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Mineville student wins essay contest

Champlain Area Trails Travel Writing Contest

Peter Hartwell and mentor David Thomas Train are winners in the Champlain Area Trails Travel Writing Contest. Hartwell attends the Champlain Valley Educational Services Special Education program in Mineville.

Peter Hartwell and mentor David Thomas Train are winners in the Champlain Area Trails Travel Writing Contest. Hartwell attends the Champlain Valley Educational Services Special Education program in Mineville.

— Visitors to the CATS website were also able to have their say and pick their favorite entry.

Jessica Wimett, of Wadhams, won the $250 People’s Choice Prize for receiving the most online votes—41 percent. Her essay, “A Great Resolution,” tells the story of how she named her baby during a hike on a CATS trail.

“I decided to enter the contest because I immediately had an emotional response to thinking about this area, and the sense of community and nurturing I've discovered here,” said Wimett. “The thing I like best about the CATS trails is their accessibility. When I don't have the time to go on a major outdoor romp, I can still have an impromptu wander outdoors with my daughter.”

CATS launched the travel writing contest in September with the purpose of promoting economic vitality through outdoor recreation based tourism.

“People research vacation destinations online, so as they look into visiting the northeast, we want them to see these articles about New York’s Champlain Valley and get inspired to come here, enjoy the outdoors, patronize local businesses, and tell others about this beautiful area,” said Chris Maron, executive director of CATS. “We are grateful to the J.C. Kellogg Foundation for underwriting this contest.”

Contest Coordinator Gretel Schueller noted, “The contest spawned several strong stories. The top four—which include the two winners—can be viewed at our online CATS Destination Guide.”

The next CATS Travel Writing Contest will begin in February. Visit www.champlainareatrails.com for full details.

Champlain Area Trails is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to develop hiking/skiing trails that link Champlain Valley communities, connect people to nature, promote economic vitality, and protect habitat and scenic vistas. For more information, go to www.champlainareatrails.com or call 962-CATS (2287).

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