Contributing writer Chris Maron is the executive director of Champlain Area Trails.

Winter is a great time to enjoy the Champlain Area Trails (CATS). They offer a range of outdoor experiences with easy to moderate routes good for cross-country skiing, some short climbs to beautiful views, and extended excursions through forests, fields, and along streams.

The wide variety of CATS trails include wonderful excursions in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness west of Ticonderoga, a lakeside outing along Penfield Pond in Crown Point, a walk across the Champlain Bridge to and from Vermont, a hike to three overlooks on Cheney Mountain in Moriah, the extensive trails at Split Rock Wild Forest in Westport, the amazing views from Wildway Overlook Trail in Essex, a trek along the Boquet River on the Riverside Trail in Willsboro, and explorations of marsh habitat at Wickham Marsh in Chesterfield.

To explore the CATS trails on your own, pick up a CATS trail map at various locations or contact the CATS office at (518) 962-2287 or email

CATS Past Winter Events

Last winter, CATS teamed up with Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine for a couple of outings. They also hosted several on their own. All are open to the public, some have a small fee which is primarily to gauge the number of participants, and a few are paired with post-hike gatherings at local taverns. Keep an eye on the events calendar to see what may be happening this winter. 

This pic was from a moonlight hike at DaCy Meadow Farm Trail in Westport. Participants enjoyed a cross-country ski, snowshoe, or hike through the fields and forests of DaCy Meadow Farm on Route 9N, halfway between I-87 and Westport.  A post-hike gathering was held at Ledge Hill Brewing Co. for a refreshing handcrafted ale or lager. Other events offered included learning to identify animal tracks and getting a taste for back country skiing.  Watch for upcoming events and great family-friendly opportunities for outdoor recreation this winter.


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 and by following CATS on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please call (518) 962-2287 for more information.

The CATS trails connect communities, so places to eat and sleep are never far from the trail.



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