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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 are brief descriptions of the trails in New York’s central Champlain Valley. Some are ours and others are owned and managed by other organizations. The location of each trail on the current CATS Trail Map is cited in parentheses after the name of the trail, i.e., (A1on the map).
Trail Maps are available as noted below. Please check back for new map postings.
Have fun, stay on trails and use caution, especially when crossing streams.
Ancient Oak Trail (A1 on map) 2.5 mi loop, easy. 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; mgr – CATS)
Art Farm Trail (A2 on 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; take left to Bobcat Trail; take right for loop via Long Valley Trail to where you began. (owner – PL; mgr – CATS)
Bald Peak Trail (B1 on map) 6 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 – NYS & PL; mgr – NYS)
Bartlett Pond – McConley Rd Trail (B2 on map) 8 mi RT, easy. Westport Trailhead on McConley Rd just west of Stevenson Rd. Moriah trailhead at end of Bartlett Pond Rd. Trail follows seasonal road through forests of West Champlain Hills. Okay to go around gates. (owners/mgrs – Towns of Westport and Moriah & PL)
Beaver Bend Trail (B3 on map) 1/2 mile loop, easy. Trailhead on Angier Hill Rd 0.8 mi south of Whallonsburg. Trail is a short walk in riparian forest and field along the Boquet River. Good for bird watching. (owner/mgr – CATS)
Beaver Flow Trail (B4 on map) 3 mi RT or 3 mi loop, easy. South trailhead on Walker Rd 1.25 mi west of Rt 22 in Whallonsburg. North trailhead on south side of Cook Rd* about 100 yds west of Leaning Rd. From north trailhead, 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 which make it a loop hike via Cook Road. If you went straight, continue past two junctions with Homestead Trail** (on right) to get to Walker Rd. (owner – EF; mgr -CATS)
Belfry Mt Trail (B5 on map) .8 mi RT, easy. Trailhead on Dalton Hill Rd, 1 mi north of Witherbee, 3 mi south of Lincoln Pond. Short hike to a fire tower with great views. Get information on this trail at CNY Hiking Website. (owner – PL; NYS)
Black Kettle Trail (B6 on 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)
* 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 (B7 on 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). Click here for more information.
Bobcat Trail (B8 on map) 2¾ mi RT, easy. North trailhead on Walker Rd 1¼ mi west of Rt 22 in Whallonsburg. Goes thru old Christmas tree farm or meadow to mixed forest with beaver ponds. South trailhead at end of Ferris Rd. Walk thru field into forest. Junctions with Three Creeks Trail for a loop and Field and Forest Trail. (owners – EF & PL; mgr – CATS)
Boquet Mountain Trail (B9 on map) 5 mi RT, easy. South trailhead on Cook Rd* about ¾ mi west of Leaning Rd. North trailhead on Jersey St. (Cty Rt 12) 1½ mi west of Boquet River. Trail through forest to the saddle between N. and S. Boquet Mts. Trail traverses east side of S. Boquet Mountain through intriguing rocks and continues on an old logging road (owners – EF & PL; mgr – CATS)
Boquet River Nature Preserve Trail (B10 on map) 2 mile loops, easy. Trailhead to the 0.5 mi River Trail is at the end of Gilliland Lane. Old-growth floodplain forest along the scenic river. Trailhead to the Uplands Forest is behind old school at end of Library Street. (owner/mgr – TNC)
Brookfield Headwaters Trail (B11 on 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; mgr – CATS)
Challis Pond Trail (C2 on 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/mgr – NYS)
Champlain Bridge Trail (C3 on map) 1 mi RT, easy. This beautiful bridge features great views. (owners/mgrs – NYS and Vermont)
Cheney Mt Trail (C4 on 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; mgr -CATS).
