As fall leaves change to fiery reds, oranges and yellows across New York’s North Country, a new trail challenge invites people of all interests and abilities to explore a unique part of the State, while earning their Great 8. One of New York’s newest trail challenge is designed to attract avid outdoors people, young families, those new to the outdoors or those with limited ability. Elevation is not a part of this challenge. As you experience the 8 trails in each challenge, you quickly realize that this part of New York is incredibly beautiful without the need for technical gear or extreme effort. The trails are diverse and an interactive trail site allows you to read about the experience before you get there, track yourself while walking and earn badges and the Great 8 Trail Challenge patch all online.
The Great 8 Trail Challenge launched with three challenges in May 2021; the Waterfall Crawl, the Riverside Run and the Nature Nuts Challenge. Each challenge has 8 trails across St. Lawrence County, from the St. Lawrence River Valley to the foothills of the northwestern Adirondacks.
The Waterfall Crawl highlights the fact that St. Lawrence County is home to over 15 waterfalls, with the eight trails featuring some favorites and some lesser-known hikes where you can experience the power and beauty of falling water year-round. Waterfalls on this list include the popular Lampson Falls, Cascade Falls in downtown Canton, as well as hidden gems like the Greenwood Creek State Forest.
The Riverside Run features eight trails that allow you to enjoy a majority of your walk along the five major rivers of St. Lawrence County. The trails can be short or long and although they make for a great walk, they can be enjoyed as a trail running challenge too. These trails stretch from the Crooked Creek preserve in Hammond on the St. Lawrence River, to the Stone Valley Trail on the Raquette River in Colton and on to the Moore Trail in Wanakena, along the Oswegatchie River.
The Nature Nuts challenge highlights eight nature-filled hikes with interpretive signs, wildlife lookouts, boardwalks and birding across St. Lawrence County. These spots include major migratory locations for birds, a variety of plant and animal species and the ability to learn as you go, even if you aren’t a nature expert yet. A great place to kick off this challenge is at the Nicandri Nature Center at Massena’s Robert Moses State Park, with a beautiful network of trails and a world class nature center with engaging programs. From there, you can venture to new-to-you locations, such as the Edwards Nature Trail or the Indian Creek Nature Center.
The challenge can be explored and documented by creating a free account on www.STLCtrails.com. As soon as the eight trails are completed, a virtual badge is added to your account. The option to purchase a sticker or patch is the next level of showing your pride in accomplishing the individual Great 8 Trails Challenges. Find more information, explore the trails and get planning on www.STLCtrails.com and begin planning for a special family adventure of making memories. For more information on visiting, living or relocating to St. Lawrence County, visit www.VisitSTLC.com