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Canastota: Trails tidied

Eleven hikers braved the humidity on June 7 to commemorate National Trails Day and chip away at more of Madison County's Link Trail.

The land cleared in Canastota Saturday morning is a piece of a larger project that will be 4,600 miles long when completed.

"The Link Trail of Madison County will connect the Finger Lakes to the Erie Canal Towpath," said Kathy Eisele, hike coordinator for the Central New York Chapter of the North Country Trail Association.

"This is called the 'North Country Scenic Trail,' which will connect from North Dakota to Crown Point on Lake Champlain as a long foot trail for hiking, bird watching and snow-shoeing," Eisele said.

Volunteers brought weed whips and bow saws to polish the pathway.

"It makes the trail look nice," said Bill Zimmerman of Canastota. "When it gets too overgrown, it's a problem getting through. You just want people to like your section."

Others were diehard hikers learning the work aspect of their hobby while enjoying the company.

"I was lopping today," said Peter Crane of Fabius. "I've been hiking since I was eight, but cleaning is new for me. Trail people are always pleasant and open-hearted. I don't care if the world is going to end. Hikers hydrate and keep going. They won't leave no matter what."

About 2,000 miles of the trail that stretches through seven states has already been completed.

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