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CATS to host hamlet-to-hamlet hike

— Acting on its vision of people hiking on trails between local communities, Champlain Area Trails (CATS) is hosting a hamlet-to-hamlet hike on Sunday, Oct. 13 between Wadhams and Essex.

“CATS’ goal is to have hiking trails that link our communities so people can enjoy the Champlain Valley’s amazing landscape and patronize businesses in our hamlets,” said Chris Maron, CATS executive director. “To recognize our progress and have a fun Columbus weekend activity, we’re hosting this hike that will start at Dogwood Bakery and end at Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness on Main Street in Essex where refreshments will be available.”

The hike begins at 11 a.m. and should end between 4 and 5 p.m. It will follow a series of trails for about nine miles through forests and fields, along streams and a series of beaver ponds, over the north side of Phinney Hill and the east side of Boquet Mountain, then follow Route 22 for the final two miles into Essex.

“We are all so excited about this hike,” said Steven Kellogg, a founding CATS board member. “At our first meetings, we considered possible trail routes between Westport and Essex. Now, thanks to the inspired involvement of many hardy volunteers and generous landowners, we have enough trails in place to complete this hamlet-to-hamlet hike. We still have more trails to establish before we achieve the goal of making it possible for people to get off the train in Westport, stay at a local inn, spend the next day walking on CATS trails through the Champlain Valley’s beautiful fields and woodlands, and arrive at the lakeshore in Essex in time for dinner and another overnight stay.”

CATS invites people of all ages to come for the all, or just part of the hike. There will a shuttle to take hikers back to Wadhams. Please call or email the CATS office if you plan to participate (962-2287 or email champlaintrails@gmail.com).

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