Coon Mountain Trails (C5 on 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/mgr – ALT) About Coon Mt Wildflower Check List
Coot Hill Trail/Big Hollow Trail (C6 on 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. (owner – PL, mgr -CATS)
Crown Point State Historic Site (C8 on map) 0.8 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. The Rodin sculpture is on the side facing the lake. (owner/mgr – NYS)
Crowfoot Pond Trail (C7 on map) 5 mi RT, easy. Trailhead on Tracy Rd 1.6 miles east of Rt. 9. Trail follows an old woods road through forest along Crowfoot Brook between Tracy Rd and Crowfoot Pond. (owner/mgr – NYS)
DaCy Meadow Farm Trail Trail (D1 on map) 2 – 4 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 – PL, mgr -CATS)
Field & Forest Trail (F1 on map) 2.7 mi one way or 2.4 mi loop from Boquet River trailhead, easy. The Boquet River Tailhead is ½ north of Wadhams on Cty. Rt. 10. East trailhead shared with Bobcat Trail at end of Ferris Rd. Trail can also be accessed from Art Farm Trail. Long Valley Trail, and Wadhams Overlook Trail. Trail goes through forests and fields on north and west sides of Phinney Hill. Nice views. (owners – PL; mgr -CATS)
Florence Hathaway Park Nature Trail (F2 on map) 1 mile loop, easy, connects to Sophie’s Lair Trail. Trailhead on Essex Rd. (Rt 22, 3.2 mi north of Essex Ferry and 1.1 mi south of bridge over Boquet River in Willsboro. Trail goes through a magical pine forest, along a creek, upland dry forest, and seasonally wet areas. (owner – Town of Willsboro; mgr – Town & CATS).
Flying Squirrel Trail (F5 on map). Easy, 2 miles RT, 3 miles with Wildway Passage Loop Trail. Trailhead across Lakeshore Road from Split Rock Wild Forest Trails (S2). Trail through old woods below rock cliffs. Connect s to Wildway Passage Loop Trail (W4).
Footbridge Park Trail (F3 on 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/mgr – Town of Elizabethtown)
Foothill Trail (F4 on map) 2 mi RT or 2.5 mile loop, moderate. Access via Rocky Ledges Trail (#14 on map) After 100 yards, go left, follow along edge of forest and farm. Climb a series of ledges to meet Rocky Ledges Trail. Take left fork on relatively level but consistent climbs to meet Boquet Mt Trail. Return on same trail or turn right, walk 500 yds and return via Rocky Ledges Trail. Or go left on Boquet Mt Trail to Cook Rd. (owners – EF & PL; mgr – CATS)
Hammond & Bloody Pond Trail (H1 on map) Easy. 1.6 mi RT to Hammond Pond, 3.8 RT to Bloody Pond, Black Brook Trail continues for 0.3 mi to a pond. Trailhead on Ensign Pond Rd (Rt 4) 2.6 mi east of Rt 9 and 6.5 mi west of Windy Hills Rd. The trail follows a stream through forested hills. After 0.7 mi, you come to a fork. Left goes to Hammond Pond; right fork goes to Bloody Pond. (owner/mgr (owner/mgr – NYS)
Hemlock Hill Trail (H2 on map) 1 mi loop trail, 1 mi RT hike, or 0.5 mi return route for Woods & Swale Trail, easy. Trailhead on Sherman Rd ¾ mi north of Lakeshore Rd. Trail passes through nice forest and rock ledges to upland hemlock forest. (owner – PL; mgr – CATS)
Hidden Quarry Trail (H3 on map) 0.8 mi loop, easy. Trailhead is in a 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; mgr -CATS)
High Point Trail (H4 on map) 1¾ mi loop trails, easy. Trailhead on Point Rd 0.6 mi north of Frisbie Rd. Pleasant hike through pretty woods to high point on Willsboro Point (it’s not that high). Passes by rock wall and wetlands. (owner – PL; mgr – CATS)
Homestead Trail (H5 on 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; mgr -CATS)
