The Flying Squirrel Trail in Westport, the newest addition to the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) network of trails, is officially open to the hiking public after the grand opening was celebrated June 2. The hikers who came out for the grand opening were treated to a spectacularly beautiful day in the Champlain Valley as they covered the roughly mile and a half trail through deep forest with moss-covered cliffs and open fields, and beautiful babbling brooks along the way.
The trail received its name when a flying squirrel landed on CATS Trail Steward Bill Amadon when he and a crew of volunteers were creating the trail last autumn. “It seemed like an omen,” said Amadon, “so we changed the name from ‘Wildway Connector Trail’ to Flying Squirrel.”
The new trail was a hit with grand opening hikers. “The Flying Squirrel Trail was wonderful,” said Jenn Sowizdrzal. “We will definitely be doing a revisit. Not sure I saw a flying squirrel, but we did see three deer jumping right in front of us!”
The Flying Squirrel Trail has a trailhead at both ends of the trail, one on Angier Hill Road and the other on Lakeshore Road, across from the Split Rock Wild Forest trailhead. It runs through the heart of the Split Rock Wildway corridor connecting Split Rock Wild Forest to the CATS Wildway Passage Nature Preserve next to Coon Mountain. The Flying Squirrel trail gives hikers a real ‘insider’s view’ to an area critical for the protection of wildlife traveling from the lakeshore to the Adirondack Mountains.
The new trail will be added to the next CATS Trail Map, but for now a map is available on the CATS website at www.champlainareatrails.com, or by calling the CATS office at (518) 962-2297 or by email to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.