Champlain Area Trails

Grant Name: Champlain Area Trails Outdoor Education & Land Protection Initiative

Project Size: $544,000

Grant Amount: $20,000

 Strategic Value:  Land protection, quality of life, tourism

Champlain Area Trails has a mission to create a network for hiking, walking, skiing, birding, tracking and picnicking in and around New York’s Champlain Valley.   CATS was established because as the last addition to the Adirondack Park, the Champlain Valley has little public land and until recently, few hiking trails.  This limited the economic benefits of outdoor recreation because residents and tourists would leave or pass through the valley to go to the trails in the Adirondack High Peaks. Because most land in this region is privately-owned, CATS works with landowners to develop agreements allowing them to build and maintain trails on their properties. 

Champlain Area Trails builds trails, connects people with nature, and saves land which protects scenic vistas, clean water, farmland and forests.  Those actions attract people to the area, promote economic vitality, and improve the quality of life for current and future residents and visitors to the Champlain Valley region of the Adirondack Park.

Grant Analysis:  Attaining the goal is probable, measurable progress

CATS was awarded $20,000 from Cloudsplitter as a 1:1 matching grant. This grant was to support outdoor education and two land protection projects. They were able to quickly meet, and exceed, Cloudsplitter’s match. CATS apportioned $12,000 of the grant for the purchase of 48 acres on the west shore of Long Pond in Willsboro.  These funds, along with other donations and grants, brings them closer to the $350,000 goal needed to purchase and conserve this important property by September 2017.  CATS applied $6,500 toward paying off the loan for the purchase of the 87-acre Wildway Passage Property and the 12-acre Boquet River Property. CATS developed hiking trails on both of these properties, which hikers enjoy and CATS uses in its outdoor education program. The total cost of that project was $169,000, which they paid off through grants, donations, and allocations from general funds.  CATS used $1,500 for their 2016 outdoor education program and have hosted a handful of events.