Champlain Area Trails (CATS) creates and maintains hiking and cross-country ski trails in New York’s Champlain Valley that link communities, connect people with nature, and promote economic vitality. In its short history, CATS has developed over 40 miles of trails. CATS’ goal is to extend its trails throughout the Champlain Valley and connect them to trails in the Adirondack Mountains, Vermont, and Quebec giving residents and visitors the opportunity to “Hike the Lake.”
You can help create and maintain trails by participating in our trail projects. Join our email list to keep abreast of where and when you can help.
Below is a brief description of trails in New York’s central Champlain Valley. Some are ours and others are owned and managed by other organizations.
Note: We are still writing descriptions for some of the trails – if you want to write a description please an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trail Maps are available as noted below. Please check back for new map postings.
Have fun, stay on trails and use caution – especially crossing streams.
Ancient Oaks Trail (#9 on 2016/17 Map) (2.5 mi loop, easy, good ski trail) – Trailhead on Rt 22 (Essex Rd) 2.2 mi north of Essex Ferry. Trail through forest, then field, along wetlands and small pond, enters diverse forest with several ancient oak trees and unexpected rock outcrops. (owner – PL) Ancient Oaks Trail Map
Art Farm Trail – (#21 on 2016/17 Map) (1.5 mile RT, easy) Trailhead on Sayre Rd 0.6 mi north of Lewis-Wadhams Rd. Goes through field, woods and field by a pond. Connects to Field and Forest Trail. (PL) Art Farm Trail Map
Bald Peak Trail (#37 on 2016/17 Map) (8 mi RT, moderate) Trailhead 1.3 mi south of New Russia on west side of Rt 9. Trail starts flat, crosses a stream, climbs steadily through forest and then follows the stream. After a mile, it turns left, crosses stream again and climbs steeply to summit with stunning views. (owners/managers – NYS & PL) Overview Map Close Up Map
Bartlett Pond – McConley Rd Trail (#39 on 2016/17 Map) (8 mi RT, easy) Westport Trailhead at McConley Rd just west of Stevenson Rd. Moriah trailhead at end of Bartlett Pond Rd. Trail follows seasonal road through Adirondack foothills called “West Champlain Hills” to Mineville. Good for biking, skiing. (owners /managers – Towns of Westport and Moriah & PL) Overview Map
Beaver Bend Trail (#25 on 2016/17 Map) (1/2 mile loop, easy) Trailhead on Angier Hill Rd 0.8 mi south of Whallonsburg. This trail is a short walk in riparian forest and field along the Boquet River. Good for bird watching. (owner – CATS)
Beaver Flow Trail (#18 on 2016/17 Map) (3 mi RT or 3 mi loop, easy) Trailhead – See #13. Trail shared with Black Kettle Trail for about 100 yds. Take right fork, walk through forest, cross a stream and climb to more level land. Go straight or take right fork to access Homestead trail or to make a loop hike. If you went straight, continue past two junctions with Homestead Trail** (on right) to get to Walker Rd. South trailhead is on Walker Road across from the Bobcat Trailhead parking area. (owner – EF) Overview Map Close Up Map
Belfry Mt Trail (#42 on 2016/17 Map) (.8 mi RT, easy) Trailhead on Dalton Hill Rd, 3 mi south of Lincoln Pond, 1 mi north of Witherbee. This is a short hike to a fire tower with great views. (owner/manager – PL) There is great information on the Belfry Mountain Trail on the CNY Hiking Website. Overview Map Close Up Map
Black Kettle Nature Trail (#17 on 2016/17 Map) (1.5 mi loop, easy/moderate, interpretive signs) Trailhead on south side of Cook Rd* about 100 yds west of Leaning Rd. Trail shared with Beaver Flow Trail for about 100 yds. Take left fork onto old woods road to junction with the trail loop. Turn right to an overlook, hike through upland woodlands and take short, steep descent to cross a stream. Continue through forest to a wetland, cross stream, walk uphill through old field, re-enter the forest, pass some huge trees, turn right onto entry trail and follow to trailhead. (owner – EF) Overview Map Close Up Map
Boquet River Nature Preserve
* Cook Road is a seasonal road open for hiking skiing and snowshoeing in winter. (Please be cautious as there may be some motorized vehicles on it also.)
