This May we three ADK members and Forty-Sixers decided to explore the newly designed trail system in the Champlain Valley. We contacted CATS (Champlain Area Trails– www.champlainareatrails.com) for advice on spotting cars and how best to approach a duplication of their “Grand Hike” held this year on May 13, which went from Wadhams just north of Westport to the end at Essex on Lake Champlain. Their staff, housed in a very sweet log cabin in the town of Westport, was so helpful with both email contact and in-person advice.
None of us was familiar with the area, and we were pleasantly surprised in so many ways. The small towns and the inn where we stayed, the Inn at Westport, were delightful. We enjoyed a fabulous meal at the Deer Head Inn in Elizabethtown. We think Adirondack Explorer readers would like to know what an incredible array of easily accessible trails CATS has created as part of a program to link trails, towns, cafes, restaurants, and inns. This concept is behind many regional efforts (such as the planned Empire Trail and the Berkshires’ High Road) to assist economic development by bringing in outdoor enthusiasts for a day or an extended outing and by connecting the forests, fields, and waterways to places where people can dine and stay over.
Karen Ross, Claudia Rosenholz, and Lori McCarron, Lebanon Springs, NY