WESTPORT — The Adirondack Land Trust, in cooperation with the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, will host an open house at Coon Mountain Preserve in Westport.
The event will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 21.
Acquired by the Adirondack Land Trust and opened for public use in 1992, Coon Mountain is a popular hiking destination in the Champlain Valley. It offers panoramic views of Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains of Vermont.
The open house is a chance to meet conservation professionals and learn about a broad range of conservation issues and programs, from land stewardship to invasive-species control.
Visitors are encouraged to hike the short but moderate 1-mile Summit Trail. For this one day only, a steward will be on hand at the summit to greet hikers, share insights and information and answer questions about the site and conservation work, in general.
In addition to the Summit Trail, visitors can follow the Hidden Valley Trail, made possible through the Land Trust’s 73-acre addition to the preserve in 2003, which meanders through a hemlock forest and past interesting rocky outcrops.
“Botanists, birders, naturalists and view-hikers alike all rave about Coon Mountain,” Adirondack Land Trust Executive Director Michael Carr said in a news release.
“This is an opportunity to highlight invasive-species issues in the valley and throughout the region,” said Hilary Smith, Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program director. “There are proactive steps everyone can take to prevent the spread of harmful invaders. Individual actions can add up to big results.”
The Adirondack Land Trust and the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy have collectively conserved nearly 20,000 acres in the Champlain Valley, including more than a dozen conservation easements on privately owned properties, including apple, dairy, grain and hay farms.
To get there from Westport (Route 9N), take State Route 22 north toward Essex. In a half mile, turn right onto Lakeshore Road. Keep to the right at the junction with Sherman Road in 1 mile, and continue another 2 miles, then take Halds Road on the left. You’ll reach the trailhead on the right in three-quarters of a mile.