** Homestead Trail provides a return route to Cook Rd*. Go right on road to trailhead. (Trail closed Sept 15 to Dec 15.) (owner – EF & PL)
Blueberry Hill Trails (#35 on 2016/17 Map) (¼ – 1½ mi trails, easy to moderate, multi-use) Thirty trails through forest with two summits and many views. Trailhead on east side of Lords Rd, ¼ mi off 9N or drive up Bronson Rd (off Roscoe Rd) to reach multiple trailheads. Two main trailheads have display cases with maps. (owner – Town of Elizabethtown; managed by Blueberry Hill Trail Committee) Download Map Here. Click here for more information.
Bobcat Trail (#19 on 2016/17 Map) Trailhead on Walker Rd 1-1/4 mi west of Rt 22. Goes thru old Christmas tree farm to mixed forest. For short hike, turn right on Meadow Rt to Walker Rd, right to trailhead. Longer hike, turn left, pass by beaver ponds. South trailhead at end of Ferris Rd. (owners – EF & PL; managed by CATS) Overview Map Close Up Map Field & Forest and Bobcat – 2013
Boquet Mountain Trail (#12 on 2016/17 Map) (5 mi RT, easy) North trailhead on Jersey St. (Cty Rt 12) 1½ mi west of Boquet River. Trail goes up to the saddle between N. and S. Boquet Mts, traverses east side of S. Boquet Mountain through intriguing rocks and continues on an old logging road to the south trailhead on Cook Rd* about ¾ mi west of Leaning Rd. (owners – EF & PL; managed by CATS) Overview Map Close-up Map
Boquet River Nature Preserve Trails (#5 on 2016/17 Map) (easy) The Trailhead to the recently upgraded 0.5 mi River Trail is at the end of Gilliland St. Old-growth floodplain forest along the scenic river. Trailhead to the Upland Forest Trail Network is behind old school at end of Library Street. Upland and River Trails will eventually be connected. (TNC) Download Map Here.
Brookfield Headwaters Trail (#11 on 2016/17 Map) (0.8 mi loop, easy) – Trailhead on Reynolds Rd .04 mi west of Brookfield Rd. Trail through a biologically rich forest that passes by a beaver pond (to protect waterfowl, please leave dogs at home). (owner – NWT; managed by CATS) Overview Map Close Up Map
Carver Road Trail (#2 on 2016/17 Map) (4 mi RT, easy) South Trailhead on Reber Rd 1.7 mi west of Rt 22; North trailhead on Carver Rd 0.8 mi west of Rt 22. Trail follows abandoned road through forest west of Land Pond. (Town of Willsboro)
Challis Pond Trail (#46 on 2016/17 Map) (1.2 mi RT, easy) Trailhead on Ensign Pond Rd (Rt 4) 2.6 mi from Rt 9 or 6.5 mi west of Windy Hills Rd. This is a short hike through a hemlock and cedar forest to Challis Pond. (owner/manager – NYS)
Champlain Bridge Trail (#51 on 2016/17 Map) (1 mi RT, easy, handicapped accessible) This beautiful bridge features great views. (owners/managers – NYS and Vermont) ChamplainBridge_Map
Cheney Mt Trail (#41 on 2016/17 Map) (1.5 mi RT, moderate) Trailhead on Pelfershire Rd ~1.6 mi west of Rt 22/9N. Walk across field, enter woods for short uphill hike to summit with three scenic overlooks. Interesting “perched” wetlands on summit. (owner – Town of Moriah) There is great information on the Cheney Mountain Trail on the CNY Hiking Website. Overview Map Close Up Map
Read more about this exciting new trail in Adirondack Explorer and the Plattsburgh Press Republican.