LaChute River Walk (L3 on map) 6 mi RT, easy. Trailhead in Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, 137 Montcalm Street. Trail loops through Bicentennial Park and then follows the LaChute River upstream along the industrial waterfront of centuries past with interpretive signs. Return to the trailhead on the trail to Montcalm Street where you can turn right and walk through the downtown shopping area (mgr – Pride of Ticonderoga)
Here’s a blog post on the LaChute River Walk from the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) https://www.lakechamplainregion.com/blog/2013/04/lachute-river-walk-trail
Lee Park Trail (L1 on map) ¾ mi loop trail, 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 pleasant walk through forest along stream. (owner– Town of Westport; mgr – Town & CATS)
Long Valley Trail (L2 on map) 1¼ mi one way, easy. North access via Field and Forest Trail (#23). South trailhead is 1/2 north of Wadhams on Cty. Rt. 10 at Wadhams Lookout Trailhead (#25). At junction with Field and Forest Trail, take Long Valley Trail. Another north access is from Sayre Road. Park at Art Farm Trail (#22). Go south on Sayre Road to trail. Hike through long grassy valley with views. (PL)
McAuliffe Road Trail (M1 on map) 3 mi RT between Jersey Street and Sunset Road, 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 McAuliffe Rd. Trail is an old town road through forest above the Boquet River. (owners – Towns of Essex, Willsboro & PL)
McConley Spring Trail (M2 on map) 1 mi RT, easy. Trailhead on Tracy Road just northwest of Witherbee. Pleasant trail in woods with small hills. (owner/mgr – Town of Moriah)
Moose Mt Pond Trail (M3 on 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 (#50). 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/mgr – NYS)
Mountain Spring Rd Trail (M4 on 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.” (owners/mgrs – Towns of Westport and Moriah)
Mount Gilligan Trail (M5 on map) 3 mi RT, moderate/difficult. 2.5 mi south of New Russia on Rt. 9; Turn east on Scriver Rd off Rt 9; Parking lot on right. Walk over bridge, go right, trailhead going into woods on left into before the house. Trail starts flat, goes right up steep, rocky slope to see beautiful views of Dix Range and Bald Peak. (owners – PL)
Noblewood Park Trail (N1 on map) 1 mi RT, easy. Trailhead on Rt 22, 1.3 mi south of bridge over Boquet River in Willsboro or 3 mi north of Essex. Trail provides access to Lake Champlain, a swimming beach and a scenic river delta. There is a fee to park inside gate. (owner/mgr – Town of Willsboro).
Old Ironville Rd Trail (O1 on map) 4.6 mi. Rt, easy. South trailhead same as Penfield Pond Trail. Follow road after bridge for 0.1 mi. Take right fork onto old road through forest still recovering from the Champlain Valley’s 18th Century industrial landscape. (owner/mgr– Town of Crown Point & PL)
Over the Mountain to Lake Champlain Trail This “trail” is a moderate 8-mile, one-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.
Pauline Murdoch Wildlife Trail (P1 on map) 1 mi RT, easy. Trailhead on Elizabethtown-Wadhams Rd, 0.4 mi north of Boquet River. Trail climbs into forest with rich birdlife (owner /mgr– NYS)
Penfield Pond Trail (P2 on map) 1 mi RT or loop, easy. Trailhead on Peasley Rd. 0.2 mi east of Penfield Museum. Park on right before bridge, cross bridge, take immediate right onto trail going up and into woods, climbs hill above brook, goes along east shore of Penfield Pond. Connects to Old Ironville Road Trail. Turn left to return to trailhead. (owner – Penfield Museum). Click HERE to take a “virtual hike” of this trail.
