With the “Blizzard of 2015” already waning, my mind turns to sunnier spring days in the Champlain Valley. In case you need a little pick-me-up to encourage you through the frosty, windy days of late January, I’m passing along some photographs that I took during the 2014 Grand Hike from Westport to Essex via the CATS trail system.
Remember the wildly successful first annual town-to-town hike? Well, it’s happening again this spring on May 9th! The first planning meeting for the 2015 Grand Hike took place earlier this week at the Essex Inn, and it promises to be an even more exciting and well attended event than the first one. Make sure to mark it on your calendar, and we’ll keep you up to date as plans develop.
2014 Grand Hike Flashback
Before you flip through the 2014 Grand Hike photo gallery below, here’s a little refresher on the event from one of our posts last year.
[M]onths ago, Rick Dalton, owner of the Essex Inn, and Chris Maron, executive director of Champlain Area Trails (CATS), sat down to talk about creating an inn-to-inn hike that would be the first of its kind in the Adirondacks.
The hike would be on trails that CATS is creating to link communities, connect people with nature, and promote economic vitality in the Champlain Valley. They discussed how the hike would bring attention to the area and benefit the hospitality industry and other merchants in the Essex-Westport corridor. (Westport Hotel to Essex Inn: The Grand Hike on Champlain Area Trails)
An outpouring of interest from businesses and organizations in Essex and Westport ensured a strong, representative committee to help plan the event. The planning culminated in a spectacularly well attended town-to-town trek on May 3, 2o14. Residents and visitors traveled from near and far (Pennsylvania was the most distant hiker that I met) to walk and talk and eat together along fourteen miles of scenic trailway. Fresh, local refreshments were provided at rest stops along the way, and a celebration at the Essex Inn capped off the 2014 Grand Hike.
If you participated last spring, I know that you had a great time. I hope to see you again this year. And if you missed the inaugural 2014 Grand Hike, May 9, 2015 is your opportunity to join in the fun!
2014 Grand Hike Gallery
These are my snapshots from the 2014 Grand Hike. You can click an image to enlarge it (and read the caption.) If you have any photos that you’d like to share, let us know in the comments below or contact us. We’d love to add them.
- CATS’ Grand Hike A Great Success (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- First-ever “Grand Hike” sets off in Champlain Valley (northcountrypublicradio.org)
- CATS Grand Hike: Preparing for the Trek (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- CATS Grand Hike Promotes Region (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- New NY group to promote Champlain Valley hiking (northcountrypublicradio.org)
- Trail Day emphasizes collaboration, conservation (pressrepublican.com)
- DeNeales donate conservation easement (pressrepublican.com)
- Upcoming Gigs in Essex and Willsboro! (wadhamswaddlers.com)