Champlain Area Trails (CATS) will again host a fun hike to coincide with the Third Annual Adirondack Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 15. This year it’s called the “Fest to Fest Hike” because hikers will begin and end at the Festival on the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport, New York. The hike starts at 10 am; hikers should come early to check in at the registration desk near the main entrance.
The hike showcases the new Viall’s Crossing Trail where, to ensure permanent legal access to a critical railroad crossing for the trail connecting Westport and Essex, CATS spent some serious money. Therefore, all proceeds from this year’s hike will help pay for the Viall’s Crossing Conservation and Trail Project.
That’s a win-win for participants as they will have all the fun of a CATS hike and be part of the project that conserves an historic farm, protects a key part of the Split Rock Wildway wildlife corridor connecting Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains, and creates a permanent hiking trail.
The 5-mile hike starts at the Fairgrounds, goes under the railroad crossing, through Westport Storage and immediately enters the new Viall’s Crossing Trail. Hikers will track along rock ledges through a rich forest and then emerge onto an amazing field with beautiful views. After crossing the railroad tracks, hikers come to the Hemlock Hill Trail, cross Sherman Road and enter the Woods & Swale Trail, and then come out on Lakeshore Road to back to Westport and the Fairgrounds. Hikers who have worked up an appetite on the trail then have all the wonderful vendors at the Harvest Festival to choose from for lunch.
“The Viall’s Crossing Trail was a big hit during the CATS Grand Hike last May,” said CATS Executive Director Chris Maron. “I’ve heard many compliments from people who said the Viall’s Crossing Trail was their favorite part of the hike. It was a big effort to conserve the farm and to create the trail, but seeing how often it’s now used is gratifying. We appreciate all those who have already supported the Viall’s Crossing Conservation and Trail Project and look forward to the Fest to Fest Hike as another way to support the Project.”
As a fundraiser for the Viall’s Crossing Project, the requested registration fee is $20 if registered by September 8, and $25 after that date. Hikers under 18 are free. However, CATS never wants anyone to miss out on CATS fun so if money’s an issue, please call the CATS office at (518) 962-2287 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and adjustments can be made. If hikers want to more generously support Viall’s Crossing and CATS, the registration fee can be exceeded and is appreciated.
You can register for the Fest to Fest Hike and learn more details on the Viall’s Crossing Project, at the CATS website www.champlainareatrails.com.