Coon Mt Trails (#29 on 2016/17 Map) (2 mi RT, moderate) Trailhead on Halds Rd ¾ mi west of Lakeshore Rd. Summit Trail follows old logging road, climbs a steep stairstep of stones, goes around shoulder of the mountain to the summit. Fabulous views! Hidden Valley Trail (left fork) goes through a diverse forest at base of the mountain and meets Summit Trail. Return to trailhead or go to the summit. (owner – ALT) About Coon Mt Wildflower Check List Overview Map Close Up Map
Coot Hill Trail – (#49 on 2016/17 Map) (0.5 mi) RT from cemetery, easy/moderate) Trailhead – take Lang Rd. (rough road) 1 mile and park by brook or continue .5 miles to cemetery. Winter trailhead – end of plowed road. Walk, drive, or ski on Lang Rd. to cemetery, turn left for 1/4 mile to amazing views. (PL)
Crown Point State Historic Site (#50 on 2016/17 Map) (.8 mi RT, easy, interpretive signs) Explore a fascinating old fort. Across the road is Lake Champlain Visitors’ Center; beyond that is an obelisk featuring a Rodin sculpture—yes, really. You’ll find a Rodin sculpture on the side facing the lake. (owner/manager – NYS) Overview Map
Crowfoot Pond Trail (#44 on 2016/17 Map) (5 mi RT, easy) Trailhead on Tracy Rd 1.6 miles east of Rt. 9) This trail follows an old logging road along Crowfoot Brook between Tracy Rd and Crowfoot Pond. (owner/manager – New York State)
DaCy Meadow Farm Trail (#32 on 2016/17 Map) (2 mi loop, easy) Trailhead on Rt 9N 2.4 mi west of Westport and 1.7 east of I-87 Exit 31. Trail goes through field, passes over stream and wetland, goes uphill through forest and down to follow a stream. Crosses stream and returns to trailhead through fields. (owner/manager – private landowner)
Field & Forest Trail – (#22 on 2016/17 Map) (2.7 mi one way or 2.4 mi loop from Boquet River trailhead, easy). The Boquet River Tailhead is 1/2 north of Wadhams on Cty. Rt. 10. Other trailhead shared with Bobcat Trail at end of Ferris Rd. As you enter the forest, take left fork, cross an old beaver dam, go through forest and fields to Boquet River Trailhead. Turn left for ½ mi walk to Wadhams. (owner – PL) Download Map Here Field & Forest and Bobcat Map – 2013 Field & Forest/Long Valley/Art Farm Trail Map
Florence Hathaway Park Nature Trail (#7 on 2016/17 Map) (1 mile loop, easy) Trailhead on Essex Rd. (Rt 22), 3.2 mi north of Essex Ferry and 1.3 mi south of bridge over Boquet River in Willsboro. Trail goes through a magical pine forest, along a creek, and through seasonally wet areas. Connects to Sophie’s Lair Trail. (owner – Town of Willsboro). Florence Hathaway Park Trail.2015 Willsboro Recreation Park Trail Overview Map Willsboro Recreation Park Trail Close Up Map
Footbridge Park Trail (#34 on 2016/17 Map) (¼ mi loop, easy, interpretive signs) The trailhead is at the end of Footbridge Lane in Elizabethtown. A scenic walk along the Little Boquet River with sites for children to learn about wildlife. (owner/manager – Town of Elizabethtown) Download Map Here.
