The Champlain Area Trails (CATS) new 2018-2019 Trail Map shows 87 hikes in the Champlain Valley, as well as new features designed to make it even more useful than the previous maps for hikers, snow-shoers, and cross-country skiers.
The first thing map users will notice is the increase in size and detail. “We added trails in Chesterfield and Ticonderoga,” said CATS Executive Director Chris Maron, “and we had to increase the size of the map to accommodate them. It’s a great problem to have.”
Other new features include topographical detail so hikers will know the physiographical context of the trails they’re hiking. All trails are now listed in an easy-to-read chart form showing descriptions of each trail, length, degree of difficulty, directions, and special features such as overlooks and suitability for cross-country skiing or bicycling.
The map includes trails that range from the shortest trail, a quarter-mile hike on Blueberry Hills in Elizabethtown to the longest, the 12-mile Spring Mill Pond Trail in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area. Some trails explore deep forests and open meadows, while others have wonderful views from overlooks, all noted on the map.
A $2,000 grant from the International Paper Foundation helped produce the new map, and CATS Business Sponsorships provided additional funding. These CATS Business Sponsors are also listed on the map.
The new map was designed by Gwen Jamison of Essex. Jamison who is now working on a CATS map of Clinton County trails, with ADK author David Thomas-Train providing the editorial work. That map will be published next month.
CATS makes the map available for free to anyone who wants a copy, although donations are always gratefully accepted. It is available throughout the Champlain Valley region at retail stores, area businesses and visitor centers, as well as by calling the CATS office at (518) 962-2287 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s also a brochure box with maps on the CATS front door in Westport for after hours pick up.
“We want the map, which is an excellent road map for the area, to be a tool that’ll be used over and over,” Maron said. “We’d be happy to replace any that get worn out!”