Champlain Area Trails (CATS) and John Brown Lives! (JBL!) will co-host a Full Moon Hike at the Viall’s Crossing Trail in Westport will now be on Friday, Feb. 7th, 2020. The hike will begin at 6 p.m. under the second full moon!
Although this is the first collaboration between CATS and JBL!, it’s a natural fit given the history of Viall’s Crossing Farm and its connection to John Brown. Asa Viall, the son of the farm’s first owner, was a friend of the abolitionist, who led an unsuccessful raid on a Virginia armory in 1859. Brown was executed as a result of the raid, and Asa provided and drove the wagon that took Brown’s body to its final resting place in North Elba, near Lake Placid.
The farm had been in the same family for five generations when CATS preserved the 135-acre property in 2018, working with the Eddy Foundation to purchase the property and then purchasing a conservation easement to protect the history and the land for future hikers to enjoy. Viall’s Crossing was then sold to a young farming family and CATS created trails on the land, which have proved to be among the most popular in the CATS network.
The Full Moon Hike will follow a loop trail at Viall’s Crossing called John Brown’s Trail, which commemorates the farm’s historical connection to John Brown, passing by some towering trees that bore witness to Brown’s passage 160 years ago.
The 1.5 mile hike will take about an hour and a half and if there’s snow, participants are welcome to snowshoe or cross-country ski. The hike will begin at a point just west of the railroad tracks on Route 22, about halfway between Westport and Wadhams; look for the bright yellow trail signs.
After the hike, participants are invited to meet and dine at a local restaurant to be determined.