Foothill Trail (#14 on 2016/17 Map) (2 mi RT, easy/moderate) Trailhead – see Rocky Ledges Trail. After 100 yards, turn left, goes along edge of farmfield, climbs steeply, meets Rocky Ledges Trail; keep left to Boquet Mountain Trail (EF & PL) Overview Map Close Up Map
Hammond & Bloody Pond Trail (#47 on 2016/17 Map) (1.6 mi RT to Hammond Pond, 3.8 RT to Bloody Pond, easy) Trailhead on Ensign Pond Rd (Rt 4) 2.6 mi from Rt 9 and 6.5 mi west of Windy Hills Rd. The trail follows a stream through forested hills. After .7 mi, you come to a fork. Left goes to Hammond Pond; Right fork goes along Hammond Pond to Bloody Pond. (owner/manager – NYS)
Hidden Quarry Trail (#40 on 2016/17 Map) (0.8 mi loop, easy) The trailhead is in a little grassy area on east side of Rt 22/9N about 4.5 miles south of downtown Westport and 5.5 miles north of Port Henry. The trail goes through forest and fields with views of the West Champlain Hills. It features an old rock quarry with a cliff overlooking a small pond. If the trail seems too short, just turn around at the end of the loop and walk the other way for new views of the same trail. (owner – PL; managed by CATS) Read about this trail in The Valley News. Overview Map Close Up Map (This trail was featured on North Country Public Radio. Click HERE to hear Brian Mann, NPR’s Adirondack Bureau Chief, describe his late fall hike on this tail.)
High Point Trail (#4 on 2016/17 Map) (1.5 mi RT, moderate) Trailhead on Point Rd 0.6 mi north of Frisbie Rd. Pleasant hike through woods to high point on Willsboro Point. Passes by rock wall and wetlands. (PL)
Homestead Trail (#16 on 2016/17 Map) (2.5 mi RT or loop, easy) Trailhead on Cook Rd*, ¾ mi west of Leaning Rd. Trail follows an old road through forest, crosses a stream and meets Beaver Flow Trail at two different places. Go left back to Cook Rd and then left for 3/4 mi to trailhead; or straight, then right (south) to go to Walker Rd. (Trail closed Sept 30 – Dec 15) (owners – EF & PL) Homestead_Overview Close Up Map NOTE: The Homestead Trail will be CLOSED for logging from January 1 to February 1, 2017.
Lee Park Trail (#31 on 2016/17 Map) (¾ mi RT, easy) Trailhead in Westport at Lee Park at bottom of Washington St. From playground, follow Hoisington Brook upstream to footbridge over little waterfall, go through tunnel under Main St, continue upstream, cross bridge for a scenic walk through scenic forest along stream. (owner/manager – Town of Westport) Overview Map Close Up Map
Long Valley Trail – (#23 on 2016/17 Map) (opening planned for Sept 2015) (1.2 mi, easy) Trail from Field and Forest Trail or Sayre Rd 1/4 mi south of Art Farm Trail. Hike through long grassy valley with views. (PL) Long Valley Trail Map
McAuliffe Road Trail (#10 on 2016/17 Map) (3 mi RT, easy) South trailhead on Jersey St just west of Boquet River. From parking area, walk uphill next to road about 200 feet to beginning of trail. North trailhead at end of McAuliffe Rd. Trail is an old town road through forest above the Boquet River. (Owners – Town of Willsboro & PL) Overview Map
McConley Spring Trail – (#43 on 2016/17 Map) (1 mi RT, easy) Trailhead on Tracy Rd just west of Mineville. Pleasant trail in woods with small hills. (Town of Moriah)
Moose Mt Pond Trail (#48 on 2016/17 Map) (2.7 mi RT to Bass Lake trail junction, 6.4 mi RT to Moose Mt Pond, easy) Trailhead same as Hammond Pond. Trail follows old logging road along a river with beaver activity and goes by a waterfall. Go left at Bass Lake Trail junction. Good view overlooking Berrymill Flow (campsites). Cross a bridge and continue to the pond. A little further is a lean-to. (owner/manager – NYS)
