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DeWitt to trailblaze

Talks of a proposed year-round, multi-use trail in the town of DeWitt are coming to fruition.

The proposed trail would be constructed on both town-owned land and on easements through private property within the town. Already built is .7 miles of bicycle and interpretive nature trails, which spur off the Canal Park, located off Kinne Road. The trail winds through the woods and comes out next to Wegmans.

"The planning for this new trail has been ongoing since 2008," said Mike Moracco, assistant director of parks and recreation. "This project is vital to the community. It fulfills the needs for multiple-use trails in the area, providing much desired opportunities for biking, walking, jogging, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and nature interpretation and observation of the many environs through which the trails transect."

Students from SUNY ESF, with regular input from town officials, created the basic design concepts. According to Moracco, the project scope includes the enhancement and development of 2.72 miles of accessible various-use trails located within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Area. The Route 481 trail would connect Jamesville to New York State Route 5, then under the road using tunnels to Butternut Creek Nature and Recreation Area. Trail users would then connect to the national Erie Canal Historic Park recognized trail systems.

Applications for grants are being submitted to support this project. Construction is expected to begin next year and take approximately 14 months of good weather to complete.

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