Friday, 28 December 2018 17:14

Fort Ontario Hosts First Day Hike Jan 1st at 10 a.m.

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Volunteers dressed in WWI uniforms at Fort Ontario are, from left, Joshua Evans, Alijah Champlin, Elijah MacLean, Luke Stickney and Post Historian Corey King. King is an AmeriCorps member for Friends of Fort Ontario. He will lead the First Day hike Jan. 1 at 10 a.m. at the Fort Ontario Military Reservation National Register District. Volunteers dressed in WWI uniforms at Fort Ontario are, from left, Joshua Evans, Alijah Champlin, Elijah MacLean, Luke Stickney and Post Historian Corey King. King is an AmeriCorps member for Friends of Fort Ontario. He will lead the First Day hike Jan. 1 at 10 a.m. at the Fort Ontario Military Reservation National Register District. Submitted photo

Fort Ontario Post Historian Corey King will lead a unique World War I Commemorative First Day Hike at Fort Ontario at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1.

The hike will focus on the 75-acre Fort Ontario Military Reservation National Register District as it looked during the Great War. Nov. 11, 2018 marked the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which brought World War I to a close.

The hike is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available before and after the tour.

Hikers will assemble inside the old stone fort in front of the Enlisted Men’s Barracks and march about one mile at a moderate pace around the buildings, grounds and foundations of the old army base.

With the use of social media, First Day hikers will be able to use their smart phones, tablets and iPads to look at several original photographs of Fort Ontario taken between 1917 and 1919. King, who is an AmeriCorps staffer for Friends of Fort Ontario, will stop and discuss the photographs while standing on the approximate location they were taken. The photos will be uploaded to the Fort Ontario Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FortOntario.

During WWI Fort Ontario was converted from an infantry battalion post with a 12-bed hospital to U.S. Army General Hospital No. 5 containing 1,073 beds. General Hospital No. 5 was used to treat sick and wounded soldiers from stateside army training camps as well as the fighting in Europe. Medical staff, field hospital units, and ambulance companies were also trained at the fort and deployed overseas during the war.

First Day Hikes are a nationwide National Park Service initiative in cooperation with New York State Parks that encourage people to begin the New Year by reconnecting with the outdoors. Hikers are advised to dress appropriately for brisk wind and weather conditions off Lake Ontario. Leashed dogs are welcome.

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. Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in Oswego. In case of bad weather and possible cancellation, check the Friends of Fort Ontario Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FortOntario for updates. Contact Corey King for more information at 315-343-4711 or by email [email protected]

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