• Email : info@champlainareatrails.com
  • Phone : (518) 962-2287
  • Address : 6482 Main Street Westport, NY 12993


The Grand Hike is from Essex to Westport

on Saturday, May 11th!


Check-in: 9:00 am - 10:30 am.

"Après" party: 2:30 pm - 7:00 pm.


Join Champlain Area Trails for the 2024 Grand Hike, a delightful 14-mile walk through the beautiful forests and fields in the Champlain Valley. Along the way, we'll have four rest stops where you can find snacks, water, and porta-potties. You'll also have a chance to mingle with other hikers. If you want to walk only part of the distance, you can catch a shuttle back to the finish line and join the post-hike party!


Everyone is welcome to attend the après hike party at Winton's 1898 Tavern at Westport Golf and Country Club, which we invite the community to participate in. So, if you can't make the hike, you can come to the party.


Registration is now closed online.

You can register at Ballard Park in Westport tomorrow from 9 am to 10:30 am. Children under 18 hike for free. $35 per person or $70 per family/group. Please bring cash or a check. 




WHEN: Check-in is from 9:00 am to 10:30 am at Ballard Park (6466 Main St, Westport, NY 12993).  The shuttle buses will start taking people to Essex at 9:40 and continue making trips until about 10:45.


WHERE: Hikers will check in at Ballard Park in Westport and catch a shuttle bus to “downtown” Essex where they’ll walk a little north to start the hike at the Essex Gateway Trailhead (three houses north of the Ferry parking area). The hike then goes on trails and some roads for about 14.5 miles to Westport, NY.


The hike finishes at Winton's 1898 Tavern located at the Westport Golf and Country Club at 47 Country Club Dr, Westport, NY. After the hike, join the "après" hike party there with outdoor games and live music from Headwall Band from 3:30 pm to 7 pm. You can buy food and drinks starting at 2:30 pm. The party wraps up at 7 pm.


HIKE ROUTE:  Reminder: It's been raining. Wear waterproof boots or hiking shoes and bring extra socks. Be careful on the trail and stay on the path. Thank you for being responsible.


We will have four oases along the way where you will find snacks, water, and portapotties. Bring a lunch and water to keep your energy up!


Just past Oasis #1 on Leaning Road, walkers can choose between two paths: The Grand Hike's main trail goes right onto Rocky Ledges Trail, which goes through forests with hills, wildflowers, sweet views, some muddy spots, and rocky areas.


For an easier walk, keep going on Leaning Road for a mile, then turn right onto Cook Road and walk 300 feet to the Beaver Flow Trail. This route is gentler compared to the Rocky Ledges Trail.


At Oasis #4 on Sherman Road, walkers can choose between two paths: The Grand Hike's main trail goes left onto Woods and Swale Trail, which is a nice route through the woods. It has some ups and downs leading to an old-growth hemlock forest before coming out onto Lakeshore Road for a walk downhill to Westsport.  


For an easier walk, keep going on Sherman Road for 0.8 miles to Lakeshore Road where you'll join with those who walked the Woods and  walk downhill to Westsport. 

THE GRAND HIKE'S FINAL CHALLENGE:  After walking 14+ miles, you'll reach the driveway going to Winton's but get ready for the final "kick" because it's a 0.2 mile uphill walk to finally relax and join the "apres" hike party.  Hooray! You did it! So make sure to hit the Gong!





  • Where should I park when I check in at Ballard Park? Parking is available throughout Westport, along the streets near Ballard Park and nearby neighborhoods. Our volunteers, in orange vests, will guide you to the designated parking spots. Please do not move the cones on Main Street in front of the downtown businesses. We may direct you to the Essex County Fairgrounds if things get too full downtown.


  • Can I start the hike in Essex? Yes, if you've signed up online. You can park in downtown Essex, check in at the start table, then go to the Essex Gateway Trail to begin your hike. After you're finished, you can take a shuttle back to your car. Just remember, the last shuttle from Westport leaves at 6:30 pm.


  • Can I bring my dog? You can bring your furry companion, provided they remain on a leash and under your direct supervision. Please note that dogs are not permitted on our shuttles. For the comfort and safety of all hikers, we advise bringing only well-behaved, non-aggressive dogs and using non-retractable leashes. We recommend having a fellow hiker drop you off in Essex. They can then park in Westport and take the shuttle back to Essex to meet you at the starting point.



  • Can people come to just the “apres” hike party? Yes.


  • Will it be fun?  YES!!!


How can I share my photos from the hike? If you have any favorite photos from the hike, we'd be thrilled if you shared them with us! Seeing everyone enjoying the CATS trails makes us happy. Share your photos on social media by tagging @champlainareatrails or using #champlainareatrails. You can also email them to us at info@champlainareatrails.


All event proceeds support our mission of saving land, making trails to connect people to nature, and promoting economic vitality in the Champlain Valley. Click here to donate!


Special thanks to our partners and sponsors:



.                            ‚Äč







           Dogwood bread company           

                                       Village Meat Market