CATS, only in existence for a little over one of my seven decades-long love affair with the Champlain Valley and the Adirondacks, has transformed my experience of this special part of the world.  It has opened my eyes to see more deeply the precious, the remote, the bucolic, and the wild of this special part of the Adirondacks.  I have watched CATS grow amazingly in its mission to protect this country of forest, field and meadow, wetland and grand vista, to make it accessible, and to nourish wonder and a will to preserve its irreplaceable networks of life.  CATS is a model for how committed and creative local citizenry can make an extraordinary difference in the immense undertaking of fostering respect and love for our natural heritage.  One would hope this model could be replicated throughout the State, our country, and the world for it is a real and special answer our time’s greatest challenge.  And because it works. – Mark Gibson, CATS Supporter

The town of Essex has so many wonderful recreational opportunities, be they on the waves of Lake Champlain, the cycling opportunities on our roads or in the fields and forests of our township thanks to the CATS trails. How wonderful it was to learn that CATS trails were coming to our historic hamlet in Essex! The Essex Quarry will be a wonderful addition to the extensive CATS trail system. We hope that visitors to our town will walk the short distance to the Essex Quarry where they can explore this unique and beautiful ecosystem and see first hand what a functional quarry looked like. Additionally, the presence of fossils in the quarry rock are certainly going to impress young and old alike. The preservation of this woodland area is also appreciated, helping to keep beautiful green space in close proximity to the ferry, shopping and other commercial entities. Thank you CATS for your efforts to make trails and save land! – Ken Hughes, Supervisor, Town of Essex, NY

Essex Quarry Nature Park is an important conservation success story and contribution toward fuller protection of New York’s great Adirondack Park. Unlike most protected areas, Essex Quarry Nature Park is easy terrain with a relatively equable climate.  It protects a rare Limestone Woodland natural community and offers the opportunity for local recovery of the Valley Clayplain Forest that once clothed much of the Champlain Valley.  Essex Quarry Nature Park also will serve as a forested stepping stone, or part of a “ladder forest”, connecting the Champlain Valley with the High Peaks to the west — in that capacity complementing the broader wildlife corridor, Split Rock Wildway, just to the south.  As well, Champlain Area Trails’ newest reserve affords convenient access to a bit of wild Nature right next to a vibrant village and a short walk from the ferry connecting New York with Vermont — thus helping address the “Nature deficit disorder” that afflicts so much of modernity. – John Davis, Executive Director at Rewilding Earth and Champlain Area Trails Board Member

I wanted to take an opportunity to thank the entire CATS team for all the hard work that you have done to create and maintain such an amazing array of hiking trails. I have enjoyed hiking on several of the trails in the area and did The Grand Hike several times over the past few years. As a real estate professional, I have the privilege of working with buyers from all over the country and our biggest challenge is “selling” the area as a whole.  One of our first conversations is about the CATS trails and how this is a perfect way to take in the stunning beauty that our area has to offer!  I am always impressed with the condition of the trails and it goes without saying I am so grateful that people of all ages and physical abilities can get outside all year long to soak up the amazing beauty of the North Country. Keep up the amazing work! -Janine D’Angelo, Associate Real Estate Broker at Covered Bridge Realty

When I reached out to CATS a year-and-a-half ago, I quickly felt your interest in the idea of converting this property (Essex Quarry) form a working quarry to a quiet natural area available to the general public. I can only imagine what the Essex area will look like in forty or fifty years, and I feel that this unique location will offer easy access to nature’s calming powers. Partially within the inner Essex Village as well as the APA, and within walking distance of the Essex-Charlotte Ferry, this 35-acre parcel has exciting potential to serve a diverse population. In thinking about organizations that would be suitable to manage the process of creating a new purpose for this site, Champlain Area Trails is a great choice. Your experience and proven stewardship of natural area is well established. I’m excited to contribute to this effort by “returning” to CATS the proceeds I received from the quarry property sale. It’ll be fun to see this come together! – Terry Dinnan

Some years ago, when the idea of CATS was first proposed, I was hopeful but did not expect it to come to fruition as fully as it has. The founding members have left a legacy to be proud of, and you and your fellows on the Board are doing marvelous work in not only maintaining the trails, but continuing to expand the system. Thanks to you all!” – Pete Biesemeyer

We are in our first year of retirement and we are hiking alot: 3 to 4 days a week. CATs trails are incredible gems that are not crowded. We are so pleased to be donors of this great organization. Every hike is a return on our investment. Thanks to the staff and volunteers for all you do. Well done!!! The picture is of our hike a week ago Saturday on The Art Farm Trail to Field and Forrest Trail and then Pine Hill Trail. Ending with a short trek on Sayre Road. Saw the largest hickory tree we have ever seen. – Charlie and Lisa Eaton

    • Thanks for all your great work. We love the CATS Trails! –

Cindy Sprague, Huntington, VT


Saving Land | Making Trails