Today’s a great day to register for the Grand Hike to the Essex Inn. It’s only TWO WEEKS away on May 14 and will take you on THREE NEW CATS Trails. So register soon. If you want to help as a volunteer, please email or call CATS.
The hike begins in Wadhams where you will set out on the new “Wadhams Lookout Trail” and see a panoramic view of the High Peaks. After a short connection via the Field and Forest Trail, you will get to the other new trails. The 1.5-mile “Long Valley Trail” goes from upland forest to grassy fields on the south side of Crooked Brook and leads to Sayre Road and the new “Art Farm Trail.” Here you will see landowner Ted Cornell’s unique outdoor sculptures as you walk uphill through large grassy meadows toward a piney forest and the CATS trails leading to Essex.
Once you arrive in Essex you will celebrate at a Block Party at the Essex Inn featuring live music, food, drinks, kids crafts, and restorative yoga and chair massage provided by Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness.
Please park in Essex where free shuttles, starting at 12:15, will take you from the Essex Inn to Wadhams. You can hike the whole route, join at one of the oases along the way, or stop at an oasis and take a shuttle to where you began. The block party begins at 4:00, so plan to arrive in Essex accordingly. If you park in Wadhams, please arrange transportation back from Essex. Check-in is from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. across from Dogwood Bread Company in Wadhams. The first bus at 12:15 may already be full so you might plan to arrive for the second and third bus trips.
Everyone is welcome for the hike and block party, which non-hikers can also attend. Registration is $20/person for the hike; children under 17 are free. The block party is free. Click here to preregister.
Coming to the Grand Hike from out of town? Make your reservation at the Essex Inn and let them know you’re coming for the Hike and receive 25% off your stay.
NEXT weekend features not one, but TWO hikes.
On Friday evening, May 6, join entomologist Ezra Schwartzberg on the Black Kettle Trail to observe the spring peepers and other courting amphibians.
On Saturday morning, May 7, take a walk on Coon Mountain with naturalists Sheri Amsel and John Davis to explore the array of spring wildflowers along the woodland trail, especially in the beech-maple forest ravine. Click here for details and to register for these and other hikes.
Trail of the Week
This week we suggest taking a hike on the Boquet Mountain Trail in Essex. This trail is especially nice this time of year. Its southern exposure means you will enjoy various wildflowers including Dutchman’s Breeches, Hepatica, and many more. You can also enjoy beautiful vistas of the Champlain Valley while the trees are still bare. The trailhead for this easy, 5 mile round-trip trail is on Jersey Street 1.5 miles west of the Boquet River.
Conservation Easements – Success Story #3 – Rowe Conservation Easement
Bob and Patty Rowe wanted to conserve their 121 acres on Jersey Street in Essex before selling it. Their property featured 100 acres of forest in the Split Rock Wildway where maintaining the forest is extremely important for wildlife moving between Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. Conservation groups wanted to conserve the forest yet its value with all the building rights made it prohibitively expensive. It also had 20 acres of farmland. The problem was that this was mid-November and the Rowe’s needed to donate the CE by year’s end. So, we quickly worked out a deal where the Rowe’s donated the CE to Eddy Foundation and it closed on December 31, 2008.
Shortly thereafter, Northeast Wilderness Trust bought 90 acres of the woods to become forever-wild forest, and the 31-acre farm tract was sold to a couple who planned to build one house on it. They never built the house and recently sold the conserved farmland property to Reber Rock Farm which grows food enjoyed by many in our local communities. Result – A conserved forest and farm that will stay as farmland producing tasty food for us all.
CATS Executive Director
- Split Rock Wildway: A Critical Wildlife Corridor (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Building Bridges & Another Conservation Easement Success Story (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Weasels of Our Home: Aquatic Mustelids (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Split Rock Wildway: Creating and Protecting a Wildlife Corridor (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)