Champlain Valley with Champlain Area Trails (CATS) and their updated Central Champlain Valley Trail Map, now featuring four new trails. CATS has been constructing and maintaining trails, protecting land, connecting people with nature, and promoting economic vitality in the Champlain Valley as an accredited land trust since 2009. » Continue Reading.
At its Forever Wild annual event on Saturday, July 15, the Adirondack Council presented its Special Recognition award to Chris Maron and Champlain Area Trails (CATS) for “all the work he and the organization have done to further conservation in the greater Champlain Valley and Adirondacks.”
In presenting the award, John Davis, who serves as the Rewilding Advocate for the Council, said, “CATS, under Chris’ inspired leadership, has had a tremendously positive impact on the Champlain Valley. People now have more local trails to explore. As for saving land, CATS has worked with other land trusts to conserve almost half of the 20,000 acres of the Split Rock Wildway wildlife corridor, which connects Split Rock Wild Forest and woodlands in the Adirondacks.” As he invited Maron to the stage, the crowd of over 200 people burst into a spontaneous standing ovation and applause.
After Maron expressed his thanks, he explained how, just fifteen years ago, there were few trails in the Champlain Valley which limited people from connecting with nature and hurt the economies of Champlain Valley communities because people bypassed them on their way to trails deeper in the Park.
“Now, we’ve created 45 trails totaling 78 miles and promoted them by publishing the CATS Trail Maps yearly,” said Maron. “These actions, along with all our outdoor activities, have connected people with nature, and as I hear from many business owners, town officials, and people out and about, the CATS trails are a big boost for local economies and our quality of life.”
And then, to the audience’s cheers, he pulled the newest edition of the CATS Central Champlain Valley Trails Map out of his back pocket and announced that CATS had published and received the newest edition of the map just two days before.
As the audience quieted, Maron acknowledged that “looking back is great, yet it’s about looking to the future. And that’s exciting because we have so many more trails to build—trails to cool places you hike to with friends, family, and on your own. And especially town-to-town trails that connect our communities. Meanwhile, we must conserve the vibrant natural communities, farmland, clean water, and scenic vistas people see from the trails.”
He then thanked the Council again for the award. He said to the audience that “Along with it honoring me, Champlain Area Trails, our board, staff, trail hosts, and volunteers, it honors you and the vision you have of life and love here in the Champlain Valley, the Adirondack Park, and the entire world.”
About Champlain Area Trails: Champlain Area Trails, founded in 2009, is an accredited land trust with a mission to make trails, protect land, connect people with nature, and promote economic vitality in the Champlain Valley. CATS has made 78 miles of trails, protected 983 acres, and hosted hundreds of hikes, outdoor education outings, and volunteer events, attracting thousands of visitors to the Adirondack’s Champlain Valley. Learn more at www.champlainareatrails.com
Photo Credit: From left to right, Adirondack Council’s Rewilding Advocate John Davis, Executive Director Rocci Aguirre, then Chris Maron, Adirondack Council Board Chair, Sarah Hatfield and Council Director of Conservation Jackie Bowen.
The Champlain Pathways art show, which benefits Champlain Area Trails (CATS), had a highly attended and successful opening at Keene Arts on Friday, June 30. The exhibit, featuring the work of four talented Adirondack artists, Kevin Raines, Rob Powell, Dan Keegan, and Steve Van Nort, and runs through Sunday, July 23, enables people of all ages to experience the beauty of the Adirondacks.
The “Champlain Pathways” exhibition features original works of art, including paintings and drawings inspired by the trails, waterways, mountains, and vibrant natural lands of the Adirondack Park’s Champlain Valley. While the four artists focus on Adirondack landscapes and nature, it’s fascinating to see the different and sometimes similar ways they illustrate the area’s beauty. A portion of all art sales will be donated directly to CATS to support its work to provide more hiking opportunities in the Champlain Valley.
Westport, NY –ChamplainAreaTrails (CATS) will present their long-distance Grand Hike on an almost 14-mile walk through forests and fields. They will have three “oases” along the way, where hikers find snacks, water, portapotties, and a chance to mingle with other hikers.
This hike starts at the North McAuliffe Road Trailhead in Willsboro, NY. It ends at the new Mountain Dog Restaurant & Pub in Westport, NY, where hikers can join an “après hike party” featuring live music, drinks, food to purchase, an outdoor games area, and a post-hike celebration.
Several Adirondack area organizations recently welcomed an allotment of new staff, including Champlain Area Trails (CATS), the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), The Hyde Collection, Silver Bay YMCA, and the Trudeau Institute.
TrudeauInstitute President Atsuo Kuki Leaves Position, Chief Administrative Officer William Chapin named interim director
Saranac Lake—Atsuo Kuki has stepped away from his role as president and director of TrudeauInstitute, after serving in the role for six years.
Chief Administrative Officer William Chapin, a 9-year Trudeau veteran, has been appointed the Institute‘s interim director.
After a two-year hiatus, Champlain Area Trails (CATS) will present a “shorter” Grand Hike on May 14 through the fields and forests of Westport. This year’s hike will be a six-mile loop on Viall’s Crossing trails. The hike starts at the Essex County Fairgrounds and ends at the Ledge Hill Brewing Company right next to the fairgrounds. All are invited to attend a “brew party” at the conclusion of the hike that will feature live music by the Bionic Band from Saranac Lake, drinks, food to purchase from DaCy Meadow Farm, a kids’ area, and a post-hike celebration.
“We are so pleased to start this up again,” said Chris Maron, CATS Executive Director. “With so many uncertainties, we chose to keep it simple—to have it be an afternoon walk beginning at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport, going on a number of CATS trails, then on easy roads through Westport and ending at Ledge Hill Brewery which is right next to the fairgrounds. That makes for convenient parking for all those who want to enjoy our family-friendly trails and for those coming from farther distances.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
This 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.
Champlain 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.”
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