Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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December 12, 2016

Fort Ontario was used as a hospital for wounded and sick soldiers during WWI -

Begin the New Year with a First Day Hike at Old Fort Ontario!

OSWEGO, NY - On New Year's Day, Jan. 1, at 10 a.m., Fort Ontario Superintendent Paul Lear will conduct a free 3-kilometer First Day Hike around the 262-year-old Fort Ontario Military Reservation National Register District. In observance of the centennial of the entry of the United States into World War I, the theme of the moderately-paced hike will be the fort's service as a hospital for wounded and sick soldiers from 1917 to 1919.

The hike will begin inside the old stone fort which is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego. Light refreshments will be provided. "First Day Hike" fleece hats will be issued to the first 200 hikers. Biscuits and water will be provided to canines, and carrots and sugar cubes to equine participants. The fort's museum shop and new exhibits will be open.

"First Day Hikes are a nationwide National Park Service initiative in cooperation with New York State Parks intended to encourage people to begin the New Year by rejuvenating and reconnecting with the outdoors," said Lear. "Two- and four-legged hikers are advised to dress for Oswego's more invigorating wind and temperatures than inland locations."

In case of bad weather and possible cancellation, check the Friends of Fort Ontario Facebook page for updates. For more information on the Fort Ontario First Day Hike call Lear at 315-343-4711, or email Paul.Lear@parks.ny.gov.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 179 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by more than 60 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

For more Oswego County events and visitor information, go to visitoswegocounty.com, www.facebook.com/visitoswegocounty or call 315-349-8322.

Fort Ontario's service as a hospital for wounded and sick soldiers during World War I will be the theme of a First Day Hike at Fort Ontario on Jan. 1. Pictured are U.S. Army officers on horseback at Fort Ontario during World War I. (Photo courtesy Fort Ontario State Historic Site)

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