There is only one week left until the Champlain Area Trails Grand Inn-to-Inn Hike on May 3! Are you ready? Have you been training to build up endurance for the long trek? Or have you not signed up yet? There is still time.
The Grand Hike begins at the Westport Hotel and Tavern at 9:00 am with a breakfast available at 7:30 and check-in at 8:00. The route hikers travel will take them along 14 miles of beautiful CATS trails and scenic back roads until they reach the Essex Inn on the Adirondack Coast. Participants are encouraged to walk as much or as little of the hike as they are able, and it is possible to begin or end at one of four “oases” along the trek.
Pok-O-MacCready Shuttles are available for transport to and from the oases back to your car in Westport or Essex. (See the full schedule at end.) Due to the number of people that are expected, you may want to leave a car where you plan to finish the hike.
You can park by the Westport Hotel or you can park in Essex and take a shuttle to Westport to begin the hike. The morning shuttles will leave the Essex Ferry Parking Lot at 7:30, 8:00, and 8:30 am. Please be there at one of those times if you plan to leave your car in Essex and need transportation to Westport. If you parked in Westport, the last shuttle of the day will leave Essex at 7:30 pm to take you back to your car.
Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome on the hike, but only certain vans accommodate them.
Download one or both of the amazing Grand Hike trail maps here to see the route:
The hike will end with a block party in Essex from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm featuring the Wadhams Waddlers Band, restorative yoga and chair massage from Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness, and an Overtime Photography photo booth. The block party welcomes all to attend, including non-hikers (Hike registration is $5/person or $10/family. The block party is free!).
Visit the champlainareatrails.com website for more details about the hike and block party.
What to Bring on The Grand Hike
I thought it would be a good idea to review what items you should bring with you when you undertake the 14-mile journey. Some of the items may be obvious, but it’s best to be prepared considering the duration of the hike and the possibility of changing weather/temperatures throughout the day.
Here’s a list of some of the important items every hiker should bring:
- water bottle(s) (There will be coolers of water available at each oasis for refills.);
- lip balm;
- a hat;
- rain gear;
- wear layered clothing;
- extra socks;
- wear appropriate hiking shoes/boots;
- bug spray;
- a headlamp/flashlight;
- snacks (There will be snacks available at each oasis, but it’s best to have backup in case you get hungry in between.);
- it is recommended that you bring a lunch (Or you can reserve a box lunch ($8) made at Ernie’s Market when you do your online registration. Pick up and pay at sign-in table.);
- camera and/or binoculars for nature and wildlife viewing ;
- and a bag/backpack to put all your supplies in.
If you have any other suggestions for items/tools a hiker would need for this trek please leave a comment below.
Register for The Grand Hike
There is still time to sign up! The entrance fee is $5/individual or $10/family. All who participate in The Grand Hike will receive a reusable eco-friendly bag with registration and 4×6 keepsake photo taken at the end of hike courtesy of Overtime Photography. Those who finish the hike will also earn a free cocktail at the Essex Inn.
You can pre-register here.
For those who decide to begin the hike at an oasis, please meet a shuttle in front of the Essex Inn at the designated time below and the shuttle will bring you to the oasis to begin your adventure.
The Grand Hike Schedule
May 3, 2014
- 7:30 am – Breakfast becomes available at The Westport Hotel
- 7:30 am – Pok-O shuttle from Essex (meet at Ferry Parking Lot) to Westport for those who want breakfast
- 8:00 am – Pok-O shuttle from Essex (meet at Ferry Parking Lot) to Westport
- 8:00am – Registration and check-in for those pre-registered begins
- 8:30 am – Shuttle from Essex (Ferry Parking Lot) to Westport
- 9:00 am – Hike begins in Westport
- 10:00 am – Meeting time for those beginning hike at Oasis 1: Shuttle brings hikers from Essex Inn to Oases 1, returns to Essex with people who stop hiking there, shuttle also returns hikers to Westport
- 11:00 am – Meeting time for those beginning hike at Oasis 2: Shuttle brings hikers from Essex Inn to Oasis 2, return to Essex, shuttle also takes people back to Westport
- 1:00 pm – Meeting time for those beginning hike at Oasis 3: Shuttle brings hikers from Essex Inn to Oasis 3, return to Essex, shuttle also takes people back to Westport
- 4:00 pm – Meeting time for those beginning hike at Oasis 4: Shuttle brings hikers from Essex Inn to Oasis 4, return to Essex, shuttle also takes people back to Westport
- 4:30 pm – Shuttles from Oases 4 to Essex and Westport
- 5:00 – 8:00 pm – Block Party in The Essex Inn Courtyard
- 7:00 pm – Last shuttle from Essex back to Westport.
Please be patient because these times are the organizer’s best estimates considering logistics and multiple participant paces. If you have any questions, please call 518-962-2287.
See more about this event on the Essex on Lake Champlain Blog here: “CATS Grand Hike Promotes Region” and “Westport Hotel to Essex Inn: The Grand Hike on Champlain Area Trails.”
- CATS Grand Hike Promotes Region (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Recycle Bottles and Donate to CATS (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Champlain Area Trails’ Grand Hike May 3 (adirondackalmanack.com)
- Area businesses get behind CATS Grand Inn-to-Inn Hike (valleynewsadk.com)
- CATS hike drawing visitors from afar (valleynewsadk.com)