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Portions of Sackets Harbor trail to debut during First Day Hikes event

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SACKETS HARBOR — As walkers descend on the village on New Year’s Day to take part in the national First Day Hikes program, they will have an opportunity to travel on completed portions of its new War of 1812 Bicentennial Trail.

David W. Altieri, the village’s heritage area director, said the idea of being a part of the program arose after Constance B. Barone, Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site manager, was called by a representative from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. He said the idea took little planning and manpower to pull off.

“There was no reason for us not to do it,” he said. Mr. Altieri said the walk could help boost interest among walkers going into the new year.

About two of the trail’s approximately 3.6 miles have been completed, with the rest to be finished when weather allows crews to work on the trail. In addition to finishing the trail paths, crews still have to install adjacent sidewalks and bollards.

“There’s still work to be done, but the part that’s been constructed has gone really well,” Mr. Altieri said.

He said he had received several compliments about the trail from people who already had walked completed sections.

The bicentennial trail was constructed with $495,000 in federal stimulus funding. However, the village ended up shouldering an additional $67,000 in costs for the project, which was linked to more expensive construction materials required with the grant, along with administrative costs of $212,000 from contractor Lu Engineers, Pittsford. Organizers, including Mr. Altieri, received criticism when the costs were discussed by the village Board of Trustees in August.

Those interested in walking the bicentennial trail can meet at 11 a.m. at the village’s visitors center, 301 W. Main St.

Also on Tuesday, people will be able to walk trails at the Robert G. Wehle State Park, Henderson, starting at 10 a.m. Trails at Wellesley Island State Park and its Minna Anthony Common Nature Center will open at 2 p.m.

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