Travel Writing Contest Hosted by Champlain Area Trails

Pre-edible but beguiling apple

Image by virtualDavis via Flickr

Get your pencils sharpened, your laptops powered, and your cameras ready, Champlain Area Trails (CATS) will soon launch its first Travel Writing Contest. It’s your chance to write about your travels in New York’s central Champlain Valley—to share your favorite experiences on the Champlain Area Trails–whether it’s hiking, walking, skiing, snowshoeing, birding, tracking, picnicking, or a little bit of each. Also tell us about other great recreational, cultural, or gastronomical adventures you enjoyed in the Champlain Valley. Perhaps you paddled on the Boquet River? Took in a play at the Depot Theatre? Biked along scenic back roads? Dined on delicious food at a family-owned cafe? Or savored fresh produce at a local farm? The Valley’s the limit, so start exploring!

Entrants may submit works in two categories: Writing (800- to 1,200-word article with two to four photos) and Multimedia (audio, video, slideshow). First-place winners will receive a $500 cash prize and online publication in our CATS Destination Guide. There will also be goodies for the runners-up. Full details will be announced in August, but it’s not too early to start jotting down your special memories at the places and trails in New York’s central Champlain Valley. (via Champlain Area Trails.)

CATS: Immediate Trail-work Gratification

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Black Kettle Nature Trail “Trailhead Sign” (photo credit: Kathryn Cramer)

The June 18th trail project at the Black Kettle Nature Trail was quite productive. The first thing we did was to put a “Trailhead Sign” by the road because the beginning to the trail, located behind the barn at Black Kettle Farm, had been difficult to find. Then at the end of the morning as we were having sandwiches, a car drove up, hesitated at the new trailhead sign, pulled into the driveway, parked and two people got out dressed in hiking boots and trail clothes. They pulled out walking sticks and packs from the back seat and started walking down the trail to where we were sitting. I asked how they happened to be hiking on this trail and they answered, “We wanted to take a hike this morning and we had heard about Champlain Area Trails so we looked at the website, saw this trail on the list and decided to hike on it. We were uncertain if we could find it though and when we saw the sign, we figured we were here.” As they continued down the trail, we patted ourselves on the back and basked in the immediate gratification of improving the hiking experience for others through the little action of sticking up that trailhead sign. Continue reading…

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Summer Arrives in Essex on Lake Champlain

Kim Rielly posted an enthusiastic blog post about summer in Essex celebrating flood recovery, exciting new businesses and the timeless charm that has drawn visitors and residents for decades. She asks,

“could it possibly be true that the recently-submerged businesses were planning to open THIS summer?

It’s true. In fact, the community is not only ready to welcome visitors for the summer – it is veritably BUZZING with activity.

A stroll through the tree-lined streets of this historic town is quite a treat. Bolstered by pedestrian traffic from the ferry from Vermont, the restaurants, shops, inns and art galleries complement the gorgeous 19th century architecture, (the entire village is on the National Historic Register, and includes the most intact collections of federal and Greek Revival architecture in the entire state!)

And you won’t find any empty storefronts; there are several new businesses, and twists on some of the classics. (via LakePlacid.com.)

Kim highlights some of the newest additions to the Essex allure including:

  • the newly renovated Essex Inn
  • the newly renovated Ice Cream Shop
  • the newly opened Live Well holistic health center
  • the newly relocated ReNew thrift shop
  • the newly opened Pink Pig
  • the better than ever Adirondack Art Association
  • and Champlain Area Trails.
Essex Inn on the Adirondack Coast

Essex Inn on the Adirondack Coast (photo credit LakePlacid.com.)

As  I indicated in my comments beneath Kim’s blog post, she captures the current energy and excitement in Essex. I wrote:

The number of new and renovated businesses alone is thrilling! And when you consider the record-breaking flooding and how much effort has been required to recover from the incumbent setbacks, it is truly astounding. What I see happening in Essex is a nothing short of a renaissance, a top-to-bottom revitalization of the community and the businesses and organizations which lend vitality to the charming landscape, geography and architecture. It’s an exciting time to live and work in Essex!

Essex friends, neighbors, businesses and recent visitors will understand what I mean. I hope that you will come to Essex to discover what all the buzz is about!