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June 3, 2005

Historic Walking Tours Will Begin June 16 in Oswego

OSWEGO - Visitors and residents can explore Oswego's rich history this summer in a leisurely walking tour sponsored by local historical groups and Seaway Trail, Inc. Seaway Trail Walks, a series of walking tours in nine coastal communities along the Seaway Trail, will start the new walking tour in the city of Oswego June 16. The program is a shoreline tourism and economic development initiative begun in 2003 by Seaway Trail, Inc.

The Oswego walks will begin at 5 p.m. every Thursday from June 16 through Sept. 22. Tours will start on East First Street at the Harbor Rail Trail, across from the entrance to the O&W Railroad Tunnel.

An $8 per person fee ($4 for children under 12) will be collected at the start of each walk. The tour lasts 1 hours. In Oswego, visitors will learn about the city's military and maritime heritage, underground railroad sites and historic architecture, along with the Oswego River canal and early history of the city.

"With the starting location at the end of the Harbor Rail Trail, guides can take visitors on a tour of historic sites such as the Oswego City Public Library, the Richardson-Bates House Museum, and homes whose previous owners were active in the underground railroad and abolitionist movement. Visitors may also explore Fort Ontario or learn more about the region's fascinating maritime history, depending on the guide's expertise," said Christine Gray, director of Promotion and Tourism for Oswego County. "Plus, a Thursday date can also offer visitors the option to taking in the farmers' market or the Riverfront Concert Series, and encourage overnight stays," she added.

The Seaway Trail Walks in Oswego are a collaborative effort by the Oswego County Historical Society, Heritage Foundation of Oswego County, H. Lee White Marine Museum, local historians and the Oswego County Department of Promotion and Tourism.

"The Seaway Trail Walks communities are embracing their unique position as part of the Seaway Trail. This program promotes a sense of local pride with leisurely strolls that allows visitors to learn about our region's unique characters, architecture and folklore," said Teresa Mitchell, executive director of the Seaway Trail and vice chair of the National Scenic Byway Foundation. "The 5 p.m. start time by design encourages walkers to shop, take the walk, stay for dinner and perhaps stay overnight," Mitchell said.

The Walks, modeled after the London, England Walks program, are also held in Westfield, Lewiston, North Tonawanda, Clayton, Sackets Harbor, Alexandria Bay and Waddington in New York State, and in Erie, Pennsylvania.

For more information on Seaway Trail Walks, contact the Seaway Trail at 1-800-SEAWAY-T or visit the Web site at www.seawaytrail.com

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