Join Champlain Area Trails (CATS) on the Sophie’s Lair Hike/ Ski/Snowshoe Adventure, Saturday, February 16, in Willsboro. Since the ground conditions are unknown this far out, hikers are invited to come with skis or snowshoes or hiking boots and to make a decision on the day. Whatever the choice, getting out on the Sophie’s Lair Trail is a fun way to spend an afternoon in a fabulous setting.
Participants should meet at 2:00 p.m. at the Florence Hathaway trailhead on Essex Road in Willsboro (look for the tennis courts). After the hike, CATS encourages the hikers to go to either Essex Inn or Turtle Island Café in Willsboro.
The Florence Hathaway Trail, about a half-mile long, leads to the Sophie’s Lair Trail. The Hike/Ski/Snowshoe Adventure is an easy, 3-7 mile route depending on the loops taken and will run about 3 hours depending on gear chosen.
Sophie’s Lair is a beautiful set of trails through a lovely forest with old stone walls from forgotten farms and majestic oak, hickory and pine trees. There are small frozen creeks, seasonally wet but now frozen areas, and gentle hills perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
This CATS Adventure is free, though donations are gratefully accepted. While registration is not required, it does help to have a idea of how many are coming (there may be treats involved) so please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at (518) 962-2287 if you plan to join the hike. CATS staff will also have updates on the ground conditions so please feel free to call the office with questions.
Like most of CATS trails, Sohie’s Lair is on private property that landowners Jenny and Reg Bedell conserved with conservation easement that allows public access along the trail. “We enjoyed hiking the trails on our property and wanted to share that with others,” says Jenney Bedell. “Working with CATS and the Open Space Institute made that possible. We’re delighted that it is being used in this way and that we could name the trail after our cat, Sophie.”
“We are grateful to the Bedells for making this beautiful property part of the CATS network of trails,” said CATS Executive Director Chris Maron. “It’s people like them, who so generously share their land, that make many of CATS trails available to all and this upcoming Adventure is a perfect example of that.”
Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is a nonprofit organization that creates and maintains hiking and cross-country ski trails in the Champlain Valley, with the goal of linking communities, connecting people with nature and promoting economic vitality. CATS is also an accredited land trust working to conserve natural communities, farmland, clean water, and scenic vistas. Information on future CATS events and activities is available on the website at champlainareatrails.com and by following CATS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Please call (518) 962-2287 for more information.