Mountain Spring Rd Trail (#38 on 2016/17 Map) (8-12 mi RT, easy/moderate) Westport trailhead at junction with Stevenson Rd or 2 mi west where seasonal road begins. Moriah trailhead is first left off Bartlett Pond Rd. Trail follows seasonal road through Adirondack foothills called “West Champlain Hills.” Good for biking, skiing. (owners/managers – Towns of Westport and Moriah ) Overview Map
Mt Gilligan Trail (#36 on 2016/17 Map) (3 mi RT, moderate/difficult) 2.5 mi south of New Russia. Turn east on Scriver Rd off Rt 9 2.5mi south of New Russia; park in a dirt lot. Walk over bridge, go right, trailhead on left before the house. Trail starts flat, goes right up steep, rocky slope to see beautiful views of Dix Range and Bald Peak. (owners – PL) Overview_Map Close Up Map
Noblewood Park Trail (#6 on 2016/17 Map) (1 mi RT, easy) Trailhead on Rt 22, 1.3 mi north of bridge over Boquet R in Willsboror or 3 Essex. Trail provides access to Lake Champlain, a swimming beach and a scenic river delta.There is a fee to park inside gate. (owner/manager – Town of Willsboro). Overview Map
Old Ironville Rd Trail (#53 on 2016/17 Map) (4.6 mi. Rt, easy) – Trailhead same as Penfield Pond Trail. Trail follows road for 0.1 mi. Take right fork onto old road through attractive forest. (Owner – PL)
Over the Mountain to Lake Champlain Trail – This “trail” is a moderate 8-mile, on-way hike through Champlain Valley forests. Begin in Mineville and follow Mountain Springs Road, a seasonal road that goes over the mountain to Stevenson Road south of Westport. We recommend parking a car at both ends, otherwise it is a 16-mile round-trip walk. Overview Map
Pauline Murdoch Wildlife Trail – (#33 on 2016/17 Map) (1 mi RT, easy) Trailhead on Elizabethtown-Wadhams Rd, 0.4 mi north of Boquet River. Trail cllimbs into forest with rich birdlife (NYS)
Penfield Pond Trail (#52 on 2016/17 Map) (1 mi, RT, easy) – Trailhead on Old Ironville (Peasley) Rd. 0.2 mi east of Pefield Museum. Cross creek, follow trail into woods, climbs hill above brook, goes along east shore of Penfield Pone. (Owner – Penfield Museum) Overview map. Click HERE to take a “virtual hike” of this trail.
(#1a on 2016/17 Map) Ranger Trail (2.4 mi RT, moderate/difficult) Trailhead 2.8 mi south of I-87 Exit 33. Steep trail with overlooks on way to the summit featuring fire tower & panoramic views (NYS)
(#1b on 2016/17 Map) Observers’ Trail (5 mi. RT, easy/moderate) Trailhead 4 mi south of I-87 Exit 33. Easier, longer trail through beautiful forests before joing the Ranger Trail by ruins of old ranger’s cabin near final climb to summit. (NYS) Download Map Here
Rattlesnake Mt Trail (#3 on 2016/17 Map) (3 mi RT, moderate/difficult) Trailhead on Rt 22, about 5 mi south of I-87 Exit 33 and 3 mi north of Willsboro. Park on east side of road across from Long Pond Cabins. Trail is a logging road that turns left onto a foot trail that climbs steeply to the summit with spectacular views of Lake Champlain, Willsboro Point, and Vermont. (owner – PLs)
Overview Map Close up Map
Rocky Ledges Trail – (#13 on 2016/17 Map) (2 mi loop, moderate/difficult) Trailhead on Leaning Rd 150 yds south of Jersey St. (Cty Rd 12). Trail through forest by rock outcrops. Intersects Foothill Trail on way to Boquet Mountain Trail (EF & PL). 1) Mountain Route, right fork, goes uphill, meets old woods road & connects to Boquet Mt Trail. Turn left, walk 500 yds to Foothill Rt. Turn left to trailhead. Or continue on to Boquet Mt Trail to Cook Rd. 2) Foothill Route, left fork, relatively level, climbs to meet Boquet Mt Trail. Turn right, walk 500 yds to Mountain Rt. Turn right to trailhead on continue on Boquet Mt Trail. Overview Map Close Up Map
NOTE: Cook Road is a seasonal road open for hiking, skiing and snowshoeing in winter. (Please be cautious as there may be some motorized vehicles on it also.)