Poke-O-Moonshine Ranger Trail (P4 on map) 4 mi RT, moderate/difficult. Trailhead on Route 9, 2.8 mi south of I-87 Exit 33. Steep trail with overlooks on way to the summit featuring fire tower & panoramic views (owner – NYS; mgr – NYS & Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine)
Poke-O-Moonshine Observers’ Trail (P3 on map) 5 mi. RT, easy/moderate. Trailhead on Route 9, 4 mi south of I-87 Exit 33. Easier, longer trail through beautiful forests before joining the Ranger Trail by ruins of old ranger’s cabin near final climb to summit. (owner – NYS; mgr – NYS & Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine)
Rattlesnake Mt Trail (R1 on map) 3.2 mi RT, moderate/difficult. Trailhead on Rt 22, about 5 mi south of I-87 Exit 33 and 3 mi north of Willsboro. Parking area 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 – PL) CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Riverside Trail (R2 on map) 1.2 mi loop, easy. Trailhead on Mountain View Drive 1.5 mi southwest of Rt. 22. in Willsboro. Trail through field to scenic creek which trail follows to Boquet River. Trail goes along river before returning via the field to trailhead or by taking another trail in woods back to creek and trailhead. (owner – PL; mgr – CATS)
Rocky Ledges Trail (R3 on map) 2 mi RT, easy/moderate. Trailhead on Leaning Rd 150 yds south of Jersey St. (Cty Rd 12). Trail through forest by rock outcrops. Intersects Foothill Trail. Rocky Ledges goes right, up and along a hill and meets an old woods road that connects to Boquet Mt Trail. Turn left, walk 500 yds to south end of Foothill Trail. Turn left to trailhead. Or continue on to Boquet Mt Trail to Cook Rd. (owners – EF & PL; mgr – CATS)
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 (R4 on 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 a rise 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 (S1 on map) 3 to 7 mi loops, easy. Take Florence Hathaway Trail (#7 on map) 0.5 mi to its southern point. Turn onto Sophie’s Lair Trail. Goes thru variety of woods with big oak, hickory, and pine trees. Passes over subtle hills, along wetlands, crosses small creeks. (owner – PL; mgr – CATS)
Split Rock Wild Forest Trails (S2 on map) 2 to 6 mi loops, easy/moderate. Trailhead on Lakeshore Rd 5.8 mi south of Essex and 4.7 mi north of Westport. 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/mgr – NYS)
Click HERE for an article from the Adirondack Almanack by David Thomas-Train on the “History & Mystery of Split Rock Mountain.
Thrall Dam Park Trail (T1 on map) 1.4 loops, easy. Trailhead on Rt 9, 0.7 mi south of Lewis and 3¾ mi north of Elizabethtown. Loop trails thru forest and along wetland. (owner – Essex County; mgr – Town of Lewis & Essex County)
Three Creeks Trail (T2 on map) 1 mi one-way, easy. From Bobcat Trailhead # 20, go east on Walker Rd.100 yds to begin trail or hike on Bobcat Trail to junction. Follow trail in either direction to make a loop. Closed during hunting season Sept 15 – Dec 15. (Owner EF & PL; mgr – CATS)
Viall’s Crossing Trail (V1 on map). Easy, 5 mile RT or 5 mile loop. Trailhead across road from Westport Train Station; go through Westport Storage business to trailhead. Trail on old RR bed into wooded hills to farm, crosses RR tracks into forest, can loop through Hemlock Hill Trail (H2), Woods and Swale trail (W5) and roads back to Westport.
Webb Royce Swamp Overlook Trail (W2 on map) 0.3 mi RT, easy. Trailhead on Clark Rd ¾ mi north of Lakeshore Rd. This short, flat gravel-paved trail will have an observation deck for watching birds and wildlife. (owner/mgr – NYS)
Wadhams Lookout Trail (W1 on map) 0.3 mi to Lookout view; 0.3 mi to Field & Forest Trail (#23); easy. Trailhead on Rt. 22, 0.3 mi east of Wadhams. Walk through field, turn left to Lookout or continue straight to Field & Forest Trail. (owner – PL; mgr – CATS)
Wildway Overlook Trail (W3 on map) 1.5 mi RT, easy/moderate, interpretive signs.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 Mountains. (owner – EF; mgr – CATS)
Click HERE to take a “virtual hike” on this trail.
Click HERE to read an article by Kim Rielly of the Regional Tourism Office (ROOST).
Wildway Passage Loop Trail (W4 on map) 1 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 & EF; mgr – CATS).
Woods & Swale Trail (W5 on map) 2 mi RT or cross Sherman Rd and return via Hemlock Hill Trail, 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. Cross road to access & return via Hemlock Hill Trail; or return on trail or on Sherman Road. (owner – PL; mgr by CATS.