(Browse some photos from the 2014 Grand Hike above.)
Last spring over 200 people joined in the inaugural Champlain Area Trails (CATS) Grand Hike, and as groups and individuals they hiked from Westport to Essex, NY. This year the event is happening again and it will take place on May 9, 2015.
“The idea of the Grand Hike grew from the popular inn-to-inn hikes in England,” said Chris Maron, CATS’ executive director. “Our goal is to have CATS trails connect towns and hamlets throughout the Champlain Valley and holding the Grand Hikes advance that idea. The success of the inaugural hike last spring shows that these hikes are doable and that they attract visitors to this area.”
CATS is still in the planning stages of this year’s Grand Inn to Inn Hike, but check in/registration will take place Essex County Fairgrounds in late morning across from the Westport Hotel & Tavern, and from there participants will hike 14 miles from Westport to the Essex Inn in Essex along CATS trails and scenic back roads. Along the way there will be several “oases” stocked with water and snacks, and there will be porta-potties and helpful volunteers at these oases as well. If you can’t or don’t want to hike the full length of the Inn to Inn hike, then you can choose to begin your trek at one of the oasis locations.
At the Inn, everyone is invited attend a block party tentatively scheduled from 4 – 7 pm to celebrate the adventurous hikers. There will be more details to come, but the party promises to have music, food, restorative yoga and chair massage by Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness, and many other fun activities.
Join the Grand Hike
To participate in the hike the suggested donation is $5/person or $10/family. Mark your calendars for the hike and you can even register now for the May 9th event: Register here! (Registering early will help CATS anticipate attendee numbers.)
We’ll announce more details about this event as they become available. You can also check in at champlainareatrails.com for the most up-to-date information.
Last year over twenty local businesses and residents sponsored the Grand Hike. If you want to be a sponsor this year, then learn more by contacting CATS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518.962. 2287.
- CATS Interpretive Hike: Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Champlain Valley (essexny.us)
- 2014 Grand Hike Retrospective (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- CATS’ Grand Hike A Great Success (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- First-ever “Grand Hike” sets off in Champlain Valley (northcountrypublicradio.org)
- CATS Grand Hike Promotes Region (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)