February 11, 2013

New Essex County hiking, skiing trail planned


WESTPORT — Champlain Area Trails is developing a new hiking/skiing trail to link the system connecting Westport to Essex.

The group, known as CATS, will host a project to create the Farm and Forest Trail from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

“This trail will link Wadhams to the Bobcat Trail as it passes through fields and forests and over part of Phinney Hill,” CATS Executive Director Chris Maron said in a news release.

“Our plans are to have it continue into Whallonsburg and be an important part of the trail we’re creating to connect Westport to Essex.”

CATS was recently awarded the Destination Award by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism for increasing tourism and local economic vitality by promoting outdoor recreation.

“We want people to be able to hike from hamlet to hamlet on a system of trails like they do in England. Those trails bring in people from around the world,” Maron said.


CATS invites people of all ages to come out to clear the trail. Participants will cut tree limbs and saplings, remove fallen logs and clear brush. Volunteers can stay for all or just part of the workday.

“The Farm and Forest Trail will be on private property, so we want to thank the landowners for allowing CATS to have this trail,” Katharine Preston, CATS Board chair, said in a statement.

“Because most land in the Champlain Valley is privately owned, CATS makes agreements with landowners so we can create and maintain trails.”

Volunteers for the Farm and Forest Trail Project will meet in Wadhams at Dogwood Bread Company and bring bring gloves, loppers and handsaws, if available. CATS will also provide tools.

For more details, call 962-2287 or email

Champlain Area Trails Inc. is a nonprofit organization located at 6482 Main St., Westport.