Round Pond Trail (#45 on 2016/17 Map) (7.8 RT, easy) East trailhead on Ensign Pond Rd 3.5 mi west of Windy Hill Rd; West trailhead on Rt. 9 2.5 mi south of I-87. From the east trailhead, the trail climbs slowly to Round Pond, then crosses over and follows East Mill Brook. It goes over a small mountain and follows the Schroon River to the west trailhead. (owner/manager – NYS)
Sophie’s Lair Trail – (#8 on 2016/17 Map) (opening planned for Fall, 2015) – 2 mi loops, easy) Trailhead on Florence Hathaway Trail. Take This trail to junction. Goes thru variety of woods with big oak, hickory, and pine trees. Passes over subtle hills, along wetlands, crosses small creeks. (PL)
Split Rock Wild Forest Trails (#27 on 2016/17 Map) (2 to 6 mi loops, easy to moderate) Trailhead on Lakeshore Rd 5.8 mi south of Essex and 4.7 mi north of Westport . Here you will find a series of trails through NY’s largest protected forest on Lake Champlain. Trails go up, over, and along this mountain overlooking Lake Champlain with wetlands, little waterfalls, an old quarry, hidden bays, and views. (owner/manager – NYS) Download Map Here. Click HERE for an article from the Adirondack Almanac by David Thomas-Train on the “History & Mystery of Split Rock Mountain.
Three Creeks Trail – (#20 on 2016/17 Map) (1 mi one way, easy) Trail goes east from Bobcat Trail through forest to Walker Rd. Turn right on Walker Rd to go to Whallonsburg or turn left for 0.3 mi to north trailhead of Bobcat Trail and south trailhead of Beaver Flow Trail. Closed during huntin season Sept 15 – Dec 15. (Owner EF & PL) Field & Forest and Bobcat Map -2013
Webb Royce Swamp Overlook Trail (#26 on 2016/17 Map) (.3 mi RT, easy, handicapped accessible) Trailhead on Clark Rd ¾ mi from Lakeshore Rd. This short, flat gravel-paved trail will have an observation deck for watching birds and wildlife. (owner/manager – NYS) Overview Map Close Up Map
Wadhams Lookout Trail (#24 on 2016/17 Map) (0.3 mi to Overlook; 0.3 mi to Field & Forest Trail; easy) Trailhead on Rt. 22, 0.3 mi west of Wadhams. Walk through field, turn left to overlook or continue straight to Field & Forest Trail. (PL) Trail Map
Wildway Overlook Trail (#15 on 2016/17 Map) (1.5 mi RT, easy/moderate) Trailhead on Brookfield Rd ¼ mi south of Reynolds Rd. Relatively easy climb to a fabulous view featuring the Split Rock Wildway wildlife corridor connecting Lake Champlain to the Adirondack Mts. (owner – EF) Overview Map Close Up Map. Click HERE to take a “virtual hike” on this trail.
Click HERE to read an article by Kim Rielley, director of communications for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST).
Wildway Passage Trail (#28 on 2016/17 Map) (1.35 mi loop, easy) Trailhead on Angier Hill Rd 0.6 mi north of Lakeshore Rd. Trail through an open forest created by past logging, then through a cedar forest, crosses pretty streams, goes to a subtle overlook, and passes along a small cliff. (owners – CATS and EF). Wildway Passage Loop Trail Map.2015.
Woods & Swale Trail (#30 on 2016/17 Map) (2 mi RT, easy) South trailhead at fork of Lakeshore Rd and Sherman Rd. Trail goes up and down through old forest, then through a pine plantation, skirts by the wet swale, and traverses side of hill to north trailhead on Sherman Rd. Return on trail or road. (owner – PL; managed by CATS. Overview Map Close Up Map