The trail, 1.7 miles in length, works its way along Lake Neatahwanta starting at the athletic complex between the Fulton Junior High and G. Ray Bodley High School and ending behind Lakeview Lanes bowling alley with markers throughout indicating the direction in which the trail runs.
After volunteers worked to widen the existing path and clear debris and overgrowth, FoFP headed by President Kelley Weaver and OCO hosted the reveal complete with prizes, informational pamphlets, lawn games, beverages, and information and demonstrations from both OCO Impact Program and Oswego County Health Department representatives.
The trail is one more project aimed at realizing the FoFP’s vision, “to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors by collaboratively restoring Fulton’s public parks,” according to the pamphlet.
The trail runs through one of Fulton’s public parks, Recreation Park which stretches from West Broadway to Chestnut Street, and will continue through one of FoFP’s current projects, the upcoming Teen Park that will be located in the grassy area between West Broadway and the Fulton War Memorial when completed.
The trail also features other historic and scenic points in Fulton including Lakeview Lanes Bowling alley established in 1961, the Pump House that once held water pumped from the lake to supply the American Woolen Mills to make uniforms and cloth supplies for the US Army during both World Wars, the Fulton War Memorial, and the Bullhead Point Pier, Gazebo and Pavilion that highlights Lake Neatahwanta known as, the “little lake by the big lake” covering roughly 750 acres.
According to a guest sign in sheet, Weaver accounted for 75 people that signed in to the reveal with dozens more children who accompanied adults, most of whom walked or ran the trail including a large group from the Health Department who utilized the trail to support a walking challenge program they participate in.
One parent, Alisha Obey, brought her children to the reveal and said she found the new trail very nice, adding that a completed Stevenson beach area to access the lake would only enhance the trail.
Sixth Ward councilman, Larry Macner helped widen and clear the trail and found the final outcome to be “wonderful.”
“It’s a very nice trail, easy to navigate with great scenery. It’s good exercise and I hope it will encourage more people to enjoy this path or get involved with Friends of Fulton Parks as they run on volunteerism and do such great things for our city,” Macner said.
Friends of Fulton Parks is a non-profit organization that was established in 2008 with the overall goal of revitalizing Fulton’s public parks for increased use to encourage contact with nature, outdoor recreation, and exposure to natural open spaces.
FoFP has built a strong relationship with OCO Impact Program who, through a grant from NYS Department of Health, focuses on promoting physical activity in the community as well as promoting the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
OCO Impact Program continues evolving as they search for work sites to partner with for their upcoming Work Site Wellness Program in which the Impact Program will promote safety policies, improve food and beverage standards and promote physical activity within the work site.
They also aim to target retail stores to provide healthier corner stores in neighborhoods to provide healthier choices by making healthier snacks available conveniently.
“In Fulton particularly, there are so many groups and people really working to improve their community. We are a nice tie-in to the things that are already happening here with Friends of Fulton Parks and we are really lucky to have found them,” said Inga Back of OCO Impact Program.
The trail is open to the public and welcomed to be used by anyone. Friends of Fulton Parks asks to please refrain from smoking while using the trail, to clean up after pets, and advises guests to avoid going off the trail as poison ivy and ticks may be present.
For more information on Friends of Fulton Parks, visit their